How to be Truly Successful as an Artist by Brian Sherwin
This article is by Brian Sherwin , Regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. Brian Sherwin is an art critic, blogger, curator, artist and writer based near Chicago, Illinois. He has been published in Hi Fructose Magazine, Illinois Times, and other publications, and linked to by publications such as The Boston Globe, Juxtapoz Magazine, Deutsche Bank ArtMag, ARTLURKER, Myartspace, Blabbermouth, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Modern Art Obsession, Citizen LA, Shark Forum, Two Coats of Paint and Art Fag City. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.
The reality of being an artist is that success on a grand-scale is often far from reach. It is not uncommon for artists, especially emerging artists, to beat themselves up with worry over why they have not reached what they consider success. It is not hard to become bitter if you spend your time comparing yourself to wealthy famous artists-- especially if you are suffering financially for your dream as so many artists do. Thus, the first step in becoming a truly successful artist is to let go of your art star fantasies and work toward redefining your view of success in a more realistic manner.
I’m of the opinion that it is best for an artist to accept that only a small percentage of creative individuals will rise to become world renowned artists with huge bank accounts in their name. That said, an artist can be successful in his or her own right-- it is all in how we interpret success. Unfortunately, many artists get star struck by a bar that has been raised so high that one could create groundbreaking works of art daily and never reach it.
The fact that so many artists spend their days reaching for that bar to no avail has much to do with the consumer-driven money culture that we live in and the inclusive aspects of major media sources. Thus, the second step toward becoming a truly successful artist is to acknowledge that the value of your art is not found on a price tag, bank statement, or high profile review in an international art publication. The value of your art is found in your will to create no matter what life obstacle is thrown before you.
Point blank: Chances are you will not be as known as Pablo Picasso-- but that does not mean you will never reach a level of fame among your peers or become an influence on others. Chances are you will not be as wealthy as Damien Hirst-- but that does not mean you won’t eventually make a living, or at least establish an alternative source of income, from marketing your artwork. Chances are you won’t find yourself in the art history books of tomorrow-- but that does not mean you should stop seeking being written about today. Thus, the third step toward becoming a truly successful artist is to accept these common truths and to take advantage of realistic opportunities that you can take advantage of today.
In closing, true success for an artist, in my opinion, is the strength to push on with your art when the world is not at your feet. Most artists will never receive the spotlight they deserve-- but an artist can easily leave his or her own mark within the global art community, so to speak. Leave fame and fortune up to chance-- focus on creating art and gaining exposure for your art today. Take as many steps as you need to realize that you can truly be a successful artist beyond the bar that has been placed above you.
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