I’ve heard every excuse in the book as to why artists can’t make it. In fact, I am an expert on them. Why? Because I’ve made these excuses myself. One thing that deeply concerns me is how insecure and negative creative people can be. The lack of self-esteem among creatives is one of the biggest issues that blocks them from success.
So let’s look at a few excuses.
I don’t feel very inspired lately
Inspiration is for amateurs. What you have to do is show up anyway, whether you want to or not. If you are constantly waiting for the “mood” to strike you will never get anything done. What makes an artist a true professional is creating new art, working hard, and promoting themselves–even when they don’t want to. So whether you are sculptor, painter, photographer, or musician–taking action is the pathway to true achievement.
I can’t do that…I’m not very good
Did you expect to fall out of the womb with a paintbrush in your hand? It doesn’t work like that. There are zero natural born artists, no matter what anybody tells you. All art skills have to be developed over time. Sure, some people may be more inclined or pick it up faster, but any man or woman can become an excellent artist. If they are willing to put in the time and effort! Michael Jordan didn’t even make his varsity basketball team, and look what happened to him. He became the greatest basketball player of all time. Relentless practice is the name of the game. That is how you get good.
Sell my work? Artists only become famous after they’re dead
This is an absolute cop-out in every way. It gets artists off the hook so that they don’t have to take full responsibility for their career. Artists make six-figures every year, and some make millions. And they are, you guessed it…alive and kicking! I have talked to artists personally that make a million dollars a year. And if you put your mind and heart into it, you can too. You can certainly become notorious while you are living.
I don’t have enough money!
There are some who would say that this one is valid, but I respectfully disagree. How do you expect to get the money? By sitting inside of your studio and not talking to anyone? As long as you do that you will never sell anything. You have to continually produce new work and sell it to make a nice living as a creative entrepreneur. And yes, you have to tell people about it. You also need to promote yourself and your brand. And to top it all off, you have to build relationships with people who will like what you do.
People aren’t buying art right now
People are always buying artwork for their homes. Always. And since the art world is totally subjective, that means there are people out there who are going to LOVE what you do. Your job is to find them. Now I will admit this is no easy feat. You have to break it up into small action steps when it comes to building your audience and finding collectors for your work. But don’t ever think that the art sales aren’t happening. One of my painter mentors told me once about the day he first sold a painting for $20,000! He went on to admit that the particular piece wasn’t even his best. And if he could do it, you can too. You just have to push your art into the world and make art that people will connect with.
Hopefully this list will motivate you to conquer you own excuses. Excuses are terrible. Let’s get rid of them, one at a time!
I will be posting my first Youtube video soon on my art channel. Here is the subject of the video below. I look forward to sharing it with you.
Cliffs of Peace. 11×14 inches. Oils on canvas
Until next time, I wish you happy painting, drawing, sculpting, or whatever it is you do. Let’s bring some color into the world.