What tools does every artist need to have at their disposal? I’ll give you a hint. They can’t be bought at any art store. Let’s get right down to it…
This is very important, so I’d like to cover it first. Every artist must be vulnerable at some point in their creative lives. Vulnerability is the key to inspiring others. When we are vulnerable, we put our true selves in front of the world. By sharing our art, we are exposing our inmost ideas, beliefs, hopes, and flaws. Of course, being vulnerable is not the easiest thing to do, but we must do it if we want to build an audience for our art.
Take my new Youtube channel, for instance. It takes a lot of guts and faith for me to put myself out there like that. Now people from all over the world, souls whom I’ve never met, can listen to my voice and watch me paint. It’s a crazy thing opening yourself up to being vulnerable, but there is so much beauty in it. And by seeing your own vulnerability, it allows others to open up and be who they are.
Why do I dare list failure as an addition to every artist’s tool belt? Simple. Because when you pursue your dream, failure will be a close companion. You are going to fail, a LOT of the time. That’s the bottom line. But it’s not the act of failing that truly matters, it is how we use it. After all, failing can be a incredibly significant resource. It grants us the liberty to learn, grow, stretch, and multiply.
I’ve personally failed more times than I’ve succeeded. I’ve been rejected from multiple national art contests and magazines. I’ve been mocked and laughed at while selling at art fairs. I even received an email from a lady a few years ago saying that my art was “ugly and boring!” But all of these failures have molded me into the man I am today. Not to mention they have made me a more sensitive and effective artist. So the moral of the story is this—don’t be afraid to fail. It is nothing personal. It simply means you need to approach your goals from a different direction.
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This goes hand in hand with failure, in my honest opinion. Persistence is the ability to go from disappointment to disappointment without losing steam. In other words, persistence is the tool that will help you go on, even when you don’t want to. That may not be Webster’s definition of the word, but it is true nevertheless. I had to be persistent when starting my own business, and you will too. You must keep attacking your objective until it is met.
Here is my question to you; how long should you keep working to achieve your dream?
The answer is,
as long as it takes.
4. An Open Mind
This tool is often overlooked, but it is so crucial. Not everybody is going to like what you paint, sculpt, knit, photograph, draw, or craft. And that is okay. That is what makes the world special and unique. But no matter what you like to create, know that there is a market out there filled with people who will love what you do. All you have to do is find them. Keeping an open mind will allow you to view your efforts objectively. Not to mention that having an open mind will be invaluable when dealing with criticism. Even if somebody does like you art, they may think about it much differently than you do. And again, that is okay.
And last but certainly not least, we have patience.
The reality is that it takes weeks, months, and years to build a healthy following of loyal supporters. There are hardly any “overnight successes,” and of the few artists that do hit it big in a relatively short amount of time, it usually doesn’t last. The hype will die and the dust will stagnate because their careers were not constructed with time and experience. For in the end, time and experience reign supreme. So if you are an artist that doesn’t like to wait, then don’t. I’m not telling you to sit back and wait. To achieve success you have to take action. But even with consistent action, it still takes time to realize lasting achievement in the art world. So give your dreams time, and they will surely be realized.
Well, I hope you enjoyed my 5 tools. Don’t be afraid to drop a line and tell me what tools you believe are most important. Not only do I want to help other artists and demonstrate my painting techniques with my blog, I also want to hear from you. We artists have to stick together! I believe that with all of my heart.
Don’t forget to check out my latest paintings on my online shop!
Until next time,
let’s bring some color into the world.
And as always, do what you love to do.