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Can "Giving Up" Benefit Your Art Career?

Can "Giving Up" Benefit Your Art Career?

Tara Reed | ArtLicensingBlog.com

I am sometimes asked, “What was your biggest lesson learned when you were just getting started licensing your art?” The lesson I am inspired to share isn’t about my business, but more of a life lesson that serves me in all areas. I believe it can serve other artists equally as well.

“Never give up for more than half a day.”

At first glance, this might seem to fly in the face of convention and be counter to staying optimistic but stay with me for a minute. Don’t you have days where you just absolutely wonder why you bother? Days where despite your best intentions, things just seem to go wrong, things seem to be too hard and you just want to cry or throw things or drop your computer out of a five story building so you have a legitimate excuse to stop trying?

“Never give up!” just seems a bit too…definite. And when you find yourself in a place of complete frustration, it is very hard to swallow. NEVER is just a word to use sparingly. I give myself permission to give up on anything, if I think it is necessary, for a half a day. In dire circumstances, give up for a whole day. But then get back to it.

I have found this strategy to work wonders. It’s the same as saying “Step away from the machine” when you know you are so flustered and frustrated with something your computer is doing, obviously in an effort to thwart your progress, that you will never get anywhere (you know what I’m talking about, right?). A change of scenery is often what is needed – by stepping away and releasing the problem, you often find a solution while diverting your attention.

Maybe on your ‘half day off’ you go to the movies. Or to the gym. Or have lunch with a friend. Your brain gets distracted and calmed. You start to release the tension in your muscles and can see things in a different light. While this can apply to any situation, I think it is especially relevant to artists – without the proper frame of mind, it is hard to create our best work. Personally, I’m a terrible “tortured artist” – that’s when I do my worst work to the point it’s barely worth doing it at all!

When you need to, give yourself permission to let it go.

If whatever you were doing is really important to you, you’ll get back to it. And you’ll get back to it with news eyes, a new perspective and new energy.


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