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The Starving Artist Myth — Debunked!

The Starving Artist Myth — Debunked!

Carolyn Edlund | ArtsyShark

AS: What practices would you suggest an artist put into place to start thinking in a positive and balanced way about promoting and selling their work?

AD: Choose your company carefully. Avoid the artist who has “done it,” and “it doesn’t work.” Study and hang out with successful artists have a positive mental attitude about their career. It makes a tremendous difference!

Think, do, celebrate. Decide what you want to achieve with your art and the lifestyle you envision. Set goals with action steps and a timeline. Then do something every day that will take you a step closer to your goals. Write down what works and change what doesn’t. To keep yourself motivated and your spirits up, celebrate every accomplishment, no matter how small.

AS: There is a difference between merely surviving and prospering as an artist. What attitudes and actions do prosperous artists have that can be a model for emerging artists?

AD: Artists who survive go from action to action without an overall plan or ways of measuring progress. Create a solid foundation for prospering by building “product”, nurturing relationships and positioning yourself in the art world.

• Master your medium and subject matter. Decide what gives you the most joy and energy. Notice where you need to learn more and find teachers and mentors to help you.

• Do business professionally, with a business name registration, a vendor’s license, sales tax ID and separate bank accounts and credit. Aside from being legally ready, this will build your confidence.

• Be visible. Go to art events weekly. Observe how art marketing works when it is done well, and when it is done poorly so you can avoid expensive mistakes.

• Build relationships and grow your mailing list. Get to know people in your area – artists, buyers, and dealers – and ask them if they would like to be on your mailing list. Make notes about each person and start a database to keep track of what you learn about them.

Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg! For more detail and a special download available to Artsy Shark readers, visit Aletta’s website .

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