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5 Reasons Why Some Artists are Successful

5 Reasons Why Some Artists are Successful

Fine Art Tips | Lori McNee

This article was originally published on

Guest author/artist advisor: Aletta de Wal

“There is no formula for success, except perhaps an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings.” -Arthur Rubinstein

STOP. Before you read this article, close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths and imagine. Now let your mind find a memory of a time when you felt successful. Walk into that memory and experience it all over again. Employ all of your senses: sight, smell, touch, taste, hearing, temperature, direction, pleasure, etc. Open your eyes and remember that feeling.

If each of you told me what you just experienced, there would be some common aspects and many differences. That’s the great thing about having a successful career as a fine artist. You make it up, just like you make art from what your mind conceives. Here’s a list of five common traits successful artists share:

1. Art is the core of their lives.

These artists wake up and go to sleep thinking about art and carve out time in their day to make or market it. In fact for these artists, there is no clear distinction between the creativity of making and marketing. If they hold a full-time job, it’s secondary to art and mostly a means to an end, as their real job is being an artist.

2. Successful artists understand how business works in the art world.

Successful artists understand the entrepreneurial aspects of making a living as an artist. When they encounter something new or unusual on the business side, they investigate and learn to do it or delegate the task. They know the value of relationships and network in person and through social media.

3. Successful artists have a strong work ethic.

They manage themselves, their creative energy and their resources. They balance the time it takes to produce art and to market it; they choose a work rhythm and stick to it. Whether these artists enjoy the business tasks or not, they know they must be done and they do them without complaints or bitterness.

4. Successful artists are resilient.

They know that success doesn’t happen overnight and requires hard work. These artists understand that things don’t always work out the way they expect. When they make mistakes, they focus on solutions, not on regrets. They learn from experiences and experiment to improve on failures and successes.

5. Successful artists only spend time with people who are 100% supportive of their art career.

They limit their time and emotional involvement with negative people — especially those who disapprove of art as a career choice. Artists who surround themselves with supportive people produce better art. Quite simply, successful artists do not allow unsupportive people to obstruct their plans for success.

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