The path of a creative is a challenging one. I know I’ve said this before and more than likely I’ll probably say it again. I try to be polite about things but I’m not much for sugar coating. I never want to give anyone the impression being an artist or doing any kind of creative work for a living is easy. Far from it. I do enjoy my work though, which gives me a satisfaction that I never experienced doing anything else. But that satisfaction does come with some interesting challenges and some lasting life lessons. So here are three lessons I’ve learned that has helped to keep my ego grounded as an independent artist.
1. You’re not entitled to anyone’s attention. You may work hard. You may have exquisite skills in your craft. You may have even created the best masterpiece of the century. But no matter how amazing you may think your work is nobody is obligated to appreciate it or buy it. Sometimes you may have an inner hissy fit when you don’t get the recognition you think you deserve for your hard work but reality is, unless someone has requested or commissioned you to create the work, no one is really obligated to take notice of it. It’s a difficult pill to swallow. You spend hours, weeks, months maybe even years working on a piece. You finish. You put yourself out there by sharing it with the world. You wait in anticipation for a response, some form of recognition…and all you get are crickets. In such times you can either have a temper tantrum, slip into a soul crushing depression or get back to work on something new, giving it your best effort like you did on your last piece.
2. No matter how good you think you are, there will always be someone out there who is doing work that may be considered better than yours…always. Art is a pretty subjective field so being a great artist isn’t about competing with other artists. If you’re approaching your craft as some type of competition then you’re spending way too much time looking at the works of other artists and comparing yourself. The only artist you should be comparing yourself to is the artist you are today in comparison to the artist you were yesterday.
3. It’s impossible to create art that everyone will like or want to buy. Don’t sit around racking your brain trying to figure out what people will like. Trust me on this one, I used to do this all the time and it only leads to disappoinment and mediocre work. Nothing stifles creative energy than trying to appeal to the masses. Create work that makes you eager to come back to your easel. The kind of work that you try to fight off sleep for because you just don’t want to stop working. And then hone your own niche. Not everyone will like or be impressed with your work…but some will. And when you find them or they find you, be grateful because just as I mentioned in the first lesson, they’re not obligated to pay you any attention but they are and that’s a wonderful thing.
With that said, I just want to send out a heartfelt THANK YOU, to all of you who take the time out of your busy lives to follow, “like”, comment and buy my work. You play a big part in keeping me going and I truly appreciate your interest in art. Thank you.🙏😊