Who Wants to Be a Professional Artist?
Updated from original post: December 2021
is that you? you're the one inquiring about being an artist? or what else brings you here? want to find out a little more about the wild world of artists and how we think? want to build your case to talk a loved one out of quitting their current full-time comfortable job to answer their artist call? or is it you? the emerging artist, the one that's not sure why or how, but you're interested in the fine art industry? oh wait, i said fine art, and maybe you're just into crafts. does it matter? maybe. depends on your product and where you're selling it.
this is my personal experience, read at your own risk.
it will take heart to make the life of your dreams. plus other skills such as perseverance, adaptability and confidence. but you cannot trade passion and courage for any of your expenses. bill collectors don't accept that as a promise to pay, therefore...
the NUMBER ONE question to address is: Are you in this for business or pleasure? pleasure defined as anything else that is not business, stay tuned here. once you sort that out a whole bunch of other details will be clear for you. since the title of this post has "Professional Artist" one might assume that we're talking business. but not necessarily. because like many things these days, people are using different definitions to fit their cause. for this post i'm using the Merriam-Webster definition of business, "the activity of making, buying, or selling goods or providing services in exchange for money." key words, in exchange for money. so if you're not sure how to answer this question, you're kind of playing around in mud, and while it may seem fun, it's not the most efficient path to take. imagine yourself trying to get from Point A to Point B, drudging along a mud path and the rest of the pack is smooth-stepping wearing white sneakers on the dry ground around you. yes there are obstacles and such, but that's coming up next. also, if you're in the hybrid-professional category (selling for pleasure but you don't need the money or sales history) then keep doing what you're doing, mixing and matching what works for you. but if you're lacking clarity and direction you may want to rethink the hybrid, commit to a decision, perhaps working towards a hybrid business model when you're at that point in your career. if you don't know if you're at that point yet, you're not.
NUMBER TWO question is" How well do you handle difficult situations? you should master this to a point where you have more days in control, and less to no days on the brink of a meltdown. this is not just a question for artists, its a life question; they ask it on job interviews too (or a variation of this). off the top of my head, difficulties can come as: life hardships, rejection, resistance (procrastination), lack of resources (time, space, materials, money, etc.). this list goes on and on; you name it... but i'm not claiming it :) anyway, i've found that how i overcame any one of these difficulties is actually very similar to how i can overcome all of them as they come. but since our experiences and mental processing methods are different, you have to commit to figure out what works for you. then keep working it! refine your inner self as much as you want to refine your artist skills, or other goals.
closing on NUMBER THREE: do something. take action. today. make a decision and see it through. ***however, be mindful of course/class/program addictions that mask your deeper root issue of self-confidence and courage (plus probably a few other things based on your experiences and resilience). no degree or certificate gained as a pacifier will fix you. a course completed as continued education from a position of strength is a different story. i have 3 college degrees and have taken a plethora of other courses so this is very real for me. i just rediscovered something i wrote as a kid, and it was clear that i was writing as an entrepreneur. perhaps i was just ahead of my time, but if i would have seen other models of local entrepreneurs and professional artists, i’m not certain that i would have went to college. i was not mentored from youth to be an artist or business owner; that’s just my story. may yours be beautiful and blessed as you work out the details.
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