Wow! That is a challenging question to consider how to make your art career amazing. I think so and I’m the one asking it.
I will start with telling you not so long ago there were many years when I would not like answering a question about if I were making my career amazing. That is because I would have not liked the answer I would have had to give.
It’s a sad thing that so many of us get shuffled into life into some lane and we find a degree of comfortability in it. Things are going just well enough that we lose the edge and the strength to make a change. We are further beaten into staying in our respective lanes because we have seen too many times what can happen when you change or shift from your deviated pattern.
You know what I mean. You see a family member, friend or colleague launch into something and then fail because they weren’t prepared, were underfunded, were outperformed, or misjudged the opportunity and the level of difficulty of success. Couple that with responsibilities to our families and before long we are sheep following the beaten path.
We lose sight of what our real potential is, or we tuck away our ambitions because we are uncertain and fearful. We for sure don’t want to lose whatever gains we have managed to accrue. It’s human nature to protect what we have and not risk it all on jumping the lane without any guarantees.
I believe a big part of the problem of making a change and taking a leap of faith for many, including visual artists, is there is no viable plan. It’s scary enough to jump into something new, or just walk away from some known entity with a plan. Without one, only fools tread in.
So, there is some continuum along which most art careers fall along from rank beginner to consummate professional. There is no shame to find yourself at any point along the gamut.
Every artist was once an amateur. Ralph Waldo Emerson
There should, however, be a concern if you are stuck in one place and have aspirations for greater success. If that is where you are, then you need to start figuring out what you want. Some call it goal setting, which is serviceable. I frequently use the term in writing about art careers. Depending on how much you wish to lump under it, goal setting is adequate.
Depending on how much you wish to lump under it, goal setting is adequate. I say adequate because I know goal setting is just a part —an integral part— of a more complex process required to attain success.
If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there. – Lewis Carroll
The point is if you don’t have the plan to fulfill a vision of what your future career looks like, then you are going to find yourself stuck in some lane with varying degrees of comfort and little chance of changing your situation.
If you want something, you have to work towards achieving it with regularity, passion, and determination. All of us are guilty of daydreaming. There is no harm in imagining wild and fantastic things for your life and career. If anything, such exercises help us formulate larger plans. There is something to the saying, “If the mind can conceive and believe it, it can achieve it.”
So what does it take then for someone to find a way to jump the lane and get on a higher path to a more fulfilling career?
These three things in that order will fuel your success if you formulate and stick to them. You have to truly want it, not just wishfully think about it. You have to break down and fully understand and accept the components and actions required to reach your goals. You have to apply discipline so you keep taking action and stick with your plan when you are scared, bored and unsure.
Making a change, acquiring new skills and creating success requires sacrifice. If your day is busy now, then something has to give to make way for new actions.
Be honest. How much time do you spend watching television, working crossword puzzles, or doing other pleasant, but unnecessary things? We all have our weaknesses and dispositions. The truth is if you want real change and an excellent opportunity to bring about positive change in your art career something has to give.
The one unalterable thing we each have in equal parts is time. We each get 168 hours a week for everything. What you do with your time is what will make the difference in your life and your career.
Do you need to make more art? Do you need to spend more time finding effective ways to get your art to market? Do you need new skills to make your art or sell your art? Whatever it is you need, it is available to you in those 168 hours.
It’s up to you to find a way to maximize your time. It starts with soul-searching and goal setting. Spend enough time to cut the wheat from the chaff. Get it down so you can answer to yourself about what it is that is truly important to you in your life and career. When you know the answer to these questions, you are on your way to unparalleled success.
Most people never even consider such questions much less attempt to answer them. That is why they are stuck in their lane hoping only to get old enough to retire as a means to escape it.
You want something more or you would have stopped reading this post long ago. I would have either bored you or scared you back to your crossword puzzles, the History Channel, or whatever else it is people do to idle their time.
I believe you want to make your art career amazing. I think you have the talent to make your art career amazing. I believe if you decide you want success badly enough that you will employ the 3 Ds so you can start taking smart, informed steps to achieve the goals you set forth for your career.
For nearly 30 years, I’ve observed artists running up very successful careers. What’s interesting is virtually none of them followed some ABC path to get there.
It rarely was to do this, then if that, then do this. They weren’t following a formula. Some were astute observers who researched what other artists did to create success. They took what they learned and molded new actions for themselves using the modified model of success patterns of top selling artists.
Others ignored what everyone else was doing and just went about doing the things they knew were necessary to advance their careers. And, still others used some hybrid fusion of modeling traits from successful artists and creating their own as needed.
What I’m telling you is there is not set solution to grow a successful career. I gave up long ago trying to force my opinions on artists about what to do. Whenever I insisted, it became a situation where I was frustrated because my advice was being ignored and the artist was just annoyed at my persistence.
In my promotion for my Art Marketing Mastery Workshop, I use the analogy of cooking. I contend it takes proven recipes for success and the just right modifications to them to create your own delightful, delectable career. That’s because I believe there are certain ingredients that every recipe must have. At the same time, there are endless variations to take a recipe and make it into something new and wonderful.
That’s what you need to do with your career. Find the essential ingredients, experiment with all the variations until you come up with your very own unique version of how to make your career successful.
I can tell you in my case that my career did not get to the high potential for great success until I stopped trying to do it all myself. I am a hard-headed, opinionated, iconoclast who would rather repeatedly fail trying myself than take help from others. This is a challenging career flaw, which I now feel fortunate enough to state publicly and admit to working to overcome.
I believe many artists are like me. They take in information from many sources, but then just attempt to implement some haphazard self-made plan to gin up success in their careers. I’m here to tell you that doesn’t work. For a long time, I was a victim of myself and my misguided feelings about getting help.
It wasn’t until I found a mentor and mastermind group that I began to formulate viable plans for creating a sustainable, profitable business around my strengths and interests. Don’t get me wrong. Probably a lot like you are now, I was doing okay fumbling along in my lane.
For nearly 10 years, I ran a successful, part-time publishing, workshop, and consulting career. I strung together growing revenue and profits each year, but it was a drop in the bucket compared to my potential. I had stopped looking at my real potential and was focused on cranking out projects and products that were profitable but lacked a cohesive long-term vision about why I was doing and creating things.
Here is my heartfelt and most sincere suggestion for you. Make a plan and start working it. Not just a little, but a lot. Find someone to help you make your plans and get in a group where you can get feedback, encouragement, and assist in implementing your plans.
One way to do this is to join my Art Marketing Mastery Workshop. To a degree, you get me as a mentor. I don’t schedule one-on-one time with members, that is too expensive. Instead, I share my nearly 30 years of experience with members of the course material I provide and through the private Facebook group for members.
This example worked for me, personally. When I joined Digital Marketer, I found Ryan Deiss, a co-founder. For what I needed, he was more than adequate as a mentor. I’ve shaken his hand at a couple of conferences. He may know my name only from posting in the Digital Marketer Facebook group, but we are not close in any way because it’s not necessary. It has 8,300 members and growing.
What I needed was someone who could articulate a path and present viable alternatives for me to choose a path and proceed to follow along it. I and thousands of other information marketers, coaches, and consultants get this from Ryan Deiss and Digital Marketer and the best, coolest thing is that it works!
My mastermind is the Digital Marketer private Facebook page. It is a welcome place where one can ask any relevant question and expect to get professional advice and useful answers from others in the group who are more experienced.
I did not realize it at the time, but upon reflection, it became apparent that my Art Marketing Mastery Workshop and the private Facebook group were close parallels to the Digital Marketer properties mentioned above. And in a microcosm, I see the same kind of results.
That is, some members are crushing it because they bought in, studied hard and have taken decisive action to change their careers. Others have taken some advice and are plodding along more slowly because of personality, life and other things impeding their way, but they nonetheless are keeping in the game and moving along in improving their careers.
This is not a straight out pitch to join the Art Marketing Mastery Workshop. If you investigate and find it worthwhile, then jump in because the lifetime membership and one-time low price will end very soon. That said, I as mentioned above, there are many ways to create success. For sure, I’ve seen things that surprised because they were done in an unusual way and still got success beyond what I thought was possible.
The real encouragement here is to do something. Find a way out of the rut of a lane you are running in. To do that, you probably need to find a mentor. Without much difficulty, you can find many different varieties of art marketing and art career gurus offering services out there.
Check them all out. I don’t think there is a bad one. Just different takes on what needs to be done to create success. Find the one that resonates with you and your plans Then put your head down, nose the grindstone and work the plan until you start seeing success. Stick with them. They didn’t just make some stuff up because it sounded good. They came up with an idea because they have experience and wisdom.
Don’t let your ego get in the way. Don’t think you tried something before and it didn’t work that you need not to try it again. If it didn’t work, then be honest with yourself about how much effort you put in it. It’s more likely operator failure than the plan being faulty. Whatever you do, and whomever you work with, give it a full measure try, or you are wasting your time.
Now go out there and start seizing the success you and your art surely deserve.