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How to Create Your Best Artist’s Life and Enjoy It — Part One.


True imagination is not fanciful daydreaming; it is fire from heaven.

— Ernest Holmes

As an artist, I believe that living your dream is to have the freedom to create your best artist’s life and enjoy it. Living your dream starts with knowing yourself and what gives you joy. Living your best artist’s life is about avoiding the traps of trying to achieve everything you know you can do or accomplishing what others think you can do. That said, there is nothing wrong with wanting or doing those things if they align within the context of your practical dreams, which is to say keeping it real.

It’s important to know it’s not a dream if you live it. If you are honest and authentic about what is truly important to you, you can enjoy making art as you wish — and there’s nothing better than that.

To understand your dreams, ask:

  • What makes you happy as a visual artist and a human?
  • What do you need to experience a joyful, well-lived artist’s life? 

It’s not too much to believe you can create happiness and joy in your artist’s life. When you answer the above questions, you put yourself on the path toward living your dream. 

Live Your Best Artist's LIfe
Live Your Best Artist’s LIfe

Encouraging You to Live Your Best Artist’s Life Is My Jam.

As an expert art marketing author and adviser, my goal in pursuing this concept is to help visual artists learn how to make lifestyle choices that lead to their creative fulfillment. I seek to support artists in deepening their self-awareness about being satisfied and how to live their dreams by encouraging them to question what matters most in their lives.

I believe artists who act on their honest answers with sincere intentions create their best artists’ lives. As you practice, grow, and learn, your confidence, along with the quality of your work and business, will improve.

Living Your Best Artist’s Life Because You Can.

Many artists never realize the dreams they were meant to have. You must be a dreamer who lives your dreams; if you do not, then it’s time to change. You can do it, but first, you must decide to do it. The choice is yours. Find motivation in knowing it’s hard to take the first step and easy to give up too soon.

These questions will help you refine your thoughts and begin the journey to live your dream:

  • What do you want to do with your life as an artist?
  • What is your dream for your art in business?
  • Do you have the desire and the courage to follow your biggest dreams?
  • Who will support you on this journey?

These questions lead to discovering what makes you feel alive as an artist. Knowing how to live your dream becomes more evident when you know yourself better. When you answer these questions, you will realize it’s time to let go of fear and worry about what other people think and not negatively compare yourself with others. You don’t have to be famous or wealthy to live your dream and enjoy life as a visual artist. It would be best if you were true to yourself. 

How Do You Know?

What does it take for fulfillment? When you know yourself, you know what makes you happy. You will see what you want in life and find how to achieve your dreams. As a visual artist, I believe that the best way to enjoy your life is to follow your passion. 

The Guide to Art-related Careers
Learn about art-related Careers.

What can you do to live the best possible life? First, explore how you can have a joyful, well-lived artist’s life. Start by recognizing living the dream is unique to each visual artist and your dreams are about what you are passionate about, what you desire to do, and what you wish to create. Your dreams are what you want to be, do, and have.

Artist, Know Thyself.

What do you need to learn to be an influential artist? What does the artist inside of you want to share? What is your vision for your art practice? What would you like to create? Be inspired by what you see in the world, and don’t just look but respond to it. What will your art be telling the world?

To have a successful career as an artist, living your dream is first to know yourself. My mission with the Art Marketing Toolkit Project (AMTP) is to provide an online space for artists to create, share and learn together, and manage and enjoy their artists’ lives and businesses. A place to be inspired to act on ideas like those in this post.

My Why.

The grand vision is to make the world a more creative place by inspiring artists to live their dreams and share their art with humanity. I believe the best way to accomplish this goal is to make first-class art marketing info and best artist’s life enablement affordable for all artists regardless of their budget, where they live, or who they are.

— Barney Davey

The Journey and the Destination.

A question for living the dream is how do we get there? I believe artists must seek to reveal their true selves to themselves. Each artist has unique values and wishes they must understand and acknowledge.

The Guide to Art-related Careers
Learn about art-related Careers.

As visual artists, gaining accurate, valuable self-awareness is often challenging. As humans, we are susceptible to not always fully understanding ourselves and our needs. For example, we may mistake being capable of doing something or doing it as the answer to living one’s dreams. External influences, misguided encouragement, and chasing the dreams of others are primary reasons for artists to learn the following lesson the hard way. “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” It’s the equivalent of leaning your ladder to success on the wrong wall. 

Supporting Art-Life Dream-Work Balance.

A significant challenge is many artists find themselves working in regular jobs or creative fields where they have little time or energy to think about themselves, much less figure out what they want and need to achieve success. Sadly, those artists never figure out where to go or how to get there, and it doesn’t have to be that way…
It’s all about what I call…

The art-life dream-work balance. (AL-DF)

 Every unique artist’s life has an art-life dream-work balance state. Think about yours to intuitively know your state of balance. It’s is an excellent thing if your art and life work together and your dreams and work don’t clash. That’s the ideal for living the dream. But living your best artist’s life comes in as many dreams as artists. What works for you is what matters. Dial it in and enjoy you deserve it.

Balance is desirable in all aspects of life. For conciseness, we cling to the art-life dream-work balance topic. It’s enough and even when isolating it still overlaps your personal, physical, spiritual, financial, well being.

I believe artists shouldn’t go it alone. Find an accountability partner, mentor, coach, or community to help you.

Why No One Size Fits All.

For many visual artists, the dream is to become successful professional artists. But there are other dreams too. The way to a best artist’s life may be more personal. Perhaps, for them, making art is spiritual or has a higher purpose than commercial success, which are valid, viable options.  

An artist may desire to express themselves by creating something new and different regardless of whether it is marketable by conventional standards. Still, others wish to make art that entertains and teaches. These are tiny examples of the many other factors that play a role in an artist’s life. And how the works get to market are more unique stories.

Art Tells Stories & So Do Art Careers.

Every artist has a unique story. Some are involved with the arts in related fields, such as teachers or picture framers. Some may work at a non-art-related job and make time for their artwork as they can. Others make art and market it on a scale they find comfortable. And others have retired from their careers to devote their time to their art.

To create a plan and achieve a goal, you must first understand what you want. 

— Barney Davey

Sometimes Forming the Dream Takes Time.

It takes time and effort to gain an accurate understanding of one’s own goals and desires. The more we learn about ourselves and our art, the more we can see what we want and how best to achieve it.

There’s a fine line between being realistic about what we can do and being unrealistic about what we want. One must be careful not to get caught up in a fantasy world of dreams that are impossible to reach. Nevertheless, it’s true that if you never try, it’s nearly impossible to guess what you want.

Pro Tip:

When you attempt something new, be honest with yourself to help avoid the tendency to shoot too big or too little in other cases. Recognize the tremendous value in maintaining clarity in purpose. Why are you doing this, and does it align with your vision for living your best artist’s life?

Ambition and Desire Are Major Motivators.

There’s no need to be afraid of wanting something too much. The greatest danger to artists is being afraid to ask for what we want. A problem for artists in their careers is being afraid to ask for help and support from others. You lose this powerful tool if you think others won’t help or fear appearing weak. To get others to help and work with you, you must shake off being afraid to put yourself out there.

The more you know about yourself, the better you understand the need to be true to yourself. Self-awareness and self-acceptance are the foundation to creating meaningful art and life to support it.

Achieving self-awareness can take two paths.

  1. Start with the end in mind and figure out how to get there.
  2. Begin at the end and work backward.

It’s not too much to ask and is within your grasp to live your best artist’s life. It’s not always easy, but it is always doable.  

How to Create Your Best Artist’s Life and Enjoy It — Part Two.

I trust you are feeling confident in the concept of you living your dream. Start with believing it’s possible. Reread this post as it might help you get the feeling. Look for Part Two next week. You can subscribe at the top right. Big thanks!

The Guide to Art-related Careers
Learn about art-related Careers.

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  1. Not having the courage to say NO has always been my down fall. example…when a relative expects free art from me but PAYS other artist for painting!
    OR when someone offers to pay me $200.00 for a painting that is clearly worth my current standard price of $4000.00 .

    1. The first step to improvement is understanding and accepting the current situation, including how much of it you can control. It’s not easy, but you can overcome the insecurities or whatever is dampening your self-esteem and start to stand up for yourself and believe in the value of your art.

      Learn to turn the dynamic around by focusing on the best outcome instead of the worst. You already have experience and have lived through the worst, now is the time to hold your head high, be rightfully proud without arrogance, and project a winning conclusion in your head. Body and spoken language send strong signals that others receive. It’s your job to send a confident signal that your art has value and the price is fair.

      If the buyer wants to negotiate, give them 10% off as an appreciation for first-time buyers. If a relative expects a free painting, offer to barter with them instead. What service do they have of value to give you in exchange? A few days at the cabin. Lawn mowing by the kid, snow shoveling, or something else in their area of expertise and control.

      I appreciate you like the piece enough to want to own it, but I’m in the business of art and earning an income. So I’m sure you can appreciate that I can’t give my work product away and stay in business. How about I give you the family discount of 20%? Or, what do you have to barter with?

      Essentially, you are in complete control but only when you realize it. The worst is no sale, so what because it happens all the time. The best is a new happy customer. You choose your desired outcome and stick to your guns. It takes courage to change our behavior, but when the pain becomes enough, or we’ve had enough, we remove the hesitation and replace it with resolve. You can do this. Getting help is advisable if you feel it will help you get there quicker. All the best!

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