Successful Art Careers | Artistic Courage | Part Seven

Don’t fall prey to your fears. Use your courage to overcome them and let it lead you to the success you deserve!

Artistic Courage Is Integral to a Successful Art Career

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courage As an artist and an entrepreneur, you are required to summon courage when needed, especially when things look bleak, or facing difficult decisions.

If we should fail?

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

Lady Macbeth:
We fail?
But screw your courage to the sticking place,
And we’ll not fail.

Courage comes in many forms

It is not just for war heroes, police and firefighters, although no one would question them. Courage is a small child
finding a way to stand up to a bully, or a parent with a sick child being brave for both of them.

Courage is an artist who aims to break out of creative and career ruts despite having to leave a comfort zone to get there.

Courage Is More Than a Definition

Courage is the resistance to fear, the mastery of fear, not the absence of fear. ~ Mark Twain

The dictionary describes courage as having the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger,
fear, or difficulty. There is no doubt if you want to realize what is possible in your art career that you will need to be courageous in   actions and decisions regarding it.

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

Illegitimi non carborundum

If you are not familiar with the above phrase, click the link to learn its meaning. For some artists, courage is overcoming the fear of pursuing a creative outlet, or the indifference of unsympathetic, unsupportive family and friends. Sad as it is to say, many find their art careers or pursuit of creative endeavors lacking enthusiastic backing. For others, it is taking the scary steps towards leaving a job or career with a steady income and benefits.

Moving beyond getting started with an art career often requires courageous actions. It can be summoning the guts to cold call on galleries, to learn how to sell face-to-face, to speak in public about one’s art, or a host of other actions for which there is little training
on how to accomplish these things.

Taking Risks Is Part of Growing As an Artist

Do the thing you fear the most and the death of fear is certain. ~ Mark Twain

Courage isn’t always some heroic act in the moment; it often is a series of nearly imperceptible steps that lead to something monumental. Artistic courage is found in creating controversial, challenging art. Perhaps it is taking steps that expose an artist to criticism or rejection by one’s followers, or peers. When you take risks, it can leave you with a frightening feeling of being alone. That is when it takes courage to persevere.

Be Your Own Hero

As an artist and entrepreneur, if you don’t recognize it outwardly, you nonetheless instinctively know you need to carry your own water. Sure, you may have a support team to help you, mentors to guide you and supporters to cheer you on, but at the end of the day, you have to be your own champion because those others are more likely reliant on you than vice-versa.

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Take your time to set your realistic career goals, both artistic and personal. Review them to make sure they are what you want to achieve. Then intelligently pursue with passion and courage, and just as Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth says, “We’ll not fail!”

The Dread Is Worse Than the Do

Suppose you do fail. So what? Failures are the way to success. You can fail all the way to the top. Without learning to embrace and learn from your failures, you will likely never succeed. Often it is the fear of trying that keeps us back. Don’t fall prey to your fears. Use your courage to overcome them and let it lead you to the success you deserve!

The Making Successful Art Careers Happen Series Goes On

  1. Making Successful Art Careers Happen | Part One
  2. Successful Art Careers | How to Make Yours Happen | Part Two
  3. Successful Art Careers | Marketing Art Effectively | Part Three
  4. Successful Art Careers Happen | Grow Where You Are Planted | Part Four
  5. Successful Art Careers | The Curse of Thinking Small | Part Five
  6. Successful Art Careers | Using the Rule of Three | Part Six


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


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  1. Barney you hit a home run with this one. As an art teacher I often fight the self doubt of my students, encouraging them to break free from their own worse enemy is no easy task. But once they do, there is no stopping them. Your article is a treasure that I will be sharing with all my student self doubters.
    Thank you

  2. Dear Darice, Thank you for your kind words. I don’t think many outside the arts realize the struggles artists go through to validate their work to themselves first, then others. It’s very rewarding to get such feedback from you.

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