Don’t become a wandering generality, be a meaningful specific. ~ Zig Ziglar
In a fine art career, how does one keep from becoming a wandering generality and instead be a meaningful specific? I believe it takes vision, goals, self-belief and action.
Your vision is as highly personal and unique as you are. You want to be president, or a famous artist entrepreneur. You want to graduate college at the top of your class, or excel at sales in your company. You want to be the best parent, or an elite athlete. Others and external sources may sway you, but ultimately it comes down to your vision.
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You have to plan how you will implement the necessary steps to fulfill your vision. Top achievers learn to breakdown activities into easy-to-manage incremental tasks so they can complete them on time.
Self-belief comes from measuring your resources and competences and using them to set your sites on attainable goals, which allows you to internalize and expect a high probability of success. The fuel for self-belief is a virtuous cycle of accurately knowing what you are capable of achieving and pursuing your goals with passion.
Woody Allen famously said, “90% of success is showing up.” He is right. If you prepare for and do enough of the right things every day, you will succeed.
For those seeking success in a fine art career, it is virtually impossible to get there if you are a wandering generality. You may want to pursue all angles of your creativity, which is okay; it can be tremendously inspiring to stretch oneself in different ways. The problem is you cannot do that when you are in a position of trying to get traction with your fine art career. It just does not work that way.
Collectors and gallery owners are much alike when it comes to expectations from the artists they like, promote, and support. They are looking for meaningful specifics from their favored artists. Does this mean if you have early fine art career success creating abstract sculpture that can never find success doing figurative sculpture? Of course not, what you need to do is to make a statement by creating a body of meaningful specific work that will stand on its own and move on from there.
Just because your work should be recognizable, it does not mean you have to paint yourself into a stylistic corner, if you will pardon the pun. How you establish your style is subject to wide interpretation. For instance, you can paint doors, cars, cats and barns in a meaningful specific way that just about anyone would know they came from the same source. If I walk in a room with dozens of works of art, I should be able to pick out the ones you have created without looking at the signature. How you make that happen is up to your creative spirit.
As you become meaningfully specific in how you live your life, you transcend your fine art career and extend it to your core self, you are truly getting at the essence of what Zig Ziglar means.
Success is about taking the time to reflect on what you want to achieve, and distilling your findings to know you have it right entirely, and then design and work a plan pursued with skill and passion. No one else can define your success for you. Without a doubt, when you realize success in your fine art career and your life, you will not need anyone to confirm it for you.