I recently posted a list of tips for artists by Robert Genn. He was talking about coaching for artists and suggested a few things that could help an artist.
In the comments, Karl said “Dion, this is the feel-good list. I want to hear the real in-the-trenches do or die list.” So I thought I might try and add to the list. It’s not a serious list that an artist should live by and it’s not a complete list, so please do add to it or criticize it by leaving your comments (and I might repost a more complete list if some good tips are added)
Do or Die List for Artists
- Learn to like noodles from packets as you probably won’t have much spare cash to buy real food for at least a few years.
- Have at least a couple artist friends so that you’re not always the only weird creative person in the room.
- Find a psychologist or a good shoulder to cry on before you start creating art as it will bring up a lot of stuff.
- Inspiration is found in the studio while you are working. If you sit around waiting for inspiration before you start creating you will have about 15 paintings finished when you’re 60.
- Never listen to the criticism of family and friends, especially if they’re not an artist or gallery owner.
- Don’t take criticism personally. It’s not an attack on you as a person (unless it’s from a petty little person that needs to put others down to feel important).
- Don’t expect to be “discovered”.
- It’s OK to steal from other artists, as long as you don’t remain a parrot.
- Learn about business, marketing, taxes, media, and start your own website.
- Work with the best quality art materials available and don’t expect art collectors to buy your cheaply made art that will only last a few years before falling apart.
- Being an artist is a privilege. Don’t feel sorry for yourself or other artists that are “struggling”.. feel sorry for people working in jobs that they hate.
Here’s a couple from the first post..
HellyUK says “Don’t worry if you think an idea has been done before, do it anyway.” I think people will always come up with similar ideas at the same time and people can limit themselves by not making the artwork they want to make because it’s ‘been done before’. A lot of things have been done before, but it won’t stop me doing them again, everyone re-interprets things differently anyhow.
Nicholas says “That is great advice for artists but I think that having a personal coach removes some of the learning process that makes a great artist.”
Add your own “in the trenches” tips for coping and growing as an artist..