Flourishing as an artist, in general, is beyond just been able to create magic on canvas. There are several other parts that come into play beyond just honing your craft to even be able to monetize your efforts. It’s a whole lot of things that come into play to make up the whole.
The ever disturbing question, that comes to mind every now and then is, how do I stand out from out the crowd?
Although growth is relative for everyone, in every case. There are some certain milestones that one hits in his/her artistic career that definitely certifies one as a gold standard artist or successful in every sense of the word.
If you’re an artist who has been searching for answers on how to finally be famous in this amazing craft. The key to unlocking the puzzle has been found. In no particular order, here are 12 great tips to finally becoming a successful artist:
- Define what success means to you
As a young artist, there are certain things you consider as things you truly want to have. These things are truly dear to your heart and you have chosen art as a career to make that happen.
Grab a piece of paper and note them down. It’s easy to drift about painting, drawing and just doing things without purpose. There’s a popular saying that goes, if you don’t define your destination, you would just go about life drifting aimlessly. No course means no direction.
There are certain questions you should ask yourself when looking holistically to truly defining success for oneself. Some of them include:
a) What does success mean to me financially?
b) What level of recognition in the arts do I want to have?
c) What drawing technique do I want to develop to catapult me up the cadre of famous artists?
d) What galleries do I want my work showcased?
- Set timely goals
Goals tend to give you a roadmap on how to achieve the success that you truly want. After defining what success means to you, it’s best to create short term goals that would help you achieve the big dreams that you want. Apart from setting the short term goals, also add timelines you would take to achieve them. This keeps you alert and helps build your focus to achieving them.
Goals could also mean showcasing your work at the biggest country gallery this year. You also have to add the name of the event and the date of the event. That way you know all the necessary steps you need to make to bring this goal to life, before the event. Having time attached to your goals keeps you accountable.
- Take action in achieving those goals
It’s not enough to have tall dreams to become the biggest artist in Europe or the country you live in. If action is not taken to achieve those dreams, they will only remain dreams.
Action could mean, getting the phone number of the biggest art collector to educate him about your work. It could mean opening yourself to learning and getting mentorship from top artists and putting all they teach you to practice. It could also mean getting into art contests to further publicize your work or even championing a new art movement or being a staunch supporter of one.
What matters is setting the path on what you want to achieve and following through on that.
You could also take action to become a famous artist by entering state, national and international art contests. Winning such competitions not only opens you to financial grants but you get to expand your pool of mentorship which would come in handy.
- Ignore the naysayers
If there’s anything that has become an established fact. It is the fact people would always get to talking. If the people around you don’t encourage you to be the best artist you can be, it’s time to stay away from them and get focused on your craft.
Some may castigate the fact that you may not have a lot of money. Others may have something to say about how bad your technique is. Or others may even write you off and say you may not be very successful at what you do.
Just keep going, practicing and putting in the work. You know where your focus lies, you know how bad you want to achieve your goals. Keep at it and ignore the naysayers, they would be the ones to celebrate you when you hit success.
- Celebrate small wins
Don’t be too hard on yourself when you don’t hit the big wins. Appreciating the little things helps you even enjoy the journey and win faster.
Don’t be too hard on yourself when the creative juices aren’t flowing to finish an art piece. Be grateful for the fact that you have even been commissioned in the first place. This would help create peace of mind in you and help you get the right morale to get started with the work on the ground.
Celebrating could be something as little as taking yourself to dinner. Treating yourself to an amazing dessert. Buying that amazing brush you’ve always wanted or even something as minute as taking a break. Rewarding yourself for the little efforts helps encourage you to take on the bigger tasks and actually win at completing them.
- Take time and find space to reflect
In reflection, does one find new inspiration and direction? As a young artist, there are times you get occupied and busy with the fast pace world of arts. Attending exhibitions, showcasing events, jumping from one meeting to another with dealers. This can get really tiresome and stall creativity in the long run. Create a month long or two-week stretch as an artist to just go within and catch that essence of what you truly are. Take time to explore nature, the environment and even meditate. A splash of ideas would come pouring out once you do this. The great Picasso says every child is an artist, remaining an artist as one grows is the problem. Creating like a child with no restrictions and coming out with something exceptional is really important. People value genius in art and when people value your work, it’s bound to be a world-renowned success as it’s value increases every time.
- Engage in ethical practices as an artist
Even artists are not exempt from having a moral responsibility. What does your work stand for in terms of morality? Does it stand to uplift the consciousness of people or deflate the hopes and dreams of individuals? Does it encourage the bad in society like violence, racism, and xenophobia?
Your work should stand for hope at all times. Beyond this, as an individual, how do you behave? Do you engage in illegal activities that hurt the next person? All these things always come back to hunt the work of an artist later in the future. It is better not to engage in such illegal activities that would ruin one’s career in the long run.
- Give back to the community
This doesn’t have to come in terms of monetary donations. A little gesture of teaching a few kids in the neighborhood could go a long way in creating more awareness about the work you do as an artist. Volunteering to teach how to draw, or contributing even drawings to better the look of the city or supporting the human betterment causes like ending rape, ending domestic violence and ending child molestation through capturing the effects of this in pieces of your art is a great way to also give back as well. The publicity you get from the media for such gestures is one that money cannot buy. It’s a great time investment.
- Be flexible about how you showcase your work.
The world has gone truly digital with the advent of technology. The average kid, mother, father, guy to a lady is on their phone more than 15 hours out of the 24 hours in a day.
Showcasing art in physical form is still valuable and will still be very much valuable in the future but have you thought of exploring the frontiers of digital? There’s a whole new audience to be captured through virtual channels in these times.
Showcasing your work on your website, holding an online exhibition where people view your work online like they are visiting a physical gallery and engaging fans via social media channels. These are all great ways to leverage technology to advance your art and be successful in the 21st century.
Art can be showcased in any space. You shouldn’t place any constraints on how and where. It knows no culture, boundaries, unique space or angle. It could be the bridge, the wall, the floor or paper. Then also disconnect yourself from the events of the economy. When there’s a will, there’s always a way, make it a duty to make a certain number of art pieces every year. You owe it to yourself to be successful, consistency will definitely get you that.
- Keep creating art consistently
Create a unique timeline that truly works for you and sticks to it. One way to truly stay relevant beyond creating revolutionary art is churning out great artistic work on a regular basis. Taking people on a journey through the views of your imagination and constantly whetting their appetite to see more of your work is one way to stay relevant and become highly successful in the art world.
Also, keep in mind to only work on the things you love. Art should not be a chore or work. It should be something exciting that arouses your imagination. It should be something fun that makes you want to give your all into making the best piece. When you work on things you truly care about people can see it through each line because each stroke carefully expands and creates a beautiful look on the canvas and even the average non-art lover can even appreciate your work.
- Network and attend events
No human i an island. Everyone needs someone to get to the next pinnacle of their career. There are notable figures in the art industry in the county, go to events and meet them. Strike conversations with them and ask questions. You can learn so much on how to succeed based on their journey and what they have learned. That way you don’t make the same mistakes they made. They would also help give you ins into notable art events that would be truly helpful in displaying your art to a more larger audience. Create a list of all the events happening every quarter and make a pact to at least attend two events every three months at least. Don’t just observe, take the bold step and introduce what you do to people. You never can tell when your next sale could come from.
Success can come in any shape, size or form. So also is the fact that winning in the art world might not necessarily start from your home country. Traveling is a great way to expand your views and creativity. Interacting with other culture has a way of shifting into your artistic work bringing more life and diversity to your finished work. This would further expand the audience who appreciate your work.
Travel and expand your knowledge. Learn about the culture and showcase your art as well. The foreign country might appreciate your work more than where you come from. It could be the ultimate key pass you’ve always needed to hit your next step to massive success.
- Practice, Practice, and Practice
Practice, they say makes perfect. The more you practice, the more you realize better techniques that work amazing for you. The more you also practice, the more you discover new horizons in the worlds of art.
Legend status is not achieved in a day but by rigorous effort been put to bettering one’s craft. Work on your weakest areas and find ways to improve upon them. Devote an hour each day to do nothing else but practice. Also take advantage of online tutorials, artist communities, and seminars to better learn new things and improve.
Discover your unique artistic style. Constant practice always brings that to the fore. Once you’re able to find your unique style work focus on also mastering it.
Research on the work of notable artists like Van Gogh, Picasso, Leonardo Da Vinci and open your mind to all the possibilities of the brush through their work. Become a student of art history as that is very key to understating the art world of today.
There are two aspects to the life of an artist. One involves the creation of art in itself and the other focuses on the business angle. The tips above have given you ideas on how to leverage growth in both areas to achieve massive success. There’s still one more key point that has to be mentioned in the business aspect of an artist’s life. This one key point could make or mar your success if not done the right way. This involves getting the right agent. Ensure that you get an agent that can do a thorough job in marketing your work to the public. Ensure that this agent is well connected in all spheres to open up to a new circle of art lovers who would appreciate your purchase your pieces. Do your research on art agencies and contact the clients of these agents. Ask questions to see if they are truly happy, or discontent or even feel ripped off working with them. Your agents will market you and represent you in contract negotiations. It is very key that they know their onions. Also, ensure to get the backing of a reputable attorney on your side. Understand that the work of the agent is to promote while the attorney is to educate you and ensure that you are informed on all the applicable laws. Hiring a reputable lawyer is a must if you want to succeed because as you grow you have to become aware of the implication of every action you take. This would come as a great help in the event of legal disputes or difficulties that may arise in the future.
As you can see, there are lots of steps you can start taking now to become a famous artist in the next coming years.
Follow each of the steps listed above and you’re sure to make megabucks and become notably mentioned in the sands of time as one who is widely recognized in the world of art.