So You’re An Artist. Now What?

So you’ve taken the jump and chosen to be an artist. Now what?

Where’s the fabulous gallery opening in New York City? Where are the international collectors to lavish praise and money on you? Where’s the gallery to take care of all those pesky marketing tasks and details? Instead, you battle rejection. You wonder where the money is going to come from. You find closed doors and indifference. This isn’t what you signed up for.

Some of us are still so shaken from taking the jump that we don’t even realize that we’ve already landed. Stop. Take a breath. Look around.

You’re an artist! You’ve taken that giant step toward authenticity. Do you recognize how very blessed you are? How many people never choose to take that jump but continue to hide their light in fear? How many more never even have the opportunity?

Don’t look at your world with eyes that see lack. Instead, search for the blessings. Be grateful for all you see. Yes, there are things that need to change to get to where you want to go next. Guess what? There always will be. As soon as you get to the next level, you’ll badly want to get to the next one. And then the next, and then the next.

Art world superstar Kiki Smith once admitted to me that choosing to be an artist is like choosing to be in a free-fall for the rest of your life. And this is an artist who’s got the fabulous openings, the attentive collectors and caring galleries. Yet she still feels that way!

So instead of complaining about what you don’t have, identify what you need to do to get it. Then start taking the steps. Baby steps. Every day. Bless the fact that you’re an artist; that you’re doing what you love. Acknowledge the courage it took to take that jump.

And then enjoy the ride.


Crista Cloutier is an artist who writes. She’s the founder of The Working Artist, online business program for visual artists of all media. Visit www.theworkingartist.com/free-updates to join her mailing list and you’ll also receive a free gift.

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  1. Jane

    20 October

    Great message. wonderful article.
    It’s so hard to know how to get from being an amateur painter to the next stage.
    Fear of the unknown can hold us all back.

  2. Kim

    9 November

    Take a breath and enjoy yes… but at the same time learn how to budget your money and save it. there’s always “down” times in every business….

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