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The Artist’s Six Stages of Initiation

The Artist’s Six Stages of Initiation

In business school, they talk about The 6 Stages of Entrepreneurship. But in art school, they don’t even use the word entrepreneur. They should. Artists are entrepreneurs. That’s the truth. And it’s the difference between the old economy and the new.

But artists have always been entrepreneurs; they’ve had to be. Though instead of The 6 Stages of Entrepreneurship, I believe that working artists experience The 6 Stages of Initiation.

Stage One is that moment the spark is lit. You just know you want to do this one thing, all the time and do it really well. You want to make stuff.

Stage Two is when you want to know everything, because you’re suddenly aware of how much you don’t know. Every time you look at your work it’s glaringly obvious to you. You’ve got nothing but questions.

So at Stage Three, you learn. You learn everything you can about your craft, about your practice, about your ideas, about your voice, about your self.

And then that spark comes back again, and suddenly you can’t be stopped. You connect with your work and it’s a pleasure like no other. Ah! Stage Four.

And then they come. Your people. You’ve been waiting impatiently since the start. But you forget; building an art career is a marathon, darling. It’s not a sprint. It takes time to get to Stage Five.

And then you find yourself one day looking into the eyes of a young artist, all lit up from that heady initial spark. She’ll be asking you questions about everything, because she wants to know it all right now. You’ve arrived at Stage Six, sharing your knowledge.

Now you understand that everything has its time. And that in the art business, sometimes lessons must be learned the old fashioned way; you’ve got to work for them.

These are the Artist’s Six Stages of Initiation. Enjoy your journey!


Crista Cloutier is a Professional Arts Career Advisor who has worked in and around the art business throughout her career. She’s been honored as an “Influencer in the Contemporary Art World” by LinkedIn. She spent a decade as the director of an influential gallery, is recognized internationally as a curator, has contributed articles and books about art to major publications worldwide, and she’s an artist herself.

 

Crista is also the founder of The Working Artist, an online professional practices resource for artists who want to get their work seen and sold.

 

How To Sell Your Art

Packed with helpful information to help you accelerate success. When you sign up for this free eBook, you’ll also receive a complimentary micro-workshop, Jump: Go Deeper Into Your Artist Practice.

You can claim your copy here > www.theworkingartist.com/free-updates

 

The Working Artist Masterclass

For artists who are ready to go deeper into their professional development; over the span of 8 weeks, you’ll be walked step-by-step through this unique program on a journey that you’ll never forget.

  • • Explore who you are as an artist, so your branding and marketing message are completely authentic.
  • • Understand how to price your art, create compelling promotional materials, and navigate the art world.
  • * Learn how to connect with collectors and art world-decision makers.

This is an online, on-demand comprehensive workshop that also includes Art Fair Essentials, an intensive program that will help you to achieve more sales during a fair. In addition, you’ll be invited to Crista’s monthly Coaching Calls that will continue to support you even after you finish the course.

You can receive a special discounted offer upon joining the mailing list. To learn more, visit https://theworkingartist.com

 

Private Mentorship Program

If you’re a mid-career artist with an exhibition record, Crista Cloutier offers the opportunity for private one-on-one Skype consultations. Every artist’s journey is unique so Crista will work with you in terms of your specific needs so you feel completely prepared for the art fair world.

 

You can receive a special discounted offer upon joining the mailing list. To learn more, visit https://theworkingartist.com

"Crista Cloutier is an extraordinary facilitator for change, creativity and prosperity.” Griselda Cann Mussett

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  1. Kim

    9 November

    Before you quit your day job to become a full time artist, I suggest investing in some small business and money management classes, being a full time artist is hard work and never a steady paycheck, make sure you have “all your ducks in a row” before diving in head first. Definitely take the dive, but be prepared for rough water, you always have to remember it’s not all about creating artwork, you must know how to market your art, book shows, talk about yourself and your creations in front of many strangers and often. When you fall you get back up, when you get declined you move forward, keep your head above water and keep swimming, for every one artist who “makes it” hundreds don’t.

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