The Magic Formula for Success for Artists

The Magic Formula for Success for Artists

I was taking a week-long Deep Writing workshop with the extraordinary creativity coach Dr. Eric Maisel. I’ve been writing for a long time now, so this wasn’t a how-to class, it was more about connecting with my work on a deeper level. What I learned about myself is that I was ready to fully embrace the writer’s life.

What does that mean? It meant that I was committing to writing every day as a practice. Because that’s really what being a writer is all about. Writing. It’s not about being published. It’s not about accolades or money. It’s about sitting my behind in front of a blank screen every day and filling it with my ideas.

It’s the same for all artists. Consider your journey. It begins as an interest, a hobby. Maybe you’ve always made art? Maybe you’ve taken a break and just started again? But you suspect that this art thing is more than something you just do, it runs deeper than that. It feels like it’s part of who you are.

The next phase happens when you start making good work. You’ve been doing it for a while, but now something has really clicked. Your ideas start coming together, your work speaks to you and even to others. You begin to suspect that you might actually be…good.

And then you don’t.

One moment you’re feeling great about your work and the next you’re terrified. You struggle with confidence, with direction. And the only reason you keep going are those wonderful moments of clarity and connection. They’re addictive. But life still gets in the way. You take a day off, and sometimes that day becomes a month or a year. Or more. But like a lover you can’t resist, art keeps drawing you back.

And now you feel ready. You’re tired of playing artist. You want to step into the role, to fully commit to becoming a Working Artist. But you don’t know how.

This is where you devote your time to your practice. Maybe not every day, but a consistent schedule that you can stick to and make happen. No more starting and stopping. No more allowing the fears and doubts to get between you and the work. You fully step into your Self. You become a Working Artist.

But what about money? How do I make a living? It’s fine to be working every day, Crista, but artists gotta eat too. You’re right. And this is the question I get asked most frequently. How can I make a living from my art? Everyone seems to think there’s a magic formula to this stuff. And they’re right.

Do 3 things each day toward marketing your work. It could be a blog post, contacting a gallery, or researching grants. It could be a social media update, writing a new Artist Statement or planning an Open Studio event. It could even be taking an online workshop like The Working Artist.

Really Crista? Three marketing tasks a day? It’s that easy? Yes, it is. They could even be teeny tiny tasks. That’s what I do, but at least it’s forward movement.

Great talent and wishful thinking do not equal a business strategy. And we are talking about a business. But remember, the quality of your results depends upon the quality of your actions. So writing a half-hearted Artist Statement and stopping at the first draft because you hate writing, or sending blanket e-mails to galleries because you’re too shy to contact them properly, or relying on Google for your professional information because it’s easy, aren’t going to give you stellar results. To play in the big leagues, you’ve got to up your game.

What I know for sure is that small consistent steps will deliver the results you seek. And I’m not alone; Dr. Eric Maisel preached the same formula at my writing workshop. Understand that it takes time. And there’s no final destination. Once you achieve your professional goals, you’ll set new ones. Marketing has become part of your practice.

Whether you’re ready to fully embrace your role as a Working Writer, a Working Artist, or a working anything, you’ve got to commit yourself to the work itself. And to bring it out into the world, you’ve got to commit to the tasks that will take you there. This is the magic formula to success. So now the question is, what are you going to do with it?

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 >


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


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

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


  1. I love the rest of your information. Keep it up!

  2. Woooow! You have a great flow of information, this is so inspiring thanks!

  3. I wish I have your imaginative and creative mind.

  4. lee

    23 June

    In all my sprinting, I stopped refilling my tank and burned up everything that was left, leaving me burned out and holding my breath. In the hard-to-breathe seasons of life, sometimes the first thing we stop doing is the thing we need most. I stopped taking care of myself. I started believing that everything depends on me. I got too busy doing something for Jesus instead of being still with Him.

  5. Putting your heart in your arts then that is where the magic formula comes from. You should feel passionate about what you do. It will be a boomerang to your craft!

  6. Oh.. So now I know about the magic formula of success needed for artists 🙂

  7. Jack

    4 April

    It seems great but is there really any an magic formula that success and artist. ooohhh i think its not real they are making us fool. if it is true then tell me how because my friend jerico is the artist in playing music like guitar, piano these kind of instruments. if can get any success words for my Friend i will send him.

  8. Jiya

    31 December

    I always love to read your blog post.
    These three tiny things can lead you to success. Once you achieve your professional goals, you’ll set new ones.

  9. Kim

    14 November

    Yes,The magic formula is simple, Put yourself and your art, out into the world, don’t let up, keep doing it daily, if you don’t nothing will happen. The world has to see it before it will respond.

    “You’ve got to commit yourself to the work itself. And to bring it out into the world, you’ve got to commit to the tasks that will take you there”. Well said!

  10. Hi Crista: Its Victoria from San Diego – I’m so interested that you took Eric Maisel’s course. I took a creative coaching training program from him about 15 years ago. What a great surprise to see this was your post.

  11. George Headden

    24 October

    Nice to read stories like this, there are many people like myself that find your information helpful and things that we never think of while trying to succeed at our trade.. Thank You!!!

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