Successful Artists Create Opportunities instead of just trying to solve problems. They develop strategies and implement plans which ultimately determine whether or not the work of being creative, and remaining continuously creative, succeeds.
Opportunities for the 21st century artist are everywhere. There are a diverse number of markets an artist can engage today, and far-reaching, low cost methods of staying present in those markets. Artists nowadays can publish, generate, and document their own place in the world with a multitude of creative mediums and partners.
The Artist as a Sole Proprietor wears all the hats in the business. As the sole proprietor, an artist wears all the hats: Chief Strategist, CEO, Director of Marketing, Sales, and Operations. They are the boss and the “money”.
Artist's work things through from the ground up, deconstruct, reconstruct and analyze the results of different applications. They require creative environments to succeed, and are often remarkable at adapting quickly and productively to what may interfere with their creativeness.
Often it is the genius of an artist to treat that "system | conflict" like an organism, interweaving and absorbing the boundaries between "left-brain, right-brain" polarities; unleashing something of ease and beauty.
Put another way: Artists know that inspired results require inspiration, as much as it requires an ordered awareness and understanding.
Successful artists grasp the reciprocal benefit of developing a strategy around their own creative visions. Securing a consistent and serious creative environment depends on setting and achieving the goals that are unique and meaningful to the artist.
A good plan creates higher levels of motivation and excitement, while the effective implementation of the plan is the true determining factor as to whether or not the work of being creative succeeds.
Too many artists waste time just trying to figure out how to begin a day of work and where to focus their efforts and energies. Instead of fighting what feels like a battle between creative and rational personalities, successful artists learn to work in partnership with the moodiness of their muse.
Your competitor is indifference, not the person selling art on the corner. Give people a powerful and engaging reason to listen and your visibility, your sales and your clients grow. Do it in a manner unique to you and how you work and it will remain relevant and vital for years.
Creativity is only a day dream without action. Lots of talented, sensitive people have great imaginations and are regularly unlocking hidden, undiscovered thoughts and ideas that lie within, and without.
What separates the artist, and the entrepreneur, from the rest is the ability to innovate, to take the idea and make it work in practice. This, of course, is why it is such a great struggle to be a successful artist or entrepreneur: Life isn’t fair.
It’s hard to break down barriers. Innovative concepts and radical ideas are never easy to sell. Indeed, the more innovative, daring and new, the more obstacles the status quo will erect in your way. Artists, just like entrepreneurs, have to show up every day and persevere in markets where acceptance comes slowly. Seeing something through to the end and not being satisfied until all of it is accomplished takes discipline, expertise, and great will.
Every day, an artist needs to search for change, respond to it, and see it as healthy. Doing new things, or doing old things in new ways, are how artists exploit change as an opening for new beginnings and a different creative outcome.
Win the races you choose to run. It is easy to feel overwhelmed. It is normal to worry that any time or money spent looking for something outside one’s existing frame of reference will be at the expense of
something else not getting done. The simple fact is that the mind can accept only those ideas that relate to existing knowledge. It tends to reject everything else.
Artists face a different set of challenges because it is so easy for them to find themselves helplessly reliant on conventional strategies that have them running races they don’t really want to run, let alone win. Sure, having a gallery show now and then is a worthwhile investment in yourself, but that job won’t always be there; and by nature, a creative maker will still be looking for another “mountain to climb” when it’s over.
The reality is that people do not have to do anything aboutart- collectors and Gallerists
included. Unlike a 24 hour coupon for a free haircut, or a final cancellation notice for cable, art requires a personal context in order to be useful.
In other words, when you promote your art you really have to give people a powerful and engaging reason to listen.
And more than just listen. You need people to commit time and ultimately immerse themselves in the encounter. You need it to have the kind of authority that comes from stepping out with your art and declaring its importance.
Art, after all, is news, and great art is powerful enough to keep being news each time it is encountered on its own terms.
When an artist’s work is, as they often believe, unique and new, and their approach and ideas based on original insights and patterns of awareness, news is being made. If there is discovery taking place, news is being made. If there are credible, new truths being proposed, it is news.
This is a commanding advantage artist have in the marketplace of ideas and services: the value of what they do, and did, can remain viable and applicable for
generations. It does not need repairs; replacement parts or upgrades to remain applicable. Even older inventory can be refreshed and compelling.
There are artists who just wish to be appreciated and artists, who want a career where they can make a living, raise a family, breathe in fresh country air, or watch the ocean come in every morning from the solitude of their studio.
No “big picture” is easier or better than the next; as long as it feeds a life of continuous creativity it is worth securing.
Artists want, imagine, wish, desire, and envision the future; and it is all good. Getting to AWE is all.
My approach in a classroom is similar to my professional approach with artist-clients: Every good creative path | project starts with one artist (or artists), me, and a blank page – no preconceptions.
Early on, I am interested in the grounds an artist stands on and how it impacts the work, the making of the work, and the
artist’s perceived intentions regarding both.
The approach permits me to pull an artist out from beneath the footprint of historical or canonical definitions and focus on what is exclusively new about the artist-creator and the particular ways they imagine, renew, risk, and construct their creative assets.
In the end an artist’s career, their future opportunities and the way they have chosen to live their life in art requires the kind of hard, unrelenting work, risk, and intelligence that only the artist themselves can bring to the table. No one has as much to gain, or as much to lose.
The reason strategic thinking skills is so important and defining a characteristic of the successful artist, as it is for the creative entrepreneur, is that you need strategies in order to view the “big picture”, just like you need tactical and practical thinking skills in order to assess the “as is” situation.
A strategic mindset helps you determine what resources will be needed to ensure your success and where to invest your time and money wisely. Having a realistic view of where you are in the scheme of your own desires is a required part of being in charge.
Together, strategic and innovative skills balance the needs of the present and the immediate future in a way that helps artists prepare for the challenges and opportunities these different periods bring.
If you develop a broad cross-functional expertise, no new idea will be wasted. It will immediately connect with the existing knowledge and will inspire you, energize you, and encourage your entrepreneurial creativity.
Art asks us to move into courage and you have to know how to excavate the faulty and specious premises which you've bet your identity and business success on. The secret is not to get stuck there dithering or wringing your hands before you can move forward or resolve to heal yourself.
Further, it allows me to think about an artist’s art as work, problem solving, experimentation, innovation, and inquiry. Matching an artist’s goals with their current actions and long-term objectives is one of the foundations of my approach and like every good entrepreneurial strategy it both widens the understanding of an artist and their work and helps ascertain market opportunities.
I help the artist flesh-out and manage these concepts as they apply to the subject of running a successful small business and as the picture of their business starts to emerge, the nuts and bolts of a plan are established, including budgets, deadlines, and a task-oriented breakdown of responsibilities and commitments.