I recently answered a few questions about how artists can stay motivated when the economy is bad. I don't know if my answers will be used by the on-line magazine that asked, but I thought they were good questions, and I wanted to share my answers with you.
1. How do you (if you are an artisan) stay motivated in a down economy?
Artists tend to be two things – creative and innovative. When Art is not selling with the regularity it used to be or at the prices it used to be, Artists will adapt. Perhaps creating smaller, more affordable works or taking on different projects that would normally interfere with their studio time. Volunteer your time and create a mural in a local school or church. Make some new contacts. The best thing an artist can do, always, is be prepared for the next big thing. Keep creating. The next opportunity will come along.
2. What are some tips to keep you focused and with a “success” attitude toward your business?
Artists have to believe in their work. If we don’t believe in what we are doing, than no one will. If necessary, go thru your past clients and past sales. Remind yourself of some of the projects you were particularly proud of. This may be a great time to start a newsletter! Write out your new goals, current and upcoming projects, share new work with past clients. Show them that your Art is still vital and growing and successful…others will want to be a part of it.
3. What are some steps an artisan can take to turn around his or her attitude (to one of success)?
Surround yourself with positive affirmations of your success. Put up pictures of work that has sold. Print out e-mails from happy clients. Post positive editorials about your work. Join chat rooms or forums to share tips and techniques. Sometimes by helping others, you gain confidence in your own abilities. When giving advice and support to others, your attitude tends to veer towards success as well.
4. What are some things you should avoid (that might drag you down)?
Don’t spend time wondering what other people are selling and why. Don’t think about buying new supplies or how your success is impeded by not having the newest paper or product. Get back to basics! Use what you have.
5. Any other tips/advice?
The Art community needs support from the Artist and the Art Patron. If you are an artist, don’t sit around waiting for the next buyer to come along to re-vitalize the Art World. Become a member of some local art groups. Chip in at a local figure drawing session. See the latest exhibit at the Art Gallery near you. Buy a small print or even an original from a fellow artist. Become a contributing member to the Art World – not only thru what you create, but you support.
I would love to hear more positive advice for every artist out there who needs a bit of fresh enthusiasm and support!