Sunday, 18 June 2017

In art, "Most of your efforts will fail."

The Canadian way is to smile, pretend every thing is perfect and talk only about good things. "How are you?" "Really Good" is the expectation. I have a prticularly annoying neighbor, who I like by the way, but he constantly tries to make me feel bad by calling me out on what he terms "negativity". Personally I call it "Honesty, Truth and Reality".

I used to be like my neighbor, I even taught classes in it. I followed the Louise Hay formula of affirmations and positive thinking, but in reality, it didn't work for me. I found that instead of attracting good things, my powerful mind heard one thing and automatically reversed it, creating exactly the opposite effect in my life..

"I attract love into my world" ... "Everybody hates me. I'm going to eat some worms!" sort of thing.

Since I've changed my thinking on this, I've relieved a lot of stress. I no longer have to live up to my affirmations and fail miserably, I simply am me. Ahhhhhhh! Thats the sound of me coming down about 30 notches.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a very hard worker and motivated person, but I do it from a foundation of reality. I don't set goals I can't achieve. I don't build unattainable dreams. I am what I am, and that is a strong, powerful woman that achieves.

What brought on this rant was a small phrase in an email I received. "Most of my efforts will fail". See the full article here. I wish I'd known that when I first stepped on the path of becoming a professional artist. I've been involved in many businesses in my life, but none as difficult as professional art. I thought I was talented and a good marketer, till I started this career. I thought that if I produced good work and got it in front of many eyes I would succeed but it is far more challenging than that. The truth is that buying art is purely emotional and discretionary and comes right at the bottom of the list after paying bills, feeding the family and even having fun.

The truth is that most of my efforts have failed and that is not because I'm a bad artist or marketer, it's because that's the nature of the art world. Look at Van Gogh, one of the greatest artists that have ever lived, but even he couldn't take the depressing reality of this career. Look at Monet, a pompous radical in his youth, that succeeded because he became really good at kissing ass and lived long enough to learn that was what was required.

It's been a couple of years since I made some decisions about my art business. I cut out almost all art shows and craft fairs which I found so exhausting and depressing. I cut out most of my local art socializing. I cut out my volunteer work in a local gallery. I stopped servicing out of town galleries. I changed my blog from art only to what interests me. I stopped worrying about all the non-artist advice like "you must create a style". You must raise your prices a little each year" etc. In fact, I took back my life, my trust in myself and stopped being the person others wanted me to be. Yay!

Since then, I have more fun, less stress, more time, less depression and I even have a life outside art. I have loads more time to put where it counts and even some spare time to experiment with things out in the left field where ceativity is born. As for my art  and my art business, it's doing so much better because I know that most of what I do will fail.

The three art works pictured in this blog sold in one day: Note how they are all very different. Note that I wasn't there to make the sale. Note that I chose from over 200 carefully cataloged pieces in stock to replace them immediately. Note that all this was stress fee. Sure most of what I've done in the past 6 years in art has failed, but enough has succeeded to show that I've achievd what I set out to accomplish.