Take a look at your Art Life methods and decide what has worked and what hasn't. Then delete what didn't work in 2015 and add in new ideas and methods to 2016.
I interview at least 50 artists a year, for the Art Is King Podcast, and every one of these artists stories illustrates the fact that the Art Life is not a straight path. There are twists and turns, surprises and letdowns, successes and failure.
Through all of that, every artist finds success their own way. But you don't have to go at it alone. Atlanta has a thriving Art Community and you have to involve yourself!
Follow on social media and show up at WonderRoot, C4 Atlanta, Office of Cultural Affairs, Burnaway and Art Is King events, Plus there are new organizations and groups of artists working together for the success of all. Cultivating Cultures, AWOL, Paragon7, Creative Collage Collective and more. They share tons of resources, advice, classes and opportunities.
I am a member of every organization possible, I attend their classes, I submit applications, I follow thru on advice and resources they share online. I don't understand artists who claim that Atlanta has nothing to offer or that its the government's job to provide artists budgets.
The info is out there. There are people out there who care and work tirelessly to provide artists with opportunities.
I have several mentors. Some of them know they are my mentors, some I am able to find time to attend their events and classes and then stay behind to ask them for specific advice. I have a Business Mentor, a Startup Mentor, Art Business Mentor, Illustration Mentor and a half dozen professional artists who's work I admire and I find time to reach out to them to get their opinions on my work and advice. One of my mentors was the mayor of Avondale Estates! He's not mayor now but he's interested in seeing me succeed and has given me his time to share.
Plus I am lucky to have a wife who is also my Business Manager. She fits in the TEAM Category but she was the first person to help me expand my art business horizons and try new methods of how to run my art biz.
In 2015 I took a business class at C4 Atlanta, startup classes at General Assembly, pitch practice at Atlanta Tech Village, attended several business talks at Tech Square Labs, OHub, Iron Yard, Industrious, DeskHub, Thoughtworks, Google and countless meet ups throuought ATL.
Classes, workshops, bootcamps, webinars, podcasts. I take every opportunity to learn something new and apply to my Art Life.
The knowledge is out there.
Put in The Work
The resources, the mentors, the classes and instruction without the hard work of the artist is useless. The artist must put in the brain power necessary to produce the Artist Bio, Artist Statement, Portfolio, applications, submissions, grants, sponsorships and marketing to help their career succeed.
I hear artists ask a lot of questions, but then produce nothing with the info provided to them. YOU should care about your art career!
Finish a commission project: celebrate. Finished a personal project: celebrate. The celebrations can be as simple as a Facebook or Instagram post congratulating yourself or as intricate as taking your loved ones out to dinner. Celebrate with your supporters: your spouse, your children, your parents or fellow artists. Each celebration will give you the stamina and support to move towards your next goal. After a while, your supporters will look for your next success.
Celebrate by yourself or with your team, the point is to Celebrate!
Enjoy a moment with yourself.
I enjoy a great cup of coffee, full of flavor and body. I say no to gas station coffee.
I like the aroma. I like grinding my own coffee beans. I like buying beans from different coffee houses in ATL. Dancing Goats, HodgePodge Coffeehouse and Chocolatte are my favorite spots.
I've had a coffee grinder for years now. I can grind a few cups at a time so the coffee is ready to go. I have made my coffee on drip machines, french press and stove top brewers. I don't like the plastic flavor of the home drip machines and luckily, for christmas my wife bought me a pour over pitcher.
Use other artists success's as an idea of what you can add to your methods, but don't compare your success to theirs. No one knows the amount of work you put into your career, work that happens behind the scenes, so theres no way to know the amount of work another artist has put into their career.
But if you see an artist having success with producing an art book, then work on yours.Then ask that particular artist out for lunch, so you may have some one on one time and ask them for advice on how to get your art book as popular as theirs.
Next time you reach out to that artist, show that you have applied their advice and share the results. Prove that you are listening and learning so that they continue to provide advice, otherwise you are wasting their time.
DON'T GIVE UP
Try and try again. I don't want to do anything else with my life except art. Fine Art, Tattoos, Drawings, 2D Illustrations, Children's Books, Murals, Art Biz Classes, Teach Art, Teach Adobe, Everything Art.
I started with Tattoos in 1995 and slowly evolved other parts of my Art Life. Focus on one part of your Art Life and push hard. No matter the obstacles, the naysayers, the twists that real life throws at you. Focus. Learn. Earn.
This is DTM of DeltaTangoMike, founder of Art Is King wishing you a successful 2016. Focus on becoming a Thriving Artist and let go of the starving artist mentality. Success is yours!
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PS, part 2. Follow the Art Is King podcast on iTunes. published weekly.