Part 1 is about Jade - a young artist who will go places with her imagination
Part 2 is about over coming negativity, self doubt, and kicking butt as an artist
Part 1: Portraits of an Artist
The portraits in this post are my a long time client of mine, Jade. She's be coming to me for portraits for 7 years. She's a spunky, enthusiastic young lady who fills the room with her sunny personality. Over the years we've had many conversations about music, art basics, photography basics … everything and anything ART! She recently turned 13 and came in for a session to celebrate her becoming a teenager. She brought in a new canvas, her paints, oil pastels, brushes, and a beautiful antique easel.
She jumped into getting inspired - we talked about mixing colors, the color wheel, and different medias (paints, pastels, crayons...). She decided that JELLYFISH was the theme of the day! We set up quickly as she smeared blue paints on her pallet then went to town painting the ocean. I've never heard this girl get quite, like pin drop quite. The focus she put into painting various shades of blue was intense. She moved on to shades of orange, purples, and greens of the creatures she was painting.
Part 2: 20 Tips to Being a Successful Artist
"You need to get a real job, like being a doctor." - Ex- Stepmom. Phd PT
"You can't make money being an artist." - Ex-Stepmom
"You'll never be a successful artist. - HS Art Teacher
"You shouldn't go to college/invest in education for art." - HS Guidance Councilor
"People really pay "that much" for just pics." - Complete stranger asking about a session
"I know you're a better photographer than me, but I don't want to compete with you." - another local photographer
These are all real quotes said to me throughout my journey of becoming a professional artist. I've faced negative remarks from family who should have been supportive of me, lacked encouragement from educators who should have been encouraging, disheartening comments from inquiries, and jealous remarks from another location professional artist with a completely different style than mine.
These lead to thoughts floating in my head of...
"What else should I do"
"I'm not good enough."
"Am I worth what I charge?"
"I'm going to college with no plan" - BTW, I dropped out of community college in my second semester
"Well, good thing we live in a free market"
Which lead to a good self-motivated butt kicking...
"I was born to be an artist"
"I am good enough... and then some"
"I am worth every penny I charge"
"I should invest in my education and do." - We've paid, in cash brought in through the studio, and attended classes in the amount equivalent of a university Masters of Art and my education is still being invested in nearly every month.
"Yes, people (about 150 per year), pay "that much" and much more for my art."
"There's room for all of us in this industry. Seek education, inspire others, get creative, and grow to stay in business."
Here are my top 20 ways to be a successful artist:
1. Get out of your way
2. Learn art basics, Master them, then crush them!
3. BREAK THE RULES
4. Think outside the lines
5. Stay Curious
6. Seek education - find mentors, invest in yourself
7. Continue to grow
8. Inspire others
9. Teach others
10. Never be afraid of failing
11. Try new techniques/mediums
12. An organized chaos desk and workspace is ok!
13. Close out the "nay-sayers"
14. Be your own cheerleader and listen to your cheerleaders!
15. Be dedicated
16. Work Hard
17. Push your limits
18. Always have a plan - even if it changes, keep your eye on your final goals
19. Surround yourself with other artists!
20. Be brave
For all the young people out there, stay inspired, stay focused! Don't let anyone crush your spirit. When you get criticized let it build you up to be stronger, critics are every where. Learn the basics of anything you do and master them so you can break them! Stay curious, ask questions, get answers, and push your self. Listen to the masters to learn and grow. When you get knocked down keep fighting . Stand back up. Be brave. Color outside the lines! You can be a successful in anything you do. Invest in yourself and your education even if it's not a traditional option. You can make a great living if you are dedicated and work hard. You will fail - many, many times - it's part of living a successful life. Don't be afraid of taking calculated risks because "something" might happen. HANDWRITE DOWN a road map to your goals on a paper, hang it somewhere you'll see every single day- baby steps take it happen. You are enough, and you are valued, and you're worth MORE than you will ever know. Get out of your way and cheer for yourself beside your cheerleaders!