DON’T do this!

Every Monday in the Art Marketing Action newsletter, I encourage you to do this and do that. I guess it’s also my responsibility to tell you what not to do. Let’s start with this list.

DON’T try to make your art into a business unless you are truly passionate about your work and understand what it takes to make it as an artist. You cannot make a living as an artist unless you have accepted and embraced the reality that you need to make money from it in order to survive.

DON’T drop in on gallery dealers and expect them to drop everything and look at your portfolio.
Think about it. Do you like someone demanding your time when you’re trying to focus on work? Here's a better way to contact galleries.

DON’T forget the people who help you out along the way. Send lots of personal thank you notes and “just thinking of you” email.

DON’T try to create art in a vacuum.
Most of art history’s greatest artists (and most successful personalities) were part of communities whose members were enriched by each others’ ideas and inventions. Read magazines and books, attend lectures, and be aware of what is going on around you.

DON’T go it alone. Set up a network of support, even if you have to go outside your family and current friends, to cheer you on. Limit your time with those who are negative about your career.

DON’T ignore the details. There are no shortcuts when you want to achieve great things. Put everything in place that will allow you to succeed.

Image ©Michael Orwick, Majestic Morning

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12 thoughts on “DON’T do this!”

  1. I’m printing this blog post out and posting it over my newly organized desk.
    And over the sink.
    And over the clay wedging table.
    And behind my easel.

    p.s. I always am impressed by the artwork you post. This one has a particularly lyrical grace and serenity. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thank you for always keeping us creative types on track and you keep refocusing our eye to the “ball”… I am grateful to you and use the tools you put out every single day. Be well and be inspired.

  3. Alyson, Thank you so much for using one of my paintings, and on an especially great post, I feel very honored. This one touches on many of the things our little art business group (that you met at Annie’s house) is working on. It is always amazing to me the almost electric quality of the air when a group of excited artists get together to help each other and share ideas.
    For me our meetings are as much a strong cup of “go out and kick some artistic butt” pump up sessions as they are about the what’s and how’s of selling paintings.

  4. The artwork in this post is nicely done, thank you for sharing. The list of items today is especially good and I liked:

    DON’T try to create art in a vacuum.

    Solitude can be a good thing but not all the time. While I don’t need a group of cheerleaders, it is nice to have friends that understand art and the creative process.

  5. Wow, Alyson, you hit the nail on the head several times with this article! Thanks for some great advice here. I’m a creativity coach, and working with artists who often rush into selling before they are finished making meaning with their art. I just started a Creativity Incubator to provide some group support. Keep writing, you are a huge help!

  6. Amanda Seyderhelm

    Hi Alyson, this was just the encouragement I needed to take my foot off the gas pressure of making my art sell. This just squeezes all the creativity right out of me, and I’m going to work with the law of attraction rather than the law of pushing uphill!

  7. Alyson B. Stanfield

    Eric: Thanks for subscribing!

    Liza: I thought you might like the bird. Reminds me of someone else I know.

    Michael: Thanks for sharing your art. You can see it was a big hit!

    Doug: I’m so glad you understand the need for being around others.

    Quinn: Love the idea of a Creativity Incubator.

    Amanda: Hopefully you intended “squeezes all the creativity right out of you” in a good way.

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