I built Art Biz Coach on action.
The first iteration of my newsletter back in 2002 was titled “Do This” (Zzzzz) and had an action at the end of each issue. My book, I’d Rather Be in the Studio, is broken down into 16 actions.
As we learned when diagramming sentences in 4th grade, verbs are where the action is. No verb, no action.
With that in mind, I got to thinking about a few verbs to live by that you might not normally associate with your art career. See if these resonate with you.
Understand that you are not alone. You are part of a larger community of artists and a distinguished history of art.
Understand how the art world works. Yes, I believe in breaking the rules, but you at least need to be aware of them.
Understand that other artists might have a different journey than yours. Accept their path and forge your own.
Crave connection to your art and to other artists.
Crave clarity about your direction.
Be hungry for the information and experiences that will fuel your accomplishments.
It’s easy to recognize when artists aren’t devoted to their work. Lack of commitment yields a lack of results.
Devote sacred time in the studio.
Devote necessary time in your office.
Devote time to your community.
The artist's life isn't about taking it easy and making art whenever you want to. Hard work is required, and for that you must be devoted.
On the upside, if you're truly doing the work you were meant to do, you won't be able to imagine doing anything else. You'll enjoy the journey.
You are going to need a strong faith in the path you've chosen.
Trust that smart, hard work will pay off.
Trust your instinct.
You'll come across artists that seem to be doing much better than you and begin to question your worth. You'll encounter family members who doubt your abilities.
Only the unshakeable certainty that you are meant for this artist’s life will get you through these bumpy parts.
Stop waiting for circumstances to be perfect because that will never happen. If you have an idea that you're excited about, there's no time like now to start working on it.
Begin a new piece of art.
Begin teaching a new workshop.
Begin a new marketing campaign.
Begin something. Anything.
As you begin, so must you finish. Bottom line: It doesn’t count until it’s done.
Finish your art.
Finish your projects.
Finish your promises.
All of the grand plans and brilliant ideas in the world amount to nothing until they are seen to completion.
While art is mostly about embracing new experiences and ideas, accomplished artists understand that avoidance is also an advantageous tactic.
Avoid making comparisons between yourself and other artists. (See “Understand” above.)
Avoid people who crap on your dreams.
Avoid distractions that take you away from your art and your life vision.
Which verb is speaking to you today?