Finding Validation Among Other Artists

Update: I failed to mention in today's newsletter that the wonderful book publishing workshop I attended was organized by Judith Briles, who has authors fly in from all over the country to attend her book-shepherding classes. Check them out if you're thinking of publishing.

This week’s Art Marketing Action newsletter encourages you to search for validation for your art–especially when you’re not getting it for friends and family.

If you can’t find support in an existing artist organization, you might want to consider forming an art-marketing salon. On, I give away free marketing plans to artists who promise to get together and support each other with those plans. It’s the perfect excuse to form a group of your own with all of the free tools I have provided.

Other outlets for validation will be on this week’s audio recording just for my Art Marketing Action Inner Circle members.

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11 thoughts on “Finding Validation Among Other Artists”

  1. Dear Alyson, Your comments on validation struck home with me. Just today I have posted to my blog on that issue. From my blog: “One other thing I insist on for myself and my students is there are to be no apologies for the way we paint, no self punishment for work that doesn’t measure up in our own mind. My studio is a place of self fullfillment and safety. We must celebrate the work we do and forgive ourselves for mistakes. I give myself and my students permission to paint poorly at any given time without regret. I’m not always on my game. I wake up everyday with joy because I am a painter. I paint to the best of my ability and knowledge each day and give it 100%. If that is not good enough then too bad!!” I think your suggestions are very important for all of us. Rejection and mean comments hurt, no matter how long you have been an artist. Thanks, Love, Linda

  2. Alyson, Great advice. It reminds me of one of my pastor’s favorite sayings, “If you can’t change your friends…change your friends.” Clint

  3. Hi Alyson, I would like to encourage any artist who is struggling on their own to create or join an art group that is small enought to meet regularly and provide ongoing support. Our group in Pittsburgh started with your free art marketing materials and have continued on. We meet once a month and present our goals for the upcoming month. We also talk about what we did to meet our goal(s) from the previous month. We are varied in our artforms and where we are in our careers so the format has become very individualized, and yet we feel accountable to the group. It is an amazingly supportive environment.

  4. Alyson B. Stanfield

    Linda: Lovely words of wisdom! It means a lot to me today after receiving what I perceived as an unnecessarily unkind email. Clint: I never heard that quote. Good one! Peggi: Yes! But the fit has to be just right or else you’ll just get frustrated. I’m glad you found your group and that the materials brought you tobgether.

  5. I completely agree with you Alyson – my brother and I just spent 2 hours on the phone last night brainstorming ideas and discussing our goals as artists. it is so important to be able to talk with someone about your work so that you can get encouragement and support to keep you motivated and inspired. I am also very lucky to have a super supportive husband who just let me take over half of the living room for my studio : )

  6. Hi Alyson ~ I’ve found that so many times I receive a validation but don’t appreciate it — in that moment — for what it is. Here is a trick I’ve used to keep me aware of the support that is actually out there: The Blue File I started a file on my computer titled The Blue File (for when I’m feeling blue) and every time someone complimented my work I would make sure I documented it in this file with date, and as much of the comment as I could remember. I would often re-read the comments during those moments of insecurity and remind myself that the work was appreciated. After a while, I didn’t need to record every compliment, nor did I need to re-read what I had written. It was as if the mere act of being aware made me realize that validations come our way all the time and in ways that might not be expected. By being open to the support that can come from strangers as well as those closest to me, I grew more confident in my inner ability to respect my work. Sure, while the kudos from loved ones are great, I found that my work did not have to rely upon approval from my family, and as an added bonus, it became easier to be open and giving to other struggling artists. Yes, it is a long, lonely journey and whenever I meet someone along the way who can tell me “great job” it lets me know, at least, that I’m not alone.

  7. Alyson, our ‘salon’ began after one of your classes. One of our group set us up on a Google group, and the continuing support has been fantastic. Frank, honest, supportive, helpful, sharing – all describe our group. Thank you for putting us together initially!

  8. Dear Allyson: I have never posted yet, but have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be part of a unique group of people who I can relate to. I have been rejected several times, mostly by myself. I tend to be a loner, which is not good for an artist. I have also realized that the art I do (realistic portraits and murals) may not be what I was meant to do because it is confined. Color and light and depth seem to be the most important to me. Could I have just been confining myself and not letting go? Is that why I dread going to my studio? Because you have been an inspiration to me as well as to many others, there is no reason why I cannot move forward. Any suggestions?

  9. Dear Allyson: I have recently become a widow and am looking for a way to market my art as a hobby but also as a way to make an extra income. I have alot on my plate and have a hard time concentrating on the art. Do you have any suggestions?

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