There are six principles of no-excuse art marketing that guide my teaching and my book.
The first principle, I believe, is the most important. It states:
You are in charge of your career. You have control over words, prices, artwork, and your image. People will take as much from you as you give them, so guard this power to remain in charge of your destiny. Accept 100% responsibility for your actions and make no excuses.
It might seem as though your power is in the hands of galleries, curators, granting agencies, collectors . . . anyone but you! But all of these people have only as much power over you as you give them.
In his book The Success Principles, which I never tire quoting, Jack Canfield writes:
You only have control over three things in your life – the thoughts you think, the images you visualize, and the actions you take (your behavior). How you use these three things determines everything you experience. If you don’t like what you are producing and experiencing, you have to change your responses. Change your negative thoughts to positive ones. Change what you daydream about. Change your habits. Change what you read. Change your friends. Change how you talk.
Commit to yourself that you will guide your own path – that you won't accept situations that make your stomach turn, that you won't adopt others' definitions of success, and that you won't bow to conventional ways of doing things in the art world if they don't match your values and vision.
You know what's best for you. Go after it! Seek guidance and inspiration when you need it, but trust your wise self.
Never blame anyone for your perceived failures. When you assume control, you bask in your successes – knowing that they were hard-earned. Likewise, you must also accept responsibility when things go wrong.
Seems like a fair deal to me.