On several occasions over the last few weeks, I have heard artists talking about their “real job.” I don’t let this slide. I’m quick to point out that if you want to be taken seriously as an artist, you must stop referring to another job as your “real job.” Artist Lisa Call calls it a “safe job.” Others might call it a “day job.” But always remember that if you want to be considered a professional, you must not only THINK that being an artist is a real job, you must also communicate it. Here are some ways to do that.
1. Watch your language. Train yourself to use a different terminology for work that helps you pay your bills.
2. Post your office and studio hours on doors. These are reminders to yourself and notices for others.
3. Guard your office and studio hours. When someone tries to steal that time from you, tell that person that you are working. You might say something like: “I’m sorry, I can’t. That’s my studio time. Thursday afternoon would be better for me.”
4. Let people know your limits. If other people aren’t taking you seriously or referring to your “real job,” let them know this is unacceptable. They will continue to do so–perhaps unknowingly–until you point it out to them. Try: “Gee, I know you didn’t mean to do this, but every time you mention my art, you talk about it as if it’s a hobby. It’s more than that to me. I want to be taken seriously as an artist and hope to make my living from selling my art. It would mean a lot to me if you felt the same way and were on my team.”
5. Present yourself professionally. Make sure your marketing materials and Web site are up to snuff. Make sure your art blog is in line with your career goals. Treat other people with respect and honor your commitments.
You have to take yourself seriously before others will do the same.
THINK ABOUT THIS———-~>
Are you taking yourself seriously? Have you done or said anything in the last month that might cause someone else to think you are not professional?
Take yourself seriously as an artist so that others will do the same. Or at least as seriously as you want to be. If you want to have fun with it, have fun! If you don’t care what other people think, don’t worry! People’s perception of you will be a direct result of your self-perception.
What is your advice about being taken seriously?
5 thoughts on “Take Yourself Seriously”
Wow, this one just hit home. I recently blogged about quitting my “regular job”. I truly believe words are extremely powerful and will now carefully think before referring to my former position as my “regular job”. Think “safe job” is the phrase that will work for me. Thanks for such thought provoking material.
Just wanted to tell you that I really enjoyed the Salon at the Armory this week. I came home that night and sent 40 of my friends, in and out of state the e-mail from Paletteers that has several of my art works on it. I was thinking that I didn’t want to bother them, or they were too far away to have any desire to see my work. Well, I did recieve a few replys that they enjoyed seeing them and I asked if they prefer not to get updates to let me know. You need not reply, just think it is important to let you know we appreciate the input you gave us. Thanks again, Nina
Thank you, Nina! That makes me feel good – like I didn’t waste your time. I appreciate your stopping by to say Hi.
I have undoubtedly used some fluffy terminology to make people give me no time of day. This is such a simple thing but it is part of professionalism regardless.
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