I want to help you expand your art business and grow your art career.
Each of my blog posts, class lessons, or live events is carefully designed to help you get one step closer to your dream.
In these formats, I can teach you:
- What strategies you could be using to promote your art.
- Why these strategies are helpful.
- How to implement strategies.
- About artists who are getting good results by using these strategies.
Still, as much as I would like, I cannot teach you how to get motivated to do the work.
|©Valaree Cox, Brain Series One and Two.
Venetian plaster, paper, paint, nails, and waxed twine on a substrate of birch panel, 16 x 20 inches each. Used with permission.
I’d go so far as to say that I can’t teach you anything if you are not motivated.
I can give you information, but that information is no good if it is merely collected – put on a shelf in hopes that it will somehow magically work just because you paid for it.
I can write motivational articles or respond with positive feedback if you comment on my blog or Facebook page, but I cannot give you the motivation to take action.
Motivation must come from within you.
If you aren’t motivated to do the work, it doesn’t matter how many books you read or classes you take. You’re throwing your money away if you don’t plan to do the work.
What Gets You Up in the Morning?
Motivation is the spark that sets everything in motion, whether it’s your day, your week, your project or your entire career.
Motivation is ignited by motive. This is your big WHY.
Why are you trying to build an art career?
Why are you trying to sell your art?
Why do you want more people to see your art and respond to it?
Why are you not satisfied with making art for yourself?
Do you see that when you can answer these questions, you will bolt out of bed in the morning with a burning desire to head to the studio and share your art with more people (after a cup of coffee, of course)?
Common motives for artists include freedom, sense of accomplishment, greater connection, and recognition. Additional income, though a nice outcome for your action, is rarely the primary motivation that leads to action.
So What’s the Hold-Up?
If you’ve identified the motive and still aren’t making progress, you have to consider what’s getting in the way of action. Ask yourself more questions that begin with Why.
Why am I not writing my newsletter?
Why am I not updating my blog?
Why am I not exhibiting my art?
Why am I not (gasp!) making art?
There could be any number of reasons for stalling, but it usually boils down to one of these:
- You don’t know how to do something.
- You haven’t identified the first step.
- You don’t think you have the time.
- You don’t believe you can do it.
- You are anxious about what might happen after you’re finished.
- You’d rather be doing something else – something easier or more fun. You’re trading the potential for future results for present satisfaction.
Serial entrepreneur Kevin Kruse suggests we find motivation by calling on our future self. Here are a few questions I ask my future self when I’m not doing the work. They go like this …
If I make this choice, how will it serve me 3 months from now? 1 year from now? 5 years from now?
Am I delaying potential positive results?
Will I regret not doing this?
Is Your Motive Strong Enough?
Return to your motive and consider this: Is your motive stronger than your reasons or excuses for not doing the work?
If the motive were strong enough, you’d do whatever you could to make it happen. You’d take more classes, hire a coach, stay up late, or get up early.
You’d escape your comfort zone, show up at art openings and introduce yourself to people, apply to shows and risk rejection, and invite the feedback required for growth.
Are you motivated? If not, why not? What needs to change? What’s your motive?