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What Makes An Artist Successful?

It takes a lot to be successful, and you don't have to be the topmost to be defined as successful, but you need to ask yourself, "Have I met my goals and expectations? If your answer is no, you need to get it right what it takes to become successful as an artist. Success can be defined in several ways, but generally, it should be quantifiable. It’s also important to understand that success in art can be measured from the impact it brings to the society, the reception it gets. Let’s shift the focus back to the major pillars for artist success that can serve as a guide to empower and inspire you to soar into greater heights and build a brand as an artist.

artwork of successful artist

a. Mastery of Skill and Technique

Mastery of skill and technique is key for every artist, regardless of specialisation. An artist is required to effortlessly express their artistic work without beating around the bush. Therefore, it's crucial to dedicate time and effort to developing your craft to acquire and hone your skills and techniques. Art education plays an important role in refining skills and opening new horizons while ensuring the overall skills of an artist are polished through exposure to regular practice, experimentation, and constant learning. This is the foundation for an artist's success.

b. Authenticity and Individuality

Art thrives on creativity and innovativeness. Staying true to yourself and presenting your uniqueness through painting gives you as an artist a competitive advantage, enables you to comply with intellectual property rules and regulations, and enhances your ethical morals in the industry. As indicated earlier, painting is an expression of emotion and it’s a way of educating the society so it should emulate what is in a painter’s mind and heart but not a replica of other people’s work. Imagine someone using your work, while you’re always struggling to create unique content. It’s embarrassing and devastating, right? That’s what I’m trying to explain about authenticity and individuality.

You need to embrace your personal experiences, feelings, and perspectives and imbue them into your artistic expressions. Undoubtedly, by embracing authenticity, creativity will flow effortlessly, and you're likely to create work that stands out among the rest.

c. Persistence and Resilience

The journey of an artist is rarely smooth sailing. As with any business, several challenges arise when starting and even after you're established. Insufficient finances, rejection, struggle to create captivating and unique content, and self-doubt are some of the challenges in the process. All these are normal for every artist, but perseverance and resilience sets successful artists apart. What you’re required to do is:

● First, you need to embrace failure as an opportunity for learning.

● Adopt change by ensuring your painting is up-to-date.

● Stay passionate and dedicated.

Success is never achieved overnight, but it takes time, and persistence is key.

d. Networking and Building Relationships

networking, artist success

Numbers do matter a lot in the art industry. It is easier for your work to sell with recognition and following.As such, a dense follow-up on social media and the ability to attract a crowd is a sign of a successful brand as an artist. But before you get to such a point, it's vital to establish meaningful connections within the industry to expand your reach, get exposure and collaborations, and for mentorship. All you need to do is:

● Engage with fellow artists, curators, and other art enthusiasts through exhibitions, workshops, and networking events.

● Ensure to seek opportunities to showcase your work actively.

● Actively participate in group exhibitions or art fairs.

e. Business and Marketing Acumen

business and marketing for artists

Most artists overlook the business and marketing side of their creativity as one of the major pillars for artist success. Being an artist requires an understanding of business; after all, it is a job just like being a doctor. Having knowledge of the business is crucial for effectively managing your finances and developing a strategic plan which is very important in any business setup. Also, marketing skills will enable you to utilize social media platforms to promote your work and earn contracts. To be successful in the art industry, one needs to cultivate a consistent online presence and actively participate in competitions and grants to gain recognition.

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Jan 08
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge. I have been a teaching artist most of my life but being ignorant about how to do the business part until now that I have set that as my goal. That is my resolution


Jan 01
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

This is very helpful!


Dec 20, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I loved this!

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