Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ten Hard Earned Truths Every Artist Must Learn

"Chica" chihuahua sketchbook study

portrait study after Craig Nelson

The Return of Sketchbook Tuesday and Motivational Monday. . . on a Tuesday. :)

There are some things I've learned on this path towards being an artist that have been on my mind a lot lately. Thought I'd share a few of them with you.

1. Not everyone will love your work. Not everyone will like your work either. In fact, you could say that there is a distinct possibility that somewhere out there someone really kind of. . . hates it. Some people might even be downright mean and hurtful about it. Let the haters hate. But don't you hate. Accept this and move on.

2. But. . . Some people (probably many people) will fall hopelessly, SA-woon, head-over-heels in love with your work. Your work will move them to tears, you work will change their life. Your work will bring beauty and light to others who wouldn't otherwise have a chance to see it or feel it. This is what being an artist is all about. Accept this and move on. But don't let it go to your head.

3. There will be days ahead when you will feel like every particle of talent you may have ever had has left you for good. Gone. Adios. Disapparated faster than Hermione Granger. Some days you will struggle, some paintings simply won't work out. That's okay. It's supposed to be like that. Without some kind of failure we wouldn't constantly be striving for that next great painting, novel, photograph, beaded earrings. Whatever. Accept this and move on.

4. But. . . There will be days ahead when you will create something so breathtakingly beautiful and emotionally moving you will not believe it came from your hand. But it did. Because you have been blessed with talent, dedication, and perseverance. Because you didn't give up when things got hard. 

5. When you first start out you will suck. A lot. Accept this and move on.

6. But. . . This is not a bad thing. Suckage is only the evidence of growth. You are growing, learning, improving day by day. It will get better. You will get better.

7. Artistic success is not about money, or number of sales, or fans, or who you know. No matter what anyone else says. Accept this and move on.

8. Artistis success is about following your heart, creating what matters to you, not whatever is popular, or what others like. If you follow this trail, creating to please others, you will not be happy. Creating will become a chore, a must-do, not a passionate love affair.

9. Being an artist means a lot of time spent by yourself. A lot of time spent in the studio, alone, opening a vein and letting it bleed on the canvas (figuratively speaking of course). Accept this and move on.

10. But this does not mean that you are alone. You have your friends, spouse, kids, parents, siblings, dog, cheering you on and wishing for your success just as much as you do. It means you have friends and connections you've built with like minded souls spread throughout the world who've got your back when you need them. It means that you pray to your Heavenly Father knowing that He is just as concerned about the desires of your heart as you are. He will help you. You are not alone. Not ever. Don't ever forget that. 

That is all. . . for now. :)

Come on, you know you want to, say it with me everyone! HUZZAH!! Go forth and conquer!


  1. Ok, I said it! You made me smile, thanks for sharing your incredible artwork and your incredible thoughts.

  2. Huzzah and amen...thanks for sharing!!

  3. This is just the post I needed to read today! :) Love it!

  4. Huzzah! Thanks for your thoughts!

  5. What a great post. Thanks for reminding about these facts.. And those sketches rock. Look at the light out there..

  6. Exactly what I needed. I live to read your inspirational posts. They definetly do their job :) love the sketch of our sweet Chica! Huzzah!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. HUZZAH!!! Loved the post. Some days I just want to lock all of the art supplies away and become a couch potato because I'm not happy with anything I create and feel like such a failure as an artist and then there are days when I feel like I just might have some talent after all. Glad to know other people feel the same. Love the portrait in your header.

  8. Oh my gosh, what a post! You are as transparent and luminous as your art. It's quite a journey and to see it laid out in ten brilliant points, well that's just so encouraging that it leaves me smiling.

  9. what a lovely and thought provoking post! thank you so much!

  10. aaahhh.. Embrace the suckage! That's my newfound motto! It keeps me smiling.

  11. HUZZAH!!
    Love #10.
    I think you should write a book, Crystal (in your spare time, of course).
    it's always worth repeating isn't it ;-)

  12. Well said :) and I love your sketches - that chihuahua has personality!

  13. De très bons mots... La bible artistique...
    Gros bisous

  14. Lovely sketches and an inspirational post. Bravo!

  15. Great post, so true!
    I am smiling and touched <3

  16. That post hit the spot, like a fresh plate of pancakes on a Saturday morning. Bravo.

  17. What a wonderful post! This is just what I needed to read:)

  18. I love getting a peek inside your sketchbook! My next post will be a peak in to my own :0)
    The sketches are so beautiful. I would call them drawings!
    This really is something I needed to hear - It is great to know that we all have similar feelings and that we are not alone. Thank you for such a thoughtful post! Huzzah!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Wonderful words of wisdom, thank you. We are not alone, I love my blogging friends too, such great support.

  20. Wonderful words. Exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you!


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment they really do mean so much to me! Because not all bloggers have their email enabled so I can reply directly through email I will try to reply here in the comments. If I don't please forgive me, life must have been hectic that day! :)) Huzzah!!

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