12 Myths of the Successful Artist, Debunked

Myth #1: If you practice hard enough, you’ll become a success.

The Truth: No matter how much time and effort someone puts into their craft, not everyone is going to make it. While there are many factors that can contribute to an individual’s career choice and eventual success (i.e. talent, discipline, persistence etc.), it’s equally important to realize that there are many other factors outside of one’s own control that can contribute to a person’s success.

Myth #2: All you need is a great idea for a big company to swoop in and create your dream project.

The Truth: Sure, there are some lucky people who get discovered every now and then. But for the vast majority of us, it’s not about knowing how good you are or having a great idea (or even being related to someone). It’s about being able to create a piece of art that can stand out from the crowd.

Myth #3: If you’re not getting a lot of views and feedback, there’s something wrong with your work.

The Truth: The artist’s journey is seldom a straight line, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re not getting tons of feedback, views or subscribers overnight. In the beginning, it’s all about honing your skills and being persistent. Your circle of influence will grow with every piece of art you release.

Myth #4: If you practice hard enough, you’ll reach a point where you can create great art on demand.

The Truth: Great art is often born out of struggle. You don’t need to be struggling all the time, but sometimes great work requires a little grit.

Myth #5: If you don’t get a lot of views, it means you’ve failed.

The Truth: Just because someone doesn’t like your work, doesn’t mean that you’re a bad artist. There’s no such thing as a bad artist, there’s only art that someone finds appealing or not. In most cases, what an audience likes is not necessarily objectively good. So never give up on your dreams and strive to improve your craft.

Myth #6: The best way to promote your work is by posting on social media.

The Truth: While social media is a pretty great tool for artists, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should spend all of your time on it. Artists need to treat their own website like a mini online art gallery where they can share all of their work and get to know their fans personally.

Myth #7: Posting a lot will give you a lot of views.

The Truth: This is often a problem with novice artists. Although the number of views they get is certainly an indication of their skills, there are many other factors that contribute to that number. The truth is that while there are many ways to get views, not every single post will give you all the views you want.

Myth #8: If you’ve been drawing for a long time and haven’t made it, you’re just not good enough.

The Truth: Being able to draw doesn’t automatically mean that you’re good at it. Art is subjective, and what an audience likes on one page, might not be what they like on another. Take it one step at a time and work on your weaknesses.

Myth #9: You can’t be an artist and make money at the same time.

The Truth: If you want to make a lot of money as an artist, then do it full-time. You don’t have to quit your day job, but you should be working diligently towards earning a living from your art.

Myth #10: Artists only get successful after a long time.

The Truth: There’s no rule that says an artist needs to spend years making art before they become successful. Many artists work on their craft for years and eventually give up, only to see other artists becoming successful overnight with seemingly little skill or effort put into their work.

Myth #11: The only way to get recognized and invited to shows is by knowing someone.

The Truth: It’s true that some people will do whatever it takes to get your work seen. But less than a third of artists receive any kind of response whatsoever when they release art. There are many other ways you can promote yourself and your art, whether it be through writing, web design, video, or just being creative.

Myth #12: The best way to get noticed is to submit your art to blogs and galleries.

The Truth: While there are hundreds of websites out there that you can submit your art to, please remember that the majority of them don’t pay their contributors. It’s a numbers game. Chances are, if you’re a beginning artist, the odds are you’ll be rejected by most publications. But don’t get discouraged, keep on sending work out there! That’s what will make you stand out in the end.

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