An open letter to an artist,
When did you decide art was your calling? When did you know that’s what you wanted to do with the rest of your life? Whether you are lucky enough to make it a career or long lasting hobby? To Inspire, believe, try, succeed, fail, be you and keep your head in the clouds and feet on the ground. But how? How in the world can you be an artist and thrive? Because that is what artist’s do. It is something i struggle with daily. As a writer, illustrator, painter and artist, I wonder how to find enough hours in the day to make time for the things we love. From my experience to yours, here are some lessons I have learned along the way.
Create Your Own Opportunities
This sounds easier that it i ends up being, but how are people going to know who you are if you don’t put your name out there. Especially with social media, push your name out there, publish what you can on social media. If you are a writer, find a company or website accepting short stories or excerpts. If you are an painter print out flyers and postcards and place them in the local coffee shop. If you are a musician, get out there for open mic night, and sing loud!
It will happen. A LOT! Sometimes it will be for the simplest reason, sometimes it will be because YOU are not what they are looking for. Sometimes it will come with some helpful advice on what to improve on. Take it one step at a time. Einstein, Van Gogh and Bob Dylan were all rejected multiple times in their career. Keep your head up.
Don’t ever expect to be like another person. Don’t ever comply when someone asks you to “Do it the way they’re doing it” You’re not a carbon copy. You are YOU. Stand tall and do it your way. That is the whole point.
Surround yourself with music and art. Take a look at the scene around you and see what inspires you, or what is up and coming. Go to a speak-easy, go to a french film, try out a jazz club, go to a staged reading of a play. Get inspired. The more experiences you have the better opportunities you have to create your own opportunities.
Do GOOD work and SHARE it with people!
Be proud of your work and find ways to share it with people. Ask the local coffee shop if they ever accommodate artists to hand some of your work. Share it with your friends. Get together with some artists friend s and have an art sale, showing in one of your houses. Host a wine and cheese night to display your work. Enjoy it!
Love your work, Love yourself.
When you are proud of your work, you are proud of yourself. The more you get inspired and continue to fuel your passion, the happier you will be. Art relieves stress, improves brain functions and builds self esteem.
It goes a long way to being nice throughout ANY process. If you are nice and supportive of the environment, it always returns the favor. For example you don’t’ want to be part of a thriving community of meanies. Also, you don’t want to be excluded. When in doubt be nice. Vincent Van Gogh said it best:
“I feel like there is nothing more artistic than loving people”
Don’t Give up
Even if you take a break, or change your future plans, or your course of direction, keep pushing for something you believe in and something you are proud of. You won’t regret it.
An artist that is inspired by all of you.