Fear & Being a Full-Time Artist

Fear.

A familiar frenemy for most of us. And an all-too-common companion in our studios, businesses, and lives. This blog post is a short opening on a topic that I've been discussing a lot lately.

Last night I did a talk with ModernThrive on selling art online and I decided to lead with the four letter word itself.

Why? 

Because I think if you can get comfortable with feeling fear, the fear of making an ugly painting, facing rejection, making mistakes, and occasionally failing, that will set you apart as a professional artist. Here's a short clip from the workshop:

 

While necessary at times, fear has no place in our art practices. When I'm working on a painting, I push myself to move past my comfort zone every time. It's so easy to get attached to paintings in the creation stage but I truly try and practice detachment until I am completely satisfied with the result. Basically, if it's good, I ruin it. I paint over it. I push on.

I ruin something good in order to get to something great. It's a scary process but it has paid off well for me artistically. And I believe it starts to trickle into other areas of our lives at well. 

As a small business owner, I make a lot of decisions. Most of which there's no clear right or wrong answer. It's mostly about seeing what works (or what doesn't) and then applying that insight into future choices. What works for one person's audience or clientele will not work for mine and I think it's important to keep that in mind when we're comparing ourselves to other artists and brands.

You can be successful and do it in a completely different way than other people in your same industry. 

And in many cases, you should. We should be willing to be a unicorn. Go out on a limb, and take the road less traveled. 

It can certainly pay off right away, but it will always pay off in the end if you're doing it for the right reasons.

How do you deal with fear in your studio? I would love to hear from you!

To create this post, I decided to partner up with @methodhome as part of their #fearnomess campaign. I've always enjoyed their soaps and with the many chemicals I use in my studio, it's nice to clean my hands with something people-friendly, animal-friendly, and non-toxic. Do you any of you love their products also?