I love Facebook pages. I am a member of several for various things (too boring to mention) but I also join artistic Facebook pages. One is administered here locally by Helen Parsons called Spokane Art Calls. Never met the lady but she runs a tight ship as pages go and she posts pictures and memes all the time to keep her page feed fresh and relevant to our news feeds. She recently posted the picture featured on the right (click it to see the details). I want to share why I think it is important. When we look at successful artists, friends say, “You will get discovered too one day, you are so much better!” I hear them and I smile and thank them but what I am really thinking is, “ I don’t want to be discovered. I want to build a career.” I don’t trust discovery, to me it is a popularity-based flash in the pan that can fade as quickly as the glow of lightning. Remember the 3d prints?
Beneath the surface of success, we find a long list of good habits, negative life experiences, education and focus. It is the work that keeps the iceberg afloat. It may take more time to build success this way, but I truly believe you get out of it what you put into it. That is why you will find me in the art studio most mornings. I set aside 4 hours a day of creative time. There is at least 8 hours a week in the office working on things like records, blogs, social media, applications, and making contacts. I try to work out, work on my equipment, update my portfolio and maintain a healthy relationship with my family. I have been rejected, disappointed, tossed and turned all night and been broken down on the side of the road. I keep going, because this is what I want. I want financial stability, and recognition for my style and my ability. I understand that I must work for it. Talent is everywhere, like the commercial says; “talent is distributed evenly but opportunity isn’t”. I believe we create our opportunity and must have the courage to take our chances when they present themselves. We need endurance to persevere through the frustrations and disappointments. Just like those who run a marathon, there is no shortcuts. Boston marathon doesn’t have an underground map that gives you a work around.
The next time you see a successful artist (if they are alone) ask them what the most difficult obstacle has been to overcome. There is a chance they will share it with you, and you might be surprised. To date, mine has been time management and not being defensive about doing my job. That is what this is to me, a job; a career. I’m not making the money I want to yet but I am getting paid what I feel I earn and that is huge. Learning what your value is and asking for it, is a big piece of success. Don’t make excuses, Lawyers don’t, neither do doctors. Don’t be defensive either, people don’t see the rest of the iceberg and we don’t really want to show them our dark-circled, red-rimmed eyes as we tremble with disappointment. Magicians don’t share their secrets and we should probably not scare people with ours. Unless we give up art and try to score a zombie role on Z-Nation. The other thing to remember, If an iceberg gets too top heavy, it flips and then people don’t see them as well. Keep up the hard work, if it doesn’t pan out; you can always play a zombie. They are filming a prequel.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this blog belong solely to the Spokane Art School Artist-in-Residence, and not necessarily to the Spokane Art School.