1. Give up working all the time
Sure, you have to show up to the studio even when you don’t want to do the work. But, you also have to know when to leave and when to take the time to take care of your body, your health, and your emotional and social well-being.
You can’t make your best work if you aren’t investing in your body and mind as well.
We have seen artists sacrifice both of these in the name of their craft. But, you need your body on the most basic of levels to create your work. Successful artists know that their success is a marathon and not a sprint, so you need to maintain your health to stay in the game.
2. Give up perfectionism
This goes hand-in-hand with the fear of failure. Artists who obsess on the need to make everything perfect often are afraid of failure. But, the irony in this is that they then fail to ever put anything out there.
The only path to growth is putting your work out to the public. The hard reality is that you will probably fail over the course of your art career (however you define that). You will not get grants, you will have a show that flops, you will have a great idea that just doesn’t materialize. The comforting part of this is that so will everyone else.
3. Give up your need for praise
You might want everyone to like your work, but that’s not going to happen. And, in fact, it’s better that not everyone does like your work.
“It’s really scary putting yourself out there, especially when your work is so personal and then allowing the world to view it and judge it and critique it,” says artist Seren Moran.
Self-doubt definitely plays a role, but it can be empowering to know that not everyone is going to love your technique or subject, and that is ok. It means you are getting at something interesting and something different.
4. Give up feeling selfish
Everyone contributes to the world in their own way.
We need doctors and lawyers and teachers, but we also need artists and craftsman and creatives that make our world interesting, vibrant and enjoyable.
Your challenge is to find out what you are at your core and then do it.