They Said You’d NEVER Be An Artist

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Almost EVERYBODY dreams of someday....

Writing a book
Traveling the world
Being an art star
Starting a business

and it's easy to TALK about it.

But talk is cheap.

As soon as you get any farther than climbing the latter at a J.O.B., the herd thins real fast.

There's always an excuse. The kids, the college savings, I need to spend more time with my family, yada yada.

And frankly, the artist entrepreneurial journey is lonely and painful.

Nobody really knows what you deal with. I remember the first time I hired someone (Rebecca), I was beside myself with paranoia. "What if payday arrives and I can't produce the dinero?"

Once I sent out a survey to a group of oil painters that said "How many of you have mortgaged your house just to buy food?" and it seemed like almost everybody.

There's the obvious stuff you've gotta overcome. Stuff like that.

But there's a whole buncha not-so-obvious stuff too.

Like learning to go out and sell something when your heart is throbbing with fear. Like finding out that even though you don't know any more than anybody else, YOU are the only one willing to take charge, so... you're in charge.

You don't say to yourself "I'm the only one who seems to know what needs to get done around here" because you're a narcissist.

You say that cuz it's true.

Welcome to the world of The Buck Stops Here.

When The Buck Stops Here, 95% of people will not understand the world you live in, because the world THEY live in is: The buck stops somewhere else.

You can't go to church and complain about your $36,000 tax bill. They won't understand. "Oh, that's too bad. Cry me a river."

You also can't head down to the local pub and complain about how someone wants to give 1 year free maternity and paternity leave to Everyone. Someone might throw a beer bottle at you.

Kind of a thankless job sometimes.

But it does have its rewards.

A whole BUNCH of people in our artist community have written a book, traveled the world, been an art star (at least in some tiny corner of the world) and yes, started an art business.

I think one of the greatest things is the quality of your peers.

The herd is thin and the ones that are left - well, they certainly have the smell of battle on 'em.

And you find that, contrary to stereotypes, they're actually EXTREMELY generous. Heck, they're just so happy to be sitting across the table eating burgers with someone who UNDERSTANDS them, they'll tell you anything you wanna know.

And every syllable drips with experience and struggle and victory.

The artist entrepreneurial life is one where you fail more often than you succeed.

You come to understand there is something blessed, maybe even sacred about failure.

It has this odd way of letting you know your place in the world. As long as you don't get complacent, it keeps your ego solidly in check.

You know that half the things you think are true probably aren't, and half the things you KNOW are true are almost certain to change next week.

You surf the edge of chaos, enjoying the thrill of the ride. The agony and the ecstasy.

Some people said you'd never be anybody.

They said you'd NEVER be an artist.

You were learning disabled or a "C" student or you couldn't concentrate or you were a pain in the ass or whatever.

They judged you however they judged you.

But they didn't know YOU. The real you deep inside, the one who decided, somewhere along the way, that dodging the swinging tire irons and rolling with the punches was better than a life of quiet desperation.

I always loved the old bit of advice to professors: "Be nice to the A students because someday they'll become your fellow professors. Be nice to the B students because their parents sign your paychecks. And be nice to the C students cuz someday they're build you a performing arts center."

Here in our Smart Art Marketing community, mostly we're C students (myself included) with a touch of ADHD, and most of us are a pain in the ass, and we're all misfits. It's the gathering of the great Hermit Colony.

And it's a blast.

Just know that wherever you are, whatever you're doing today, if you've chosen the lesser-trod path of more failure than success, more uncertainty than exact answers, and The Buck Stops Here, you've won OUR respect.

And most importantly, YOURS.

Seize the Day.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Anonymous

    Beautiful words 🙏🏻

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