How to become a successful artist
How to become a successful artist
First of all let me say right out of the gate, success is a measure for which each person has to measure by his own rule. There are many forms of success and artists typically have the most difficult time answering that question in the measure of them selves.
My late uncle Jack Reid used to say, “If you want to know how good an artist is, just ask him”. How true that seems to be. We all have our own usually lofty opinion of our work, which is higher than the opinion of most viewers of our work. Funny how that is, isn’t it? We alone know the hours, weeks, months and years we have had to put into Crafting our skills as painters, song writers, sculptors, etc. We alone have the total sense of the experience that we have gained for the results presently seen in our work. What then is the true measure of success and how do we attain it?
There could be a long discussion had on the subject, Lord knows there has been already in many artist groups as they sip tea and critique each other’s work to death.
For me the important measure of success comes down to ones ability to feel confident about his/her work, and to be able to place in the view of the public, knowing they have done the very best they could possibly have done.
That suggests there has to have been a significant back story behind the artists work. I know there are overnight “success” stories as are present in every walk of life. Pop stars whose lyrics and even music are written for them and conglomerate record firms create overnight sensations. Or a new young artist/painter whose work is embraced by some mega gallery and promoted to the max, creating a “star”, even though the artist has never sold a previous painting in his/her life. Those are always going to be present in this world and we must simply accept that as a fact of life, like it or not.
I am an old school artist. I have been painting since I could hold a brush 50 years ago. For the better part of those years my work was not in any way successful. I neither liked or felt confident showing any of it in public places. What had to happen was a gradual and methodical evolution of my painting style and technic over the entire 50 year period. Even today I am my own worst critic, but I have arrived at a place where the majority of my work, I feel, holds enough merit to put it forward for public viewing and acquisition.
I also feel that on a scale of artists living or dead I am certainly the least of all. No doubt. However, I do feel that my work is worthy of exposure and possibly even ownership by others. The artist is obligated to spend the time and effort each day into painting, creating new work. It is only n this way that one improves and overcomes barriers. An uphill climb which at times seems like a sheer mountains face. I’ve been there many, many times. My uncle Jack Reid used to also say, with every greeting to me, “Keep painting Robert! Keep painting!” That has become my whip, my carrot at the end of the stick. Keep painting, you might eventually like what you have done!
One of my practices is to paint the same painting over and over again, often on the same canvas! Yes, repeating the strokes but each time making it better and better, to my own satisfaction.
Success comes from hard work, and I do say God’s blessing, for which I believe in wholeheartedly.
So I say Keep painting!
Harrington Lake 30"x60" oil on canvas 2016
The Artists Journey
This is my blog page and it is where I get to be the opinionated man that I really am. The views are my own.
I invite your replies and comments, on my virtual welcome mat.
This sketch above became this finished painting below
The Pine Tree Painter.
How did I become known as the Pine Tree Painter? You could say I paint a lot of Pine Trees, that would be true. I paint a lot of other things too, but Pine Trees, Spruce Trees, Birch and others seem to be a continuous string in what i do. I just like the way they stand there like a custodian of the land. or a greeter to nature. So, I continue down the path with the Pine Tree Painter name on my head, It's ok.