The Myth of the Starving Artist VS the Thriving Artist

We as artists well know about the Starving Artist Syndrome.  In fact, there are some who wear it like a badge of honor.

To some artists it means:

  • Purity
  • I will be discovered
  • I don’t need money
  • To be successful, you would have to sell your soul
  • I don’t like marketing and sales
  • Money is the root of all evil
  • I am doing what I love
  • I have “Artistic Integrity”

These are excuses to not do the work required to go forward with your art.

Ever been to a show and the artists who are not selling are talking about how bad the market is these days?  It never dawns on them they’re part of the problem.

Remember the Starving Artist Syndrome is very contagious!

Here are a few of the things Starving Artists do to keep them from Thriving.

They think small… when you think small you don’t have to step out of your comfort zone.  Small thinking is fear thinking.

They have what I call…” Hope Strategy”…. they think they will be discovered.  They never write down their goals, their vision and put it where they see it every day. They hope someday they will find someone who will want to promote their work for them so they’re willing to wait… and wait… and wait.

They don’t know how to price their work… being confident about your prices is key to selling.  People will take you seriously as an artist when you start taking yourself seriously.  Let me ask you this… would you be willing to invest in someone who didn’t believe in themselves?  Bet the answer is no.

They don’t know how to talk about their work.  Remember the last time someone came up to you and ask you about your painting. Suddenly, you didn’t know what to say.  You mumble, fumble with your words and the future collector left not having a about your art.

 Practice talking about your work.

  • Why did you paint it?
  • Is there a story behind the painting?
  • What colors did you use?
  • Why?

If you want to get into a gallery, you must be able to talk about your work.

If you don’t know how to talk about your work in an elegant yet informative way.

Then how do you expect the gallery to do that for you?

You don’t like to market…. Oh, that dirty word… marketing.  Marketing means you have to put yourself out into the world and that is scary.

You tell yourself:

  • Marketing will take you away from painting.
  • Marketing is for others… not you.
  • You don’t have time.
  • You don’t know how.
  • You don’t where to start.

The list goes on and on so you don’t market and no one knows about your fabulous art.

Starving Artists don’t follow up.  Perhaps this is because of the fear of rejection and rejection is never fun.  Following up means you are a professional artist, responsible and eager to help your client.

Here is the BIG ONE!

The difference between a Starving Artist and a Thriving Artist is between your ears.… it is your mindset.

Remember, what you create between your ears will dictate:

  • How you approach your canvas.
  • How you talk about your art.
  • How you view the importance of marketing.
  • How you draw collectors to you.
  • How others view yourself as an artist.

You have complete control over the thoughts that go on between your ears… always remember your mind is your most powerful asset.

Think about what you want not what you don’t want…. make it happen!


Until next time…

Create brilliantly,

Gwen Fox

What do you think? Comment below:

If you found this article helpful, we’d love you to share it!

Sign up for our newsletter
Share this with a friend