Artist Rule #1: Do Something. Anything. March 8, 2017 – Posted in: For Artists – Tags: , ,

The One Thing

I suppose this post is as much a reminder for myself as anything. I have long made this my personal mantra but it isn’t always easy to do.

Over the years, many artists have written to me asking for advice on selling their artwork online. Many are looking for advice on building a website, marketing tips or how to put together an email list. These are all great, practical steps that all artists should learn how to do when going at it alone.

However, the most common request, by far, is by people who want to know what that “one thing” is that they need to know to be successful selling their artwork. To go from hobby to business.  There must be a simple, quick way, right?


I’m Sorry

I have to come clean and say that I owe a bunch of artists an apology.

For years, I gave the wrong answer to that question. I always gave a long winded answer that was some version of: “I wish there was one quick answer for you. However, it takes a lot of time and a lot of work. It takes dedication to creating art and learning how to promote it. It takes learning to draw the line between the process of creating art and the process of selling your art. And on and on and on and on…” You get the point. It is hard work that takes time. We all know that.

While that is all indeed true, it is not good advice. Good advice inspires. Good advice inspires people to create, to get to work. The above doesn’t do that.

It really is much easier than that. It really is simple if you always follow Rule #1.


Rule #1: Do Something. Anything.

So, now that the apology is out of the way, let’s get to the proper way to answer that question.

There is a simple answer. The answer is, “Do something. Anything.”

I often hear artists say that they aren’t “inspired” or “aren’t feeling creative.” Inspiration as a catalyst for creating is highly overrated. Waiting for inspiration will lead to long periods of no creativity.

Just get to work. Make yourself open to the possibility of creating. Go to your work space or studio and see what else you can do. Try cleaning up your work space or organizing your supplies. Heck, change the room around! It’s amazing what a new room layout does. Before you know it, you will be coming up with new ideas or picking up your brushes. It just happens.

Just get to your work space and do something! Anything!


Suggestions for following Rule #1

  • First, get to your work space! This is key. Turn off the TV, dump Facebook and get to work. Once there select one or more of the following.
  • Stay there at least 30 minutes.
  • Clean your work area. You will be amazed at what you will find that will stir creative energy.
  • Reorganize your supplies.
  • Pick up a note pad and write down five new ideas for future work.
  • Vacuum the floor, sharpen pencils, dump your left over paint water.
  • Do something, anything.
  • Try something completely different. Are you right handed? Try drawing something with your left hand. Try using only 3 colors.
  • Rearrange the furniture in your work space. This provide a fresh, new perspective.
  • Grab the nearest unfinished piece and start working it. (seems obvious)
  • Create a piece with the intention of throwing it away.
  • Do not take your phone into your work space.
  • Do something, anything.

These are just some things off the top of my head. You get the idea.


The Most Important Part Of Work Is Just Showing Up

I know this all seems obvious but I promise if you are struggling in the pursuit of your art, then give this a shot. Try committing to show up in your work space for 7 days straight. You will be amazed at how simple it really is. After those 7 try, 30 days. You can do it.

Just show up to work and be open to the idea of creating. It will find you.

I promise.

Happy creating!



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