Focus Your Attention
Estimated time to read this tip: 3 minutes
When I was a child, one of the highlights of my week was going to the library on Saturday mornings with my father and my siblings. The public library was a magical place to me. Reading books took me places, aroused my curiosity and fed my imagination. The story lady read stories for the younger kids in a glass-enclosed room with tiny chairs. I went off on my own to explore the quiet library shelves.
My favorite shelves contained series of world fairy tales and biographies of classical music composers. I read every one. I kept mental track of the ones I’d read. By Sunday afternoon I’d already finished reading my allotted books and I was eager for the week to pass so I could get my next installment.
When Artist Career Training was founded in 1996, there were only a handful of people helping artists with the business side of art. Nowadays, there are no limits on the amount of information that is available on what we need to know as professional artists.
In fact, there is a glut of information and we’ve had to learn a new skill — to be selective about what we gather, how much of it we acquire and what we do with it.
Curate Your Content Consumption
Fail to curate your content consumption and you may be at risk for overwhelm, and other side effects of undigested and unverified information.
If you have limited time to research and read, here is one method of cutting a swath through the information jungle:
- Determine what interests you. Is it art, your art career, art business, art marketing…?
- What do you already know about this topic?
- Do you really need more information about it?
If the answer is “no,” stop researching and go back to making art.
If you said “yes,” however, answer these questions as well:
- Why do you need this information?
- How will you know the right information when you see it?
- Who is the source of or referred you to this information? Does that raise its value?
- What do you plan to do with this information? Use it, keep it for inspiration, forward it to a friend…?
- When do you plan to use, file or forward this information?
- Where will you use this information?
The most successful artists I know are life-long learners. They devise their own methods for for continued exploration, and put systems in place for keeping up-to-date on topics that are important to them personally and professionally. You can do the same.
Peter Bragino moved to New York over 14 years ago to study classical drawing and begin his career as a fine artist. He has spent well over 7,500 hours studying his craft, at least 5,000 of which were spent drawing the human figure from life. From this, Peter has created over 35 sketchbooks, thousands of drawings, and hundreds of paintings and three-dimensional work.
“At one point a few years ago I decided that there were numerous parts of my artistic know how that I wanted to improve. I felt like I had a story to tell but my skills just weren’t where I wanted them to be.
I spent almost two years studying at Computer Graphics Masters Academy. I studied Environment Sketching, Character Design, The Art of Color and Light, and Analytical Figure Drawing.
This movement into new understanding has allowed a sense of story to emerge from my art that wasn’t available to me just a few years back.”
Only knowledge with action will create results, but it helps to have what you need in one place.
Artist Career Training’s mission is to help you make a better living making art, and still be able to have a life.
Could you use some help making informed decisions about your art business?
“My Real Job is Being an Artist” contains the basics of building a solid body of signature work, productive work habits and legal foundations for your art business. Once you have these in place, you can start working on marketing your art.