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« Motivation: Astute Action Beats Rejection | Main | Money: A Grant in the Hand is Worth Two Paintings on the Easel »

Motivation: Give Yourself a Pat on the Back

© 2007, Artist Career Training

You can now listen to the Tip-of- the-Week!

Give Yourself a Pat on the Back

Artistic talent and business skills are only part of the equation for a healthy art career. Stamina is an essential ingredient - and not just for making art.

Most artists have a studio in the home, so the divisions between life and work roles can get pretty thin. Single or married, in good health or not, many of the artists in the A.C.T. community have multiple responsibilities that vie for the time and attention.

Artists in the "sandwich generation" may be raising their own children or grandchildren, while also caring for elderly or ailing parents. Juggling the needs, wants and demands of work and family is not something you can put off for another day. And still, you need to make art in the midst of your life.

Member Lee McVey has these words of encouragement for you:

"A while back we had an email discussion about keeping on when life gets in the way of our work. For years, upon Aletta's suggestion, I've been keeping an end of the year list of accomplishments.

"This year, I decided to take it a step further. I plan to make a list of my accomplishments month by month. This way, it will be done by the end of December and all I have to do then is look back over it. But most importantly, it will be encouraging as I write each month's list. Sort of like pats on the back.
"I've started January's list and wrote down just the art and art business related things I've done so far this month. I listed only those things that took blocks of time to do, from things that took me half an hour to a few hours or days to accomplish. I have 28 things on my list and there are still 5 days left in January!

"This was so gratifying! I have some chronic health issues that interfere far too much for my liking and feel I don't get enough done. Well, in spite of that feeling, I really do get things done. Not as much as I'd like, but I do get important things done! I can't tell you how gratifying it is to know that.
"Maybe you will want to keep a monthly list of accomplishments, even if you don't have road blocks along your way?"
Lee McVey
  I paint landscapes you feel you can walk right into.

With the knowledge and support you get from Artist Career Training
you'll save time, effort and money.  We gather all the information you
need to market your art and build your art career so that you can make
money and get back to doing what you love - making more art.

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Reader Comments (2)

Well, well,

This certainly is at the right moment. Thanks to Aletta for including it and Lee for her honesty and insight! My Mom’s memory took another turn for the worse and it is good to keep these things in mind. I am also purposefully viewing my studio as a place of healing. It is working mostly. I can at least not think about Mom for awhile and my painting is really nice. A fun thing I am doing to remind myself that my mind is still working and to give me confidence is I am taking daily SAT test questions along with my daughter who is preparing for the exam. I have forgotten geometry but am doing well in English and other math. Yeh! I think I will start an accomplishment list, too and include SAT correct answers…along with painting for periods of time without worry over Mom.

January 31, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBetty Nance Smith

The accomplishment idea is just on of many that we teach members like Betty in the A.C.T. ongoing community of artists. It starts with the commitment that you have already shown. After that it's just one step at a time, again and again and again...


Just in time!! Thanks you Betty for your "accomplishment list" idea. I had my 62nd birthday on Friday, and the celebration of another year always gives me pause to consider if I am accomplishing what I have planned during my lifetime.

A year ago at this time I realized that I hadn't even started on my life-long dream to be an artist. An with the onset of arthritis in my hands I decided I had better be making some decisions!

Having been an interior designer for almost 30 years, it was very difficult to even consider giving up the known and the income for the unknown and considerable expense! But I DID it, and kept my promise to myself to close my design business by the end of 2007!

But now what?!? I had done VERY little drawing since college ... only enough to "impress" (easily done :-) and homeschool my granddaughters in art and crafts over the past two years. And hadn't picked up a paint brush in 38 years!!

Initially, I have been a little "impressed" myself, that most of my God-given talent seems to be intact, and I have certainly enjoyed doing small oil portraits of 4 of my 10 grandchildren. I have also done some pretty large contemporary oils as gifts, a very large realistic still-life and many mid-sized transitional paintings for wedding gifts, etc.

But despite the accolades of my husband, children, other family and friends, I'm am finding that I am very unsure of my of abilities and confidence -- now that I am considering the expense of a website and other ways of promotion!!

I'm sure many of you have been through this. How did you make your decision? What did you decide to do? What methods did you use to promote yourself, if you DID decide to "GO FOR IT!!" What have your results been and how long did you "test" your decisions?

Thanks so much to anyone who chooses to respond. -- Sherie

February 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSherie

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