Stop and Think
DWRose / Foter / CC BY

I don’t.

Seriously. I don’t have what it takes to be a successful, full-time artist.

And it’s okay. It’s good to know these things.

I’m not a full time artist – because I’m doing this.

I’m building my career on the business side of art. The education side of the business of art.

I get to illustrate for my business (everything on the website is mine), but I don’t have what it takes to commit to creating ONLY art.

I made the right decision for my life because I really understood what reality requires of the artist to succeed.

Do you?

Do you realize the commitment required to be a successful artist?


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The Truth

A full time successful art career requires 100% commitment.

You cannot dabble.

It can’t be part-time…

Oh – you may be working a full-time day job to make ends meet, but your art career will still demand a full-time commitment from you.

Look to your level of productivity.

10 pieces a year isn’t enough. That’s dabbling.

A serious artist needs to be creating 40, 50… 80, 100’s of pieces a year to be viable.

Jennifer Gillooly Cahoon has created 50 pieces within this collection over a period of a few short months.

Does making art ever become a chore for you?

I don’t mean having had enough for the day. I mean an avoidance of the studio and a persistent procrastination of the work required.

Beware of the art chore.

It may be an indicator that art should remain a hobby.
Are you improving and growing your craft?

Fingerpainting. Escher revisited
la legra negra / Foter / CC BY-NC

Have you found a sufficient style and are content to remain with that for the time being?

A viable art career demands growth and constant improvement of the artist’s skills.

Staying safe within a comfortable style will result in the early death of an art career.

An artist needs to challenge themselves and grow their art and their techniques in order to remain viable and grow with the market.

Be wary of settling into a safe style because it’s reliable.
Do you seek out art that inspires you?

Are you actively immersed in the art world of your peers and competitors?

Ideally we never get to a place of complacency where we think we’ve seen it all, done it all and no one has anything that can teach us.
Screen Shot 2013-08-24 at 2.43.17 PM

Lauren Purje has a bunch of other hilarious comics about being an artist on


Freedom to CHOOSE

This post comes off way less motivational than it does kinda b*tchy and patronizing.

I’m sorry about that – but I wanted to put my serious pants on for a second and for you to have a realistic look-see at what’s REALLY necessary to make an art career successful… from the actual making art direction.

The freedom that comes with this post is your ability to choose.

No one gets to tell you whether you’re an artist or not.

No one gets to tell you whether you’re successful or not either.

Those are your choices.

You get to decide what success means to you in your life. You get to decide what it means to be an artist.

You make the decision to put down the video games or television shows or whatever else is working as a distraction right now and start making your art.

Creating good studio habits is the best way for you to cement a viable art career because it means you’re actually making the art.

That’s half the battle right there.

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