Being an artist isn’t always easy. We often have to go through struggles, and sometimes wonder if its all worth it. It’s not difficult to be discouraged, especially for emerging artists who aren’t selling as much as they would like to. I’m here to tell you that being an artist is well worth the struggle! Even if you have to give it up for awhile (ie help support a family), many artists find themselves drawn to returning to art later in life.
I have asked the question in our artist spotlight form, “Did you ever feel like giving up art?” About 90% of the artists who answered said they never felt that way. 10% considered giving up, but decided against it. These artists obviously look at art as an integral part of their lives.
We all have made excuses for not creating art at times. Here are some excuses and my personal rebuttals.
I don’t have time to create.
Some people have jobs unrelated to art, along with kids and a household to take care of. It’s true that there may not be much time, if any, to make art.
But, realize that ideas for artworks can be thought of anytime. If you are an artist, you will make time, even if it is only an hour a day.
I think about art wherever I go. Even though I do not spend all my time in front of an easel, art is a big part of my life - and I always find time.
I can’t come up with ideas.
Many artists experience creative block at some point, which is the inability to find inspiration. Realize this is normal, and won’t last long if you know how to cope.
Please refer to our article on dealing with artists block here: How to Overcome Creative Block
I make no money with my art.
If you make this excuse, it may be time to start thinking about why you create art. Are you just creating it to make money, or because it’s something you enjoy doing?
True art is about what we are passionate about, and placing these ideas in front of others. Maybe the reason you have not sold any is because the right people have not seen it. We share lots of tips for promoting art here at Artpromotivate. Follow this advice and get your art seen, both online and offline.
I ran out of art materials.
I know I get a little nervous when I’m close to running out of certain art supplies, such as oil paint. But, I always make sure I have some on hand. But, even if my paint did run out, and I couldn’t afford to buy any, there would still be plenty of ways I could express myself. Sketching in my sketchbook, photography, sculpture and writing are some of my other forms of expression.
I have gotten negative feedback.
Negative feedback can be a setback for artists, especially if it comes from someone who you think know a lot about art (ie art galleries). If you do not agree with destructive comments, don’t let it get you down. Always strive to be a better artist in spite of criticism.
Learning is a never ending process for artists. Always look at the larger picture, and understand that criticism comes with the territory.
I cannot concentrate on creating.
If you are in a bad mood, or you cannot concentrate, this may affect your ability to create. Take a step back and analyze the reasons for not being able to focus on creating. It may be that you need to get away from creating art for awhile. In the meantime, ponder on why you became an artist in the first place. When you are ready to get back to creating, your mood hopefully will be more centered toward your art than distractions.
It’s a waste of time.
It’s easy to think you are wasting your time sometimes, especially if you are not selling much art. Being an artist is a tougher job than most people realize. To be a successful artist, sometimes we have to be much more – a good talker, marketer, and a myriad of other associated skills.
But, for artists, creating art is worth the trouble and setbacks. We are expressing yourself, affecting people through our art, and making an impact in the lives of others. This is a main function of all the arts, whether it be music, dance, theatre, writing, or visual arts. Art is the thread that holds society together…
… and this is certainly not a waste of time!
I leave you with the encouraging words of Heidi Keyes from her artist spotlight feature.
We inspire hope, and create beauty, and show that there is light and also darkness and that both are acceptable . We are the outlaws of society. We give up conventiality for creativity and security for freedom. The world is full of all kinds of people, and all kinds are needed to make the world go 'round, but we are the ones who make even ordinary things almost too beautiful to bear, and expose them for what they really are.
I am very interested in hearing what you have to say about this topic.
Have you been discouraged from creating art in the past? How have you overcome your setback?