Tips for Aspiring Creatives From a Seasoned Creative

Tips for Aspiring Creatives From a Seasoned Creative from North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Adventures of Frugal Mom

Making it as a creative person is always difficult, but always rewarding. As you begin working toward supporting yourself as a designer or artist you are going to face a variety of challenges. Those challenges will be financial, social, and psychological. The Web offers up plenty of advice on self-care, success, and so on. Some of that advice is pretty generic or focused on a different type of worker. 

Artist, fashion designer, and entertainer Ashley Longshore has learned or invented many tricks for making the creative life work.  What if you are focused on being an entrepreneur and an artist? Advice to office workers or working moms might not resonate or might not even be useful. However, you can still take away a few good tips, especially when it comes to thinking like an entrepreneur. 

Think Like an Entrepreneur

Be entrepreneurial, because you are an entrepreneur. If you focus on the business side of being creative, you might not produce much. But, if you can’t think like an entrepreneur, you end up in the same situation for lack of money.

Learn to think in terms of marketing. Maybe young artists have fully abandoned the idea that you must suffer for your art or that you must eschew marketing as crass or unseemly. Peddlers of fast food and health insurance market themselves. Artists exist to create art that inspires, provokes, or disturbs. Right? Yes, and no. If you are holding onto that mindset, get rid of it as soon as you can. 

Success in the world is about who you know AND what you know. There is no secret club that successful artists joined so they could get plugging into all the great gigs. This kind of talk is just sour grapes from people who don’t want to work hard. If you wanted a new job in graphic design, you’d probably tap into your network to see what opportunities you might find. Take the same attitude toward making it as a creative professional. 

Some Additional Mindset Advice

Your mindset as a creative person who wants to live a creative life will make a big difference. You need to have the skills and some natural talent in your creative field, plus a strong work ethic. Here is some additional advice from a fellow creative professional:

1. Realize that this takes lots of hard work. This is self-explanatory or should be. When you read about the lives of successful painters or artists, the stories can breeze over all the hours of unpaid or low-paid work they put in before they even approached the point where they could support themselves as artists.

2. If you want to be a pro, you need a stable source of income. Find something to do that relates to your art. Work at an art supply store, build up a freelance business in graphic design or related work online, or do whatever else you can to earn the income you need to support your artistic enterprise.

3. Ignore comparisons, and don’t compete. If you measure yourself by shows, awards, and art sales that other creatives rack up, it can sap your energy and self-esteem. Only compete with yourself and your own goals or standards, unless you are working for someone. 

4. Be yourself. Following fads and trends can be tempting, but you can become demoralized and unmotivated if you are constantly hustling to give the public what they want. This isn’t to say that you can completely ignore the public, but you shouldn’t let them tell you what your art should look like. 

In summary, be true to yourself as a creative person, be entrepreneurial and a marketer, and embrace the level of work and commitment it takes to succeed as a professional artist. 

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