An Artist Pep-Talk

So you're not really sure if you can call yourself an "artist" yet, but you have a healthy amount of artwork completed.

You have been leisurely creating art for a couple years now and are beginning to grasp a firm grip on your craft.

A few of your friends think the work you're doing is pretty cool and encourage you to keep making it. You are contemplating the idea of showing your artwork to strangers and perhaps trying to sell some of them.

But wait... what if it isn't good enough for galleries? What if no one likes it? What if I suck?

Stop it. First of all, anyone can call themselves an artist. It is not classical painting skills that define what an artist is. If you like creating things, you are an artist, period. The type of person who ponders the question about themselves as an artist clearly has a pre-determined notion of what an artist is. Perhaps an individual with paint splattered clothes who torments themselves over a canvas all night long. Or a philosophical college grad at starbucks who sketches as their friends chat away. Yes, these are artists as well but there is no spectrum that you must fall on to be deemed an artist.

If we have to put labels of the level of an artist then add an adjective to the word so we have "casual artists" or "prolific artists".

Secondly, who gives a rats ass whether or not people will like your artwork. Any creative field is open to subjective criticism but it is just that... subjective. It makes no difference what Person A thinks because Person B may think it is a masterpiece.

No artist on the planet has ever received 100% positive reviews and thank god for that. Criticism is a wonderful thing and keeps life spicy.

It makes no difference what on-lookers think about your work because most of the time, you didn't paint it for them.

Did you really have some negative asshole you never met in your mind when you painted the painting? Of course not. If anything you should relish the negative responses because it helps you become a better artist.

I am under the believe that art should be created and enjoyed by anyone. But so many people get caught up in the "ifs" and "buts" that they end up never showing their work.

In fact, many will stop creating it because of one or two rejections by a gallery. Here are some facts you should remember:

1.) Galleries get dozens of submissions a day, often far more.
2.) Criticism will come no matter how amazing the artwork is.
3.) Genre is unimportant, create what is natural to you..

not what you think people will want to see.
4.) Stop caring about what other people think and care about your art.

I have been rejected by COUNTLESS galleries (not an exaggeration) but the ones that do accept your work will appreciate it. Stay positive and relax.


Artwork by dat-Fips on deviantart.com