Many artists are surprised by the results of their art practice. Despite feeling like they have put in the proper time and effort for success, the outcome doesn’t meet their expectations. They may even feel it’s unfair that other people have achieved more than them in a smaller amount of time. This is what I call “disempowered thinking”! On this episode, I want to help empower you when it comes to making art. I want to teach you how to stop giving your power away and make the changes needed to see positive results.
Outline of This Episode
- [1:38] When the outcome and the expectation don’t match
- [4:29] Taking responsibility for the results of your art practice
- [07:53] Separating thoughts from actions to see results
- [14:12] Getting rid of the artist’s martyr complex and choosing how you respond to discomfort
- [18:43] Why many artists give up and what you need to keep going
Your results are in direct proportion to the actions you take
If you’re brutally honest with yourself, you may notice that you haven’t been acting on the full truth of what you’re capable of. The fullness of your skills and the quality of the actions you took to bring you where you are today. Because if we ARE honest, we would find that every single time…the result makes sense! We get exactly what we are supposed to out of our art practice based on what we put into it. Even if you’ve been an artist for 30 years, if you don’t actively take steps to better yourself and create the best art possible, you’ll never get the result you’re hoping for. You’ll never find the meaning you’re seeking in the canvas. You’ll never sell the magic number of paintings in your head. It may not feel good to hear, but the sooner we accept that WE are the common denominator in our results, the sooner we can start to grow.
Take responsibility for your art without taking the blame
Taking as much responsibility for your art as you can is the path to freedom in your art practice. Because you OWN whatever you take responsibility for. If you don’t like a painting, you can always paint something different. There is a great deal of freedom in having the option to choose. But sometimes we mistake taking responsibility for taking the blame when it comes to our results. These are NOT the same thing. One is empowering while the other is debilitating. Taking responsibility puts you in the driver’s seat. It allows you to have agency over your art and your career. Taking blame means weaponizing your results against yourself. It turns on that broken record in your mind that tells you all of the ways you’re not enough. Or it forces us to blame other people and things outside of our control because that burden is so unnecessarily heavy. Our power lies in the fact that we alone get to decide what our results mean. We get to decide how we respond to the outcome. It’s better to take ownership of our faults so that we can address them, rather than wasting all of this energy beating ourselves up.
Trading thoughts for actions
We often think the truth about ourselves and our art is represented by the thoughts we have occasionally, instead of the actions that we take consistently. We can have all of these big lofty ideas about making a living as an artist and selling our work, but if you’re not taking actions that make sure those things happen, you don’t actually believe those things in the first place. It’s time to shine a light on where you are not stepping up for yourself! I’m also fully aware of how difficult this process can be. Holding ourselves accountable and taking an honest evaluation of our art practice can bring up all kinds of complicated, and even uncomfortable emotions. But if you’re going to be uncomfortable either way, wouldn’t you rather that discomfort lead to changes that help you get the results you actually want with your art? For more insight on taking your power back as an artist, listen to this episode!