If I were going to name one reason people don’t see success, its because they fail to implement what they’re taught.
When I first started TAA, it took me a long time to get my head around this. We’ve had over 12,000 artists come through our courses.
There’s a whole world of people out there who never finish what they start. The entire online marketing course world revolves around the idea that students won’t implement what they’re taught, because if they did, they wouldn’t need those teachers any more.
The habits and daily actions that create success matter FAR MORE than what you know or who you know.
Most artists know they need to make art every day. But they don’t. If you do, you’re the exception. Trust me on this.
Most artists know they need to put in the time to learn to run their business. But they don’t. Then they sit around and complain about how no one appreciates them.
Here’s a secret to success: if you were to spend 1 hour per day marketing your art, after a month, you would be further along than 90% of artists. If you spent 2 hours per day, you would probably see significant income. If you spent 4 hours, I bet you could make $100,000 in your first year.
But people don’t. Because … well, there’s always a reason.
We recently ran a class and the most common reason people gave for not signing up for the class?
I haven’t finished my website yet.
That’s not the worst answer ever. It’s a requirement for the course to have a website before you take it. But we’ve had students finish a website in a week because they knew it was a requirement for joining the class.
I’m not judging you. There are lots of good reasons that people don’t finish things.
Sometimes a huge new commission comes in and you’re busy with paid work. That’s the best reason not to finish a course. Getting married, having a baby, a child getting sick, those are all legit reasons.
I run a small accountability program for a handful of our course alumni, and here’s what a typical 3 weeks looks like for one of our successful artists (slightly edited to remove identity):
Set up for ArtWalk.
Participated in two-day ArtWalk.
Took down ArtWalk display, packed up, put everything away.
Sent ArtWalk thank you notes to buyers and organizers.
Submitted images of older work for possible donation to new hospital.
Worked on second tutorial.
Worked on new series of art done with natural dyes.
Finished first three pieces in new series. Photographed and put on website.
Researched how to use UV varnish on new work and applied varnish.
Worked on newsletter featuring three new Elemental pieces.
Retrieved consignment work from Museum and submitted invoice.
Ironed all leaf print scarves and labeled for ArtWalk.
Curated jewelry to be shown at ArtWalk.
Curated paintings to be shown at ArtWalk.
Handed out the last of my ArtWalk cards.
Submitted work for ArtWalk Collector’s reception and delivered selected painting.
Attended ArtWalk Collector’s Reception.
Got everything ready for ArtWalk — painting labels, price signs, sales books, tables, tablecloths, etc.
What’s not present in these weeks? Excuses.
This artist is doing the work every single day. She’s doing the boring, repetitive computer work, as well as the anxiety inducing work of talking to people about her art. Live. In person.
So, all of the stuff that happens in life that can get in the way? Stuff like:
– chores & errands
– day jobs
– family obligations (I’m NOT saying you should ignore your family, but I have found quite a few people who haven’t even discussed their desire to have an art career with their families, so there’s never room made to make it happen)
Its all just noise. Its stuff that artists use to distract themselves from the unpleasant parts of being an artist.
Achieving your goals as an artist requires eliminating distractions and learning to say no.
For beginning artists, saying no might look like this:
– My sink is piled up with dirty dishes.
– I have a day job that doesn’t engage me, but it allows me to have mental energy for making art
– One night per week, I ignore my family and paint
– Every night after the kids go to bed, I work on my art business
For more experienced artists, saying no might look like this:
– I have a studio that I can use to escape from daily distractions
– I don’t do anything until I’ve painted for at least an hour that day
– I spent at least 50% of my time marketing my art, whether I want to do that or not
– Turning down paid opportunities that distract from bigger paying opportunities
So, what do you need to say no to right now in order to move your art career forward?