Motivation is Key to Selling Art
Every morning I wake up and do two things: I read my scriptures and I plan my day by writing down the five things that I need to get done that day and write down my gratitude for five things that are happening in my life. It’s a good practice that keeps me motivated.
Staying motivated in making art is really difficult sometimes. It takes a lot out of you. Not only do you put in a lot of emotional and mental effort thinking up and creating individual pieces and performances, but then you have to spend time figuring out how to get the word out about your work and how to sell it.
Make no mistake – I understand how daunting it really is, and how easy it is to lose motivation.
What Motivates Me to Make Art
I’ve been an actor since I was a teenager. It quite literally saved my life. I came from a family that didn’t exactly teach D.A.R.E. principles. The best I can figure it, these things motivate me to keep going in my field:
Fun. If something isn’t fun for me, I have a really hard time doing it. That’s why I put off doing my books, doing the dishes, or my taxes. Unfortunately, it’s often the boring parts of being in business that make you successful. Returning emails and phone calls. Evaluating what worked and what didn’t. Creating is fun. If I can figure out ways to be more productive and spend more time creating, then I am more motivated.
Money. This goes up and down. Sometimes it’s really important (though rarely before having fun), and sometimes I’m not worried about it. When I look at my bank account and it’s getting low, I realize that I need to work harder or smarter to make more money.
Making a Difference. In the end, this one is probably the most fulfilling motivator. It’s also the one that produces the most resistance. When I sit down to study a script, write a blog post, or help another artist figure out a business plan, there is that moment of resistance that Stephen Pressfield talks about, and I have to fight past it. I do find, however, that if I can successfully fight past the resistance, motivation kicks in and I engage in a creative high.
My Wife. We just celebrated our eighth wedding anniversary. Pretty big deal for us. Every time I get a little frustrated or depressed that something might not be going as well in my business as I want it to, she picks me up and encourages me. Having her as a partner is a huge motivator for me. Not to mention that she’s going back to school this Fall. I gotta make sure she has the funds to finish!
So…what motivates you to make art?