This summer I spoke with a young artist. Fresh from a Master’s degree completed in June, she’s just beginning her artistic career. She was finding these weeks a huge transition. When you’re in school, you have structure. Feedback. Community. The expectation of production and growth. When you’re working as an independent artist on your own, sometimes it feels you have little of that.
And when you’re working as an independent artist on your own, you also sometimes wonder about money. Is anyone going to like these things you make? More to the point, is anyone going to pay for them? How are you going to support yourself while you find out?
What a young artist may not know is that these questions never go away permanently. Even though you might build your artistic career, might create community, might figure out how to get feedback and keep producing and grow, might even sometimes make a living, you still wonder.
The thing is, I knew this young artist’s paintings would sell. They’re lovely to look at, interesting, distinctive, thoughtful and well-painted. I was completely sure that if she put herself in the way of her audience and kept on making her work, she’d be able to take that first big step.
By now, I hope she feels some of that same faith. She certainly has the right to. Because even with her doubts, she did one of the most important things any artist can do. She offered her art to the world. Between the 30th of August and the 20th of September, she participated in three big art fairs. And the results are in. She’s sold most of her inventory – nine paintings in one weekend alone.
I just knew it.
Here’s the question. Do I have that same faith in myself? Am I willing to let the questions and the doubts exist and go on offering? Is faith the answer to all those wonderings? Even if faith sometimes feels like all I have?
Or if I have faith, do I have everything I need?
How can you create faith in your own artistic life?
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