It’s inevitable that we’ll encounter obstacles and rejection throughout our lives. No one is immune to them. Our actions upon encountering them, however, can determine our success.
“History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heart-breaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.” — B. C. Forbes
I’ve put together the following points to help you overcome the obstacles you’re facing in your art career – whether it be finances, exposure, or motivation to create – and reclaim your power as an artist. Don’t let life or anyone else knock you down. Too often I've seen artists let it weaken their self-esteem and they begin to self-destruct. Other artists have overcome the impossible, or what felt like it, to accomplish many great things. And so can you!
Here are five powerful ways to overcome obstacles in your art career!
1. Be Persistent
Every obstacle or rejection is just one step closer to success. Every single successful artist is where they are today, not simply because of their talent, but because of their dogged persistence. Rejections didn’t stop them. They kept doing what they loved and kept working to be the best artist they could be. Keep trying! Persevering is the most important thing you can do to becoming a successful artist!
You never know when a potential client is looking for something or what they’re looking for. Riis Burwell, for example, has been with Blink Art since it began in 2015, but he didn’t see success until a couple years into it when clients saw an earlier piece while looking through a previous edition. He says, “That’s the beauty of Blink Art Resource. It has staying power.” And he has staying power, too. “You have to be involved in an endeavor for the long term. You don’t know when a client will be ready to work with you. I’m here when they are ready for me.”
2. Seek Out Necessary Resources
You may find yourself lacking in finances, strategies or a key piece of knowledge to conquer your obstacle. The key is to acknowledge that it is ‘resource related’. Are you struggling with staying organized? You may need to invest in an inventory system. Are you struggling with getting your work out there? Take some time to read up on best marketing practices for artists. My book Secrets of the Art World is chock-full of them!
Also, you are not alone. Don’t be afraid to consult those who can help you overcome your hurdles. There are hundreds of artists who are going through what you are experiencing. Consider getting a mentor to chat through what you’re struggling with to see how he/she overcame that challenge. Even enlisting a fresh pair of eyes on your work is a simple, but effective way to grow as an artist.
3. Learn from Your Obstacles and Gain Perspective
The “No thanks” you hear today can give you time to improve and become better than ever. Part of the success, I believe, is learning how to leverage and learn from your rejections. Rejections are teachable moments. Ultimately, the rejections you receive now will make you feel so much more grateful for the “yes” you eventually hear down the road. It will mean something. It will represent all your hard work, dedication, and persistence. Take every “no” as an opportunity to continue working and improving.
If it's a continuous "no" don't be discouraged and say your work is "no" good. Take a moment to step back from the situation and view it from a different perspective. Ask yourself, "Am I really presenting my artwork in the best way possible on my website? Do the photographs online or the image I sent to a gallery really represent what my artwork looks like?"
4. Stay Focused And Committed
Often an obstacle is not intended to weaken your actions. It is an invitation to get clear on the process to advance to the next stage. It is advising you to attend to a particular aspect now instead of the future when you have invested valuable time and energy. You might recall Thomas Edison’s well-known passage of 1,000 ways that did not work to invent the light bulb.
Don’t allow setbacks to get you down since you are bound to fall upon many setbacks in life. Obstacles help enrich your mental experience insofar as building resilience, fortitude, and strength. Every time you tackle a problem, you overcome a mental hurdle.
5. Do Something and Something Will Happen
Last but not least - and probably the most important. You cannot win if you don’t play. My father has a saying that my sister and I grew up hearing: “If you do nothing, nothing will happen.” If you don’t try and take a risk, you will certainly avoid rejection, but you also will certainly avoid success as well. Do not put limits on your own success. Do not let one person’s “No” or criticism determine your future, your success.
Through all the obstacles and rejections, keep trying, keep working, and keep improving. Never, ever give up.
Join our Facebook Group for Artists!
We've created a Facebook group called Secrets of the Art World as a collaborative community for artists to ask questions and get real feedback from artists and art industry leaders. It's free and open to any artist wanting to grow in their art career!
2019 Talent Search for Blink Art Resource!
Blink Art Resource was created as a promotional platform for artists in 2015 to have their work seen and sourced by designers for a variety of corporate, healthcare, residential, and hospitality projects. Even though there is an online component, we’re not just another online art marketplace. Each year we publish a print catalog and distribute it to 10,000+ top-grossing interior designers, art consultants and art dealers in North America. Not only does this put your artwork at their fingertips, but the best thing about Blink Art Resource is that you work with the designer directly and get to keep 100% of the commission!
Early Bird Special - Save 15% on a page or more when you sign up before October 30th