The Most Important Secret: How to Make it as an Artist – Art Design Consultants


The Most Important Secret: How to Make it as an Artist

Posted on 02 July 2018

an image of art comes alive's call for artists

Over the years I have had the distinct pleasure of working with hundreds of professional artists, and I have seen many succeed with the help of ADC and our art competition and exhibit, Art Comes Alive (ACA). It’s exhilarating to watch their careers soar. After witnessing them earn a living by selling their art for the past 26 years, I’ve come to believe that above all else, you need a completely positive mindset to succeed. If you think it, you can do it. You own the right to be happy, successful, inspired, and to create.

a woman artist standing in front of a blank canvas

But having a positive mindset isn’t just a state of being. It takes work and mindfulness to get there. Here are some of the mindfulness techniques I’ve learned along the way:

Speak Kindly to Yourself.

Thoughts attract outcomes, so give yourself positive affirmations on Post-Its and stick them to your bathroom mirror in your studio. Talk out loud to yourself and often. Say things like:

  • “I am a beautiful, creative soul.”
  • “I create beautiful work.”
  • “I can do it.”
  • “I can create anything I put my mind to.”
  • “I have all that I need.”
  • “I am happy.”
  • “I am healthy.”
  • “I love my life.”

Avoid Negativity and Toxic Behavior and People.

If you find yourself being drawn into negative or toxic conversations:

  • Gently steer conversations away from the negative, or just come out and say, “This conversation is becoming too negative. This is not helpful.”
  • Ask how someone might “reframe” the conversation or problem to be more positive or to find a viable solution.
  • If the situation is chronically negative or toxic, keep your conversations short. You’re in control of what you put into your mind and body. Don’t let others dampen your spirit.

Adopt and Practice a Value or Belief System.

Some of the most positive people I know have a value or belief system that helps them to feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves and makes them feel like a better person. They practice it daily by helping others, working from a place of gratitude, and/or being kind and generous in mind and spirit.

  • Think success. Thoughts matter. You will do and become what you think. Optimistic people believe, for example, that whether they have $5 or $5,000,000, they’re wealthy and have all that they need.
  • Increase your expectations. Aspire to greatness. Expect that great things are about to happen at any moment. Believe your life is just beginning, that good things are about to flow in an abundance of ways. Open yourself to the flow of positive energy and expectations.
  • Say “No” less, and “Yes” more! Instead of saying “I don’t ______,“ say, “It might be fun if I go.” As you change your perspective to being more positive, you’ll find your experiences are more positive, too.
  • Dream big. If you want big success, a big life, or just a life that you can call your own and feel fulfilled, then dream big. Dream and envision what you want for your life.

Don't Give Up After Rejection

Those of you who read my book Secrets of the Art World already know that back in 2008, after the real estate market crashed and many of my clients stopped purchasing art, I was faced with a difficult choice: Close the doors of my gallery and quit, or keep going, dig deep, and work harder than I ever had to improve—not only the business, but myself. Since I am here writing this blog today, the choice I ultimately made is fairly obvious.

I didn’t quit.

Trust me, I wanted to. I had some hard days. Some downright scary days. But I believed, without a shadow of a doubt, that if I did the necessary work, invested in myself and my business, and kept pursuing my passion, ultimately success would follow. I heard a lot of rejection in those days. Clients I counted on for years to purchase art were laying off employees and had no financial resources for art. I attended nearly empty trade shows and sold zero art. Through it all, I told myself: I can do this. I can figure this out. I will use this time to become better.  

Over the years, I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with some of the most successful artists in the world. Every single one of them is where they are today, not simply because of their talent, but because of their dogged persistence. Rejections didn’t stop them. The word no didn’t stop them. Being poor didn’t stop them. They kept doing what they loved and kept working to be the best artist they could be. 

If you’re already there, great! Keep doing what you’re doing! But if you need some positive mindfulness, then I’d start thinking about this life that is totally possible.

I know you can!

an image of Litsa Spanos' signature


art comes alive

Known as the “Academy Awards for Art,” Art Comes Alive (ACA), ADC's annual art competition and exhibit, is embarking on its 10th year of helping artists get their work in front of art-industry professionals such as interior designers, art galleries, private art collectors, and corporate collections. Each year the art competition gets bigger and better, and this year over $300,000 in awards will be given to artists through gallery contracts, purchase awards, publishing contracts, and more!


Buy one entry and get one entry free on a 4-image entry only through Friday, July 12th with the code ACABOGO19 at checkout. That's a total of 8 IMAGES (2 separate entries) for the price of one 4-image entry!

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  • Collin Rowland : July 09, 2018

    Thank you Litsa!
    This post brings a valuable reminder and wisdom through perfect timing!!

    Keep up your excellent work,

  • Michele Tragakiss: July 09, 2018

    Thanks for this reminder. I try to practice these tips but once in a while it’s great to have a reminder to stay on the path!

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Meet Litsa

Litsa Spanos – loving wife and mother of three – is an established art consultant, award-winning gallery owner, custom framer and educator. In this blog, Litsa shares with you her love for beautiful things. She will give you an exclusive look into the world of fine art and the artists who create it. She will also let you in on inspirational design ideas that are sure to give your home or office energy, warmth and reflect your own personal style.




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