Letter #9

Dear Artist,

So you are considering what you have done and are wondering if being a full time artist is the right choice. You are finding there is no bi-monthly paycheck, no one to report to, no time clock to check in, and no comfortable stability on this path. Things are starting to get more complicated than you realized they would. There are two choices, face your fears and proceed or give in to the doubt.

 

One school of thought is that only those who must succeed will. In other words, by leaving your day job you have forced yourself to work has hard as it takes to make it. Are you willing to keep at it even through tough times?

 

Often there are many rough patches along the path for a self-sufficient artist. The most common issues are self-doubt, unpredictable funds, and the race against time. Let’s discuss these stressful but normal issues.

 

Self-doubt seems to plague us all. No one is immune to it; but like all disease there are powerful remedies that can make it better. For me a good night’s rest, a brisk walk and the sun shining on my face can send self-doubt into its hiding place. Even the greatest of artists have had self-doubt.

 

American artist Sydney Pink once said, “The idea of divine inspiration and an aha moment is largely a fantasy. Anything of value comes from hard work and unwavering dedication. If you want to be a good artist you need to look at other artists, make a lot of crappy art, and just keep working.”

 

Some of your art might be crappy art, that is where the self-doubt comes in, but you can’t make great art without some crappy stuff showing up along the way. Keep at it.

 

If another panic you are having is unpredictable funds, then figure out a way to earn what’s needed to survive while you are establishing yourself. There are so many options today to get money so be creative, you are an artist, figure out a way. Whether it is teaching others your skill, or live painting at events, or becoming an Uber driver there are ways to add to your income that will not sink up all your time and resources.

 

The last factor, however, is a little hard to beat, as time is not super flexible. My suggestion is to take it seriously and do not waste it, ever. Always use preplanned work time to make more art and to market what you are doing. Lots of art is great, but people knowing about it makes it much more tangible as a sellable resource.

 

If you have apiece of art that you are just not sure about then send me a photo of it on Instagram @ Uncle5star_studioselfie4 and I will give you a quick 5 ★ rating. It’s free and an easy assessment to give you piece of mind or a gentle nudge to continue.

 

Keep the letters coming; I enjoy answering your questions.  I have experienced a lot of what you are sharing at one point or another in my life as an artist. Never have I regretted my decision to create; it has given me much to offer the world.

 

Make more art, and live a little more,

 Uncle Salvador

© 2019 All images may only be used with A. M. Hedin's written permission.

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A. M. Hedin @ Studio Selfie 4

504 E. Lakeside Ave #9

Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814

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All artwork & Photographs are by Anne Hedin unless otherwise noted. © 2020