Marketing Your Art the Right Way

Selling Art, Not Selling Out

Tag: success

“The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.” ― Theodore Roosevelt Quote Art

“The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.” ― Theodore Roosevelt

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I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my life. Have you?

I’m not saying this because I am proud of my mistakes. I’m not, but I will tell you what I am proud of.

I’m proud of taking chances. I’m proud of bouncing back from failures. I’m proud of continuing to experiment despite the setbacks. I’m proud that I can say I tried.

If you’ve been paying attention to all the talking heads in the startup and business world, you might believe failure is a good thing. I can tell you this much: failure sucks. Failure does not make you better at business. Failure does not pay the bills. Failure is demoralizing. Even so, the truth is failure is inevitable.

If you want to achieve something great, you will also face failure. It’s not because you are dumb. It’s not because you don’t deserve it. It’s not because you aren’t special.

It’s because you don’t know what you are doing. None of us do when we begin our journeys.

It also doesn’t matter how much you follow an expert’s suggestions. You will still encounter failure. You will make mistakes. You will find obstacles all along the way.

The good news is, you will learn from your mistakes. You will learn what to do and what not to do. You will make tweaks to your process. You will adapt and change until you discover what works for you.

That is why we must embrace experimentation. We must embrace taking action despite the fact that we will run over speed bumps along the way. We must be willing to embrace the unknown.

If we don’t, we will never achieve anything. If you want to go through life without any blemishes on your record, you might as well give up now because the only people who don’t make mistakes are those who don’t do anything.

Photo by Pach Brothers

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“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan Quote Art

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

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Excuse me while I geek out a bit. I am and have always been a fan of sports and greatness. Every so often, those two mix in perfect harmony and give you a player that transcends sports. Someone who is well known beyond his chosen craft. Someone synonymous with greatness. One of those people is Michael Jordan.

Jordan is widely considered the greatest player to ever play the game of basketball. It is not often that you have near unanimous agreement about a sports player. It’s hard to compare players in different time periods. The games and styles of play are completely different. But when it comes to Michael Jordan, there are very few arguments.

There’s a reason why. In sports, most players never even reach a championship. Jordan won six. Only the best of the best win an MVP. Jordan won five. Jordan has won the scoring title in a season ten times, more than anyone who has ever played basketball. He won two Olympic gold medals for the USA. The most impressive thing might be that he did all of this while retiring three times. Two of which were temporary.

The reason I bring this up is, without failure, none of that success would have been possible. Like his quote says, Michael Jordan failed a lot. He missed over 9,000 shots. He lost 300 games and missed the game winning shot 26 times.

Failure is just part of the game. Even one of the greatest basketball players of all time faced failure. Failure, however, isn’t the goal. It’s what you do after failure that really matters.

Will you let failure keep you down or will you rise above it? Click To Tweet

Will you let failure keep you down or will you rise above it? Will you learn from your mistakes or let your mistakes keep you down forever?

Failure is one of life's greatest teachers. Every mistake you make is a lesson learned Click To Tweet

These are the questions you must ask yourself if you ever want to be great. Failure is one of life’s greatest teachers. Every mistake you make is a lesson learned. They reveal life’s pitfalls and lead you on the path towards success.

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Photos by RyanMcGuire and Unsplash

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill Quote Art

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

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Like I have talked about many times before, failure is not something to be ashamed of. Each of us encounters failure in some form or fashion throughout our lives. Artists from Walt Disney to J.K. Rowling had to go through hardship to find success.

Here are just a few notable examples of people who have failed:

Walt Disney

Early in his career Disney created an animation studio called Laugh-O-Gram Films. This studio became loaded with debt and ended up bankrupt. He could have quit after this failure, but he chose to go Hollywood instead. There Walt and his brother Roy set up another studio.

Now, Disney is one of the most iconic brands in the world, and his characters are nearly universally recognized.

Steven Spielberg

Spielberg may be known for his many blockbusters, but he hasn’t always been so successful. Before becoming the icon he is today, he was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Cinema Arts three times for having poor grades.

Spielberg went on the create some of the most iconic movies in film history. In 1995 he was rewarded an honorary degree from USC, and in 1996 he became a trustee.

Harrison Ford

You may know Harrison Ford as one of his many iconic characters like Han Solo or Indiana Jones, but Ford was not always a successful actor.

Ford began his acting career as a contract player earning $150 a week. Initially, he did not find much success. One studio official even told Ford he would never be a movie star. Before catching his big break, he had to become a carpenter to supplement his income.

Ford is now one of the most well known actors in Hollywood and has acted for over 40 years.

Dr. Seuss

Theodor Seuss Geisel was the editor-in-chief of the Darthmouth humor magazine Jack-O-Lantern, and was kicked off the staff for breaking the Prohibition law. So he began using the pseudonym “Seuss.” He later became known for his pen name Dr. Seuss.

Seuss spent years making a living by drawing cartoons for advertisements and magazines. On his boat trip back from Europe, Seuss, the rhythm of the ship’s engine inspired his first book And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. This book was rejected 27 times.

Seuss was going to destroy the book until he had a chance encounter with a friend who had just become editor at a publishing house’s children’s section.

That moment changed his life. The book became a sensation, and he wound up publishing over 60 books including The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham.

Stephen King

Stephen King may be known as one the the greatest horror writers, but it wasn’t always this way.

When King left university, he got a teaching certificate, but wasn’t able to find a job initially. So he had to work at a laundry, where he wrote short stories on the side.

King even threw away his first novel, Carrie, because he became discouraged writing. His wife retrieved it from the trash and encourage him to finish it. That ended up being the tipping point of his career.

Since completing Carrie, King has written over 50 novels and nearly 200 short stories. He has sold over 350 million copies of his books and many of them have been adapted into films and mini series.

J.K. Rowling

Before J.K. Rowling found fame with Harry Potter, she considered herself a failure. She had a failed marriage. She was jobless and raising a child by herself. She was clinically diagnosed with depression and contemplated suicide.

Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book while on welfare. You might think after the outrageous success the books had that publishers would have killed for the chance to publish the book. You would be wrong. The book was submitted to twelve publishing houses, all of which rejected it.

We know the rest of the story. Rowling ended up writing seven Harry Potter books in total, which turned into eight films. According to Forbes, she became the first billionaire writer and the second-richest female entertainer.

These stories show the failures of some of the most well known artists of our time. Each one reached a low point in their careers, but was able to overcome them and move on to great things.

Failure is not uncommon, it is inevitable. Click To Tweet

If you are to learn anything from these people it’s that failure is not uncommon, it is inevitable. It is only by making it through these failures that one will find success.

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Thanks to Business Insider for the list of failures.

“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.” – William Feather Quote Art

“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.” – William Feather

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How many times have you given up just when you were on the cusp of success? You know you could do it, but chose to give up instead. It happens to many of us. It is often the factor that separates success from failure.

I have given up on many projects. I wanted to build a website where people could discover where to buy things they saw on Pinterest or Tumblr, but I gave up. I started a blog where I posted something new I learned that day, but gave up on that too.

I have quit on many projects without success. Could they have succeeded? Quite possibly, but I chose to move on to something else instead.

What separates someone who succeeds from someone who fails? Persistence.

The problem many of us have is, we give up when things don’t go the way we planned. We look at the success others have and wonder why we aren’t getting the same results.

We need to stop looking at others and focus on ourselves. We choose to ignore the hard work that others had to put in to get where they are. Instead, we choose to envy their status. This is an unhelpful and self-destructive practice.

Instead of envying what others have, congratulate them and figure out what you can do to find the same success. Don’t aspire to be a second rate version of someone else, choose to be a first rate version of yourself.

How do you do this? By putting in the work. Instead of giving up at the first sign of failure, choose to move on.

Malcom Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours to master any skill. Have you put in your 10,000 hours? Have you put in the hard work necessary for success? Will you choose to hang on while others let go?

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Photo by Sean Hobson

“Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.” – Earl Nightingale Quote Art

“Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.” – Earl Nightingale

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What do you want? This may seem like a simple question, but most of us don’t know the answer. Do you want to achieve fame through your work? Do you want to sell enough work to live comfortably? Do you want to travel the world displaying your work? Do you want it all?

The problem many artists face without knowing it is, what do you want out of your art? Sure, you may get joy out of the sheer act of creation, but what is the underlying purpose of your work?

If you want to create art for art’s sake, that fine and good. If, however, you want more out of all the hard work you put into your art, you need to find purpose.

My purpose is helping artists achieve the goals they set out for themselves and their artwork. I want to take all the knowledge I’ve learned over the years in marketing, psychology, and creativity, and use it to help others like myself. If I can’t use my knowledge to help others, what’s the point in having it?

If you can find and set out a worthy goal, you will find success along with it. Click To Tweet

My challenge to you is to find your purpose. Discover what your goals are for your work. If you can find and set out a worthy goal, you will find success along with it.

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“I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.” – George S. Patton Quote Art

“I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.”
– George S. Patton

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General George Patton was especially equipped to judge the spirit and fight within a person. During his tenure as a General of the U.S. Army during World War II, he famously defeated German forces in France and Germany. His military leadership helped tilt the tides of war. He was known for his unrelenting discipline and his battle philosophy was notorious: “We shall attack and attack until we are exhausted, and then we shall attack again.”

You shouldn't give up because you think you've hit bottom Click To Tweet

It is with this same spirit that we must tackle our toughest problems. You shouldn’t give up because you think you’ve hit bottom. It is in those moments that you discover your true character.

We must overcome obstacles despite all odds. We must posses that fighting spirit. We must continue on and never give up.

Will you give up or will you bounce back higher than ever?

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“Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” Quote Art

“Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”

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This quote is often misattributed to Winston Churchill. Learn more about its origins on Quote Investigator.

Success

Most people think success is a destination you can reach. “If only I was as successful as she is.” What you don’t know is, that person you look up to is thinking the same thing. We think “making it” is a tangible status you can achieve but it isn’t.

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out.”
– Robert Collier

Instead of thinking of success as a destination, think of it as a mindset Click To Tweet

Instead of thinking of success as a destination, think of it as a mindset. Success as a mindset means always trying your best. It means moving forward despite the obstacles. It means learning from your mistakes. It means you are always growing.

Failure

Failure is far from fatal, it is a way to learn from your mistakes Click To Tweet

People think failure is the worst thing that can happen to them. They think failure is impossible to overcome. Failure is far from fatal, it is a way to learn from your mistakes.

Things fail for a reason. It usually comes down to a lack of foresight, a lack of preparation, or a lack of execution. Instead of seeing failure as an insurmountable obstacle, think of it as a lesson learned. What can you learn from your failure? How can you improve next time? After each failure, dissect what went wrong, and avoid doing it again.

“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed”.

– Michael Jordan

You need to think failure as an outcome rather than letting it define you Click To Tweet

An important thing to remember about failure is it does not reflect who you are. People too often attribute failure to themselves. When things go right we feel invincible but when things go wrong we feel worthless. You need to think failure as an outcome rather than letting it define you. Your projects and goals can end in failure, but don’t attach that failure to yourself. It is hard to become better when you always blame yourself.

Courage

The most overlooked attribute of successful people is persistence. Anyone can be successful if they never face adversity, if things never went wrong. The true test of character occurs when things don’t go exactly as planned. During these moments you have two choices. You can pack your things up and go, or you can suck it up and find a solution.

So many people quit just on the edge of success. It is within their grasp but instead of staying the course, they choose to give up.

If you have done your homework and know your idea can work, you can’t give up. Did you know Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star because he lacked imagination? What would happen if J.K. Rowling had given up on Harry Potter when so many people told her to? How much different would the world be if great people had given up instead of challenging themselves?

We live in the greatest time in human history. We owe it to ourselves to do what we love. So, the next time you feel like giving up, think of Walt Disney and J.K. Rowling. Think of the greatness they achieved and the gifts they gave to the world. You can give your gifts to the world too.

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Success vs Value – Albert Einstein Quote Art

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” – Albert Einstein

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Success is something we all strive for. Growing up, all I wanted out of life was to be successful. How could I not? In school we are measured by our grades. So I got good grades. Then you need to get into college and graduate in four years. So of course I went to college and graduated in four years. The next big challenge on your way to success is getting a good job. Check another one off the list.

By these standards, I should be a success, but I didn’t feel successful. There was something missing. That was until I started to share my knowledge with others. Since I started my blog for artists, I have felt a deep sense of joy that I never felt before.

If you are even a single step further along your journey than someone else, you still have massive… Click To Tweet

When you start writing, you wonder why anyone would ever listen to you. You think “I’m not an expert.” That may be true, but we all underestimate how much we know. If you are even a single step further along your journey than someone else, you still have massive value to provide. If you can save a single person from going through the same frustrations as you did, it would be worth it.

Having a small following does not exclude you from providing value Click To Tweet

There is nothing like receiving the gratitude of another person. Having a small following does not exclude you from providing value. Every compliment I receive for my writing fuels me to write more. If we are all going to live in this world together, we might as well help each other make the best of it.

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Photo by Edward Simpson

How To Be an Empowered & Successful Artist (Part 1/3)

Bob Baker has a movement. It’s not just some idea he came up with to make money or become famous. It’s a vision to change the world and how the world view artists. He wants to inspire artists and creatives of all types to “express themselves, hone their skills, and share their talents with the world!” That’s a mission and vision worth fighting for. Bob was kind enough to provide immense value to artists everywhere with his free Youtube video series “30 Ways to Become an Empowered Artist.” I’m just doing my part to spread the word about this lofty and empowering creative revolution.  In this first part of a three part series, I will give my thoughts on the first ten videos of his Youtube series. Continue reading