by Catherine Watts

As Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” But what are the actual habits on how to be a successful artist?

How to Be a Succesful Artist 101

Why is it that some artists are more successful than others? Some believe that luck or talent determines success. In reality, it’s the habits that successful artists have that set them above the rest. Below, see the 11 habits that help artists create a successful career.

Successful Artists Practice Daily:

It takes a lot of failures to make great art. Andy Grammar wrote 100 songs before he wrote his smash top 10 hit, “Honey, I’m Good.” This goes to show that the best artists practice their craft every day. No matter what else is happening in their lives, successful artists have the discipline to practice. They even do it on days when they’re exhausted and don’t feel like it.

Successful Artists Are Continually Learning:

This is one of the most effective ways on how to be a successful artist. The art world is always changing and successful artists must change as well. Learning about new techniques and trends can help artists immensely when it comes to maintaining a competitive edge. Reading is a great way to find new ideas for art projects or to learn more about the industry from experts. If you don’t have time to read, look into taking online courses or listening to podcasts and audiobooks that can help to expand your knowledge base.

Successful Artists Let Go Of The Notion Of Perfect:

There’s an old saying that perfect is the enemy of the good. Nothing could be truer. When someone is constantly trying to create a perfect work of art, they are much more likely to not finish the project at all. Instead of attempting to make the next great masterpiece, artists should instead just create. The best way to learn whether something will work is to take action and measure the results.

Successful Artists Visualize Success:

People have the unfortunate habit of being their own worst enemy. Successful artists can create the habit of success by visualizing themselves already having achieved that picture of success. Studies have proven that visualization works. Something as simple as creating a vision board can help a person to see all of the goals they plan to achieve and motivate them to take daily action to achieve those goals.

Successful Artists Practice Self-Care:

Successful people take care of themselves. Managing stress and staying healthy helps successful artists be their most productive selves. Self-care includes but is not limited to meditation, eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep. People with great minds know that they have to make their physical and mental health a top priority in order to perform at their best.

Successful Artists Are Persistent:

Successful artists are those that are resilient and persistent. Art is highly subjective and rejection is unavoidable. Those that succeed in the end are the ones that take each rejection or failure on the chin and keep at it.

Successful Artists Wake Up Early:

Artists that succeed at the highest levels tend to be early risers. This is because the earlier you wake up, the fewer distractions you will encounter. Waking up early also gives an artist the time to practice self-care routines that will help make them more productive throughout the day.

Successful Artists Have A Positive Attitude:

Successful artists know that the body achieves what the mind believes, so they always try to maintain a positive outlook. They show gratitude on a daily basis and keep in mind that positivity helps them to persevere in times of doubt and fear. You become what you think about most, so artists should take great care in thinking positively. In order to stay positive, start listening to motivational videos. It’s also good to read inspirational quotes that can help to keep your spirits up.

Successful Artists Treat Their Art Like A Business:

Successful artists treat their art as an entrepreneur would treat their business. They know the value of organization and having detailed plans on how to make a living. If you haven’t already, you should sit down and write out a detailed plan that includes your artistic mission, your target audience, how you plan to build your brand, people you’d need to contact, your budget layout, and many other business aspects. You should utilize all of the technology available that makes it easier to automate routine tasks that still need to be completed.

Successful Artists Set Goals:

Successful people are those who set goals that are measurable. Whether it be creating a new piece of art every week or selling a certain amount of pieces, a successful artist sets a variety of short-term and long-term goals. If they aren’t meeting their goals, they find new ways to achieve their targets. Commit to putting your goals down on paper and tracking them regularly to make sure you’re heading in the right direction.

Successful Artists Network:

Successful artists see the value in networking. For artists especially, networking can be both a source of inspiration for new ideas and a valuable way to make contacts that could help in landing their next job. You don’t need to attend a corporate-like networking event in order to take advantage of networking. Artists can volunteer with local arts organizations, sign up for a class, or join online networks.

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