I make my living as a full-time vocational artist, speaker, author and leader of an artist mentoring group. Because of that dynamic, I get asked one question a lot in almost every situation I find myself. It goes something like this: "I'm a (fill in the blank) artist and I want to start selling my work (or start making money, start thriving, etc) but I just can't seem to choose a direction. I like everything. What should I do?"
This question and ones like it encapsulate the dilema in which many emerging artists find themselves; that is how to go from the proverbial here to there. How do I move from being a hobbyist to a more serious part-time or full-time artist. It's a big frustration for many that keeps them up at night, causes confusion and even anxiety about their purpose in life. However, it doesn't have to be that way.
I want to compare and contract the way hobbyists approach their art practice vs the way professional artists approach theirs. This is not to say that all hobbyists are immature or that all professionals have 'made it'... However, in my experience in working with artists and from my own journey, these attributes are true for many. Hopefully this comparison will give you some insight into where you are now and how to start moving in the direction you want... to be a thriving artist!
Find out more about my online artist mentoring group where I'm helping artists of almost every creative medium learn to thrive creatively, spiritually and financially.
Matt Tommey is an artist, author and mentor who is passionate about empowering artists to thrive spiritually, artistically and in business.