As artists’ we are continually growing, so we need to accept that failure is a natural part of the process. You can learn how to develop a ‘success’ mindset. Here are the most common challenges and solutions.

  1. Fear of Failure:  There is no such thing as ‘failure’, as this only happens when you give up.

Action: Adopt a mindset of being comfortable with doubts and the unknown. Try new ideas and expect some of them to succeed and some of them to fail. Adapt your thinking and figure out what works.

  1. Fear of success: Artists’ create challenges in our minds that simply don’t exist or can be easily overcome. Common success fears are; how to find time to create artwork, what happens if someone copies your artwork, and business questions such as how to price work.

Action: Define what success means to you. Break the overwhelming questions down into bite size chunks. Get used to being out of your comfort zone. Prioritise tasks that are uncomfortable. Visualise enjoying success and where you want to be (not the challenges).

  1. Fear of hard work:  Anything worthwhile won’t always be easy.

Action: Commit to doing the work. Find a mentor to help you focus. Create artwork daily and make it a habit, regardless of whether it is good or not. Join a network or group to help you feel supported. Plan your schedule in advance and you will gain momentum and flow.

  1. Fear of being disliked: Everyone likes to be loved. However, not everyone will be a fan. Learn how to be okay with this.

Action: Be yourself and let your true personality shine. Remind yourself of your strong points and what makes you unique. Focus on being around people that make you feel good. Accept that people have different tastes.

  1. Fear of releasing imperfect work: Your work will never be perfect, so stop trying to be.

Action: Stop worrying about creating the perfect masterpiece. Instead release new work that isn’t perfect. Don’t be afraid to leave small blemishes. Focus on creating new pieces and developing new techniques and skills.

  1. Fear of money: Charging the right amount or asking for money is part of knowing your worth. Think of successful selling artists and their confidence.

Action: Learn how to take your emotions away from accepting money. Adopt the mantra ‘I deserve to have financial success’. Be willing to sell your art for what its worth. Find collectors who love you and your artwork.

  1. Fear of promotion: The myth ‘good art sells itself’ is true. You can have the most incredible art in the world, but if your buyers can’t find it then it won’t sell easily.

Action: Change a negative mindset from seeing ‘promotion’ or ‘marketing’ as bad. Instead view it as ‘communications’ with your fanbase or new customers. Build your community and customer base by actively communicating.

Finally, build your faith and mindset so strong that you get used to being uncomfortable and working through doubts or challenges. These uncomfortable feelings then disappear.

By Shirley-Ann O’Neill