Being an artist is a difficult job. It’s a journey and a marathon.
There are a lot of barriers, self doubt, ego talk, imposter syndrome to name a few. Here is list of 5 ways how I stay motivated as an artist.
#1 Don’t compare your art to others
It is easy to compare yourself to other artists and question why did they get that exhibition and not me?
Why did they win the prize? Why did they receive the grant? Why did they get the residency? Why not me? Is my art not good enough? Did I not work hard enough?
Comparing yourself to other artists let alone other people in general can be a dangerous rabbit hole to enter.
That’s why I like to stay in my own lane:
I try not to compare myself to other artists to look at their CVs. If I happen to witness a friend or colleague from school win or mention something – I am genuinely happy for them- everyone has a unique art practice. We all make different things that are about different topics. And that’s truly great!
Staying in my lane helps me focus on my own practice and not waste time thinking about others’ practice or entering comparison fatigue.
#2 Keep track of deadlines
I keep track of my artist deadlines by looking at art deadline websites like Akimbo.ca. I check websites like this daily or every other day. If I see a deadline that I am excited about I will take a screenshot of it and write it down in my agenda later. If there are a lot of deadlines in a certain month I will write them in order of when they are due in a list format on a sheet of paper. This helps me see which ones are due first and focus on that but also look ahead to be able to focus on deadlines that I am most excited about.
#3 Make goals or deadlines to get things done
I have a goal to apply for 7 applications every month. This goal allows me to be focused and hold myself accountable. Not every deadline takes a lot of time. Sometimes it’s as simple as submitting some photos and a copy of my artist statement.
#4 Review your goals and create systems to stay organized
It’s one thing to make a goal and it is another to keep them. It is important to review your goals and hold yourself accountable when you don’t meet them. Reviewing your goals helps to really prioritize what is important.
I also stay focused by creating systems that make it easier when I apply to deadlines-like saving files in PDF, saving different versions of files like a CV that is 2 and 3 pages and saving photos in both 300dpi and 72dpi.
#5 Find ways to stay inspired – do what works for you
It’s important to listen to your body and if you need a rest- take it. There is no sense beating yourself up about it. If you don’t feel like applying to something then think about something that you can do to still be productive or that could save you time when applying to things in the future.
Remember to take care of yourself and support other artists. It’s a difficult job but at the end of the day it’s what you love to do so it’s worth the days where you need to rest- you need that break and you just feel completely unmotivated.
Speaking of art deadlines -don’t forget about my annual art sale where you can save 20% by using the code: NOVEMBER20 in the check out on my website for the whole month of November!
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