Stop Devaluing Your Art

This isn’t about money.

This is about how you think about your art and your art practice.

Imagine a room filled with 50 random people.  I can stand in front of those people & say “Ugh, it’s so hard to find time to work on my art” or “I just don’t feel like working on my art today.”  No one in the room will bat an eye.  Most people will nod sympathetically & say things like “Yes, it’s hard to find time for things like that.”

Like what?

Like a HOBBY.  Something that you do for enjoyment alone, like stamp collecting or gardening or [insert trivial but enjoyable activity here]. How can we expect society to value something that we, ourselves, do not.

This isn’t to say that time will magically manifest, nor that creativity or desire will either.  No one expects that.  But consider this:

Imagine a room filled with 50 random people.  I can stand in front of those people & say “Ugh, it’s so hard to find time to work on my business” or “I just don’t feel like working on my business today.”  Those same people that were sympathetic earlier will now roll their eyes. You’ll hear whispers like “Apparently someone doesn’t feel like being successful either” or “guess she doesn’t care that much about her business.”  They would be right.

You should have cringed when you read that last paragraph.  Who says things like “I don’t feel like working on my business” out loud??  Yet with art it’s entirely allowable.  It’s excusable.  It’s acceptable.  Because art is a hobby even to most artists (most of whom will vehemently deny they’re hobbyists).

Change Your Mindset, Change Your Life

I know that’s a cringe worthy, overused statement but it does contain some truth.  I was someone who devalued my art by thinking about it as a non-business (while also claiming it was a business).  I’ve owned brick & mortar businesses & realized that no matter how tired I was or how busy I was, I never whined about it.  I never used it as an excuse.  I freaking made time.  I stayed awake.  I make a infinite number of sacrifices to make by businesses successful.

But not with my art.  It was just art.  When that realization hit me, that I was treating my art differently than my other businesses, that’s when I vowed to change that.  Every time I’m about to say “I’m too tired / busy for art,” even internally, I correct myself.  I force myself to say “I’m too tired / busy to work on my business.”  Then I cringe, roll my eyes, and tell myself to “get over it & get busy.”

It’s Made a Huge Difference

I’m more productive now that I have ever been.  I used to wallow in depression over not having sold anything in a while or not gaining followers on a social media network.  Now I asked myself ‘what I did to earn those things?’  The answer is usually ‘not much.’  Then I get busy.

As a business owner, not just an artist, I have plans, goals, and tons of information out there to keep me on track – if I use them. Every day I find a little bit of time to work on my business. Some days are better than others.  That’s life.  The difference is I have a business, not mere hobby, so my work ethic has changed.

“No one can buy what they can’t see.”  

That’ s my new mantra.  Every time I internally whine about having to working on my website or Etsy shop, I tell myself that.  Every time I get tired of social media marketing, I tell myself that.  Every time I make a sale, I remind myself that it’s because I did the work, it wasn’t magic or luck.  Hard, time-consuming, boring, miserable work.

Stop Devaluing Your Art….

….and start taking some pride in ownership.  Pride in your business.  Art is a business like any other and it’s high time we all started realizing that with both words and actions.  stop devaluing your art.

Stop Devaluing Your Art Stop devaluing your art.