April 5, 2013 Leave a comment
Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.― Henry Ford
We’ve represented a wide range of clients since I launched my company over twenty years ago. We’ve worked with professionals such as physicians and attorneys; we’ve represented spas, salons, and beauty products. We’ve worked with fashion designers, musicians, film producers and authors. We’ve also represented fine artists, painters and sculptors.
Some clients that we’ve worked with have often been launching a new company, struggling to get ahead and working to build their business. Some have had obstacles to work through and overcome. Our job has always been to work with them to help them achieve their goals.
Many of the artists we’ve worked with have been amazing clients and successes in their field. They’ve been a pleasure to work with. But (there usually seems to be a “but”, right?) I have found that the fine art world still suffers from a syndrome that is specific to them – the Starving Artists Syndrome. These particular artists contact me about marketing and PR and then spend the bulk of the conversation explaining their starving artist status.
I was prepared to find this belief in the art world. It’s been rearing its head for a while. What I was not prepared for was how many artists embraced it, wrapped themselves in it, and wore it as a badge of courage. I don’t mean to sound heartless, but there are a number of people out there who revel in their starving artist status. It’s who they are. It’s what defines them.
To quote Michael Michalko, author of a number of books including Creative Thinkering: Putting your Imagination to Work, “The artist is not a special person… Every one of us is born a creative, spontaneous thinker. The only difference between people who are creative and people who are not is a simple belief.” But often that belief brings with it a number of other incredibly destructive beliefs including those absurd notions that a life in the arts equates with a life filled with struggle, hardship, and ultimately, failure.
If you in any way identify with this starving artist definition, I have three words of advice – get over it! Shift your perspective, instead of describing yourself as a starving artist; see yourself as an artist entrepreneur. This will require more than a definition change, but that is your starting place. No one knows better than an artist that perception creates reality. Henry Ford, an artist in his own right, was on the mark when he said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” Artists, take those words to heart.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2013