Sunday, March 23, 2008

I Am Not Special

In most of the emails I receive artists thank me for inspiring them to create more and reach further for their goals. In fact, that's the main point for this blog. Sadly, there is a also a small percentage of messages announcing an inability to compete with me and a general attitude of defeat. Some think that there is something special about me, and want to know my secret. There is no secret, as I've said many times. If I had to detail the one factor that contributes most to anyone's success, including mine, it's the Survivor strategy of forming alliances. In simpler terms, networking.

Of course that's after you have the technical skills necessary to produce the kind of work you are proud of. After that it's all about who you know, and the relationships you nurture. In my case, I identified my market, and focused on the people who were most likely to buy my work. My criteria has changed over the years, and so have my clients. I continually re-examine my strategy to make sure it's still what I want. So far, so good.

I was reminded of this by three recent phone calls. One from an artist who said she could never be as successful as me. I agreed. A statement like that is self-fulfilling. Besides, it's unrealistic. How could she know how "successful" I am? Even the word "success" means different things to each of us.

The second call was from another artist friend who has been in my market for longer than I have. Even though I have always shared leads, ideas, and my clients with him, he doesn't follow up. You can't get where you're going by sitting still.

The third conversation was with a new artist friend who asked for my help in critiquing his work for it's appropriateness for the decor market. After spending several hours analyzing 20 images he agreed to make the changes I suggested and get some new images to me by the next day. That was a week ago. Again, no follow through, but this time it included a broken promise.

Bottom line, produce your best work, don't compare yourself to other artists, and keep your promises.


Mary Richmond said...

this is a great post and tells it like it is!

Anonymous said...

I second the motion, I have worked over 20 years to perfect my circles and I am just now seeing where they can take me.