One popular question that I see popping up again and again is “How to Become and Accomplished Artist”.
After doing a quick search on youtube and google I came to videos that mostly focus on being profitable, famous, professional, successful.
Here is the dictionary’s defitinon:
So then I looked up the word skill and here is the definition:
So what is it? Is it profit? Is it skill? What does it mean to be accomplished? What does it mean to you?
I can go down all sorts of rabbit holes here like what exactly skill is, but I will try stay on topic and make a separate video for that.
Learning how to become an accomplished artist is something I have been striving for for the past 6 years. In the beginning, to me it meant selling my work. It meant making a living from my art. There is nothing wrong with that folks, in fact that is my goal right now, but it my opinion, the amount of work I sell does not define me as an accomplished artist.
I have been painting and drawing for most of my life and I am 45 years old now, so I have spent a lot of time in front of canvases, sheets of paper and the computer screen. I have an entire studio filled with artwork. There are loads of paintings (some completed, most abandoned), stacks of papers filled with sketches and drawings and a hard drive filled with drawings and paintings. I even painted on my studio wall when I ran out of surfaces to draw and paint on. I always heard this voice in my head saying “you aren’t selling anything. nobody is going to buy this crap. Just give up!”
But then one day, something came out of me that never came out before. Suddenly my brush was moving differently. My heart was beating faster, my focus improved, I was in some sort of zone. Everything around me vanished. It was just me and this painting. And when I finished that painting and took a step back. I said to myself “Wow! Did I just do that? I think I am onto something here.”
And from there it began to take off and my style continues to evolve every day, getting closer and closer to what I feel is truly original and authentic.
I am now proud of my work and as a result I feel comfortable sharing it with others and people are liking it, commenting on it, encouraging me to continue.
But I still haven’t sold anything. No one is asking to buy or even inquiring as to pricing. Nothing. But you know what? I still feel accomplished. I feel successful. If I were to come down with a terminal illness today and discovered that I only had one month to live, I would die feeling accomplished and successful and it is because I am happy with the work I have produced.
So now I will ride this high and keep creating, keep learning, keep growing and keep sharing and perhaps one day soon I will sell my first work of art and perhaps soon after make a living from it, but that will never define me as an artist. I will create because I want to, because I have to , because I need to.
Did you know that Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime. Now looking at Vincent’s immense body of work, do you consider him an accomplished artist? I sure do!
So I believe the moral of this story is this : Don’t let anyone determine how accomplished you are as an artist. You determine that. Don’t measure your accomplishments as an artist by your level of professional success or how much money you make or how famous you are. If you create something you are proud of, that came from your heart, then you are accomplished, now go make a thousand more!
As always, this is only my opinion. Every one has a different way to define things.
So what do you think? How does one become accomplished?
Leave me a comment down below. I am curious to know more!