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085: Stay Sharp. Stay Ready.
Your time is coming... it's just not time YET...
This week’s letter is for all the Artists who are still dreaming about making a living or some money with your art. But first, some words of warning…
#1 Money isn’t everything. And definitely NOT the most important thing.
This topic isn’t meant to pressure anybody who’s out there just enjoying making their art as a hobby or outlet for your creative expression. THAT is fantastic.
Deep down, no matter if you’re trying to make a dime with your art or not, the core of success first comes from enjoying the process.
Embracing your journey IS the most important thing.
#2 Get ready. Expect it to show up.
Even if your opportunities haven’t come your way yet, or if you’ve felt passed over, you need to act as if opportunities are coming, and more importantly, be ready when they do show up.
When I say be ready, I mean you should constantly be working on yourself and your art.
What we do as Artists, by nature, is very introverted.
Get better at EVERYTHING. Not only art & production, but learning about soft skills, social media, marketing, business, & public speaking.
It doesn’t take much time to stay sharp. You could spend a few minutes a day on one topic. You may even find the studying part very enjoyable.
That’s really what it is, it’s studying. Whether you’re studying other art, studying what you see around you, or studying the art of others that have come before you.
Studying helps you stay sharp and focused.
#3 YOU are THREE FEET FROM GOLD
Have you heard the parable of Three Feet From Gold? The story tells of a young miner during the gold rush who dug for months without finding any gold. He eventually became discouraged and decided to give up. He sold all of his equipment to a junk dealer, who then hired a mining engineer to assess the claim.
The engineer determined that the gold vein was just three feet from where the young miner had stopped digging. The junk dealer resumed digging and soon struck gold, making a fortune.
The moral of the story is we may be very close to success, even when it doesn't feel like it. The last few steps are often the hardest, but they are also the most important.
Never Quit. Keep on digging.
Real life example? I was once asked by an editor I knew if I remembered a certain artist. He forgot the name, but remembered the guy’s sample and they thought he’d be a good fit for a new job. Upon finding him, turns out he hadn’t drawn in 3 YEARS. He was out of practice and not ready, to say the least. It was painful because It was a big pay day.
Imagine if he’d of just put a little effort into keeping his skills sharp and portfolio updated?
#4 Time + Patience + Persistence = ???
Understand that great success can take time… even decades! (in my own case)
Everyone wants success RIGHT NOW. So many talented artists just quit when they were three feet from gold. It could be your lack the self-awareness that maybe the truth is, you and your art weren’t quite ready for primetime. I know that was the case for me many times.
A 20-something year old artist wished to be a famous daily comic strip artist some day. Submitted a bunch of times, got nothing but rejection. He gave up on the dream and never pursued comic strips ever again.
I know hundreds of artists with the same story.
BUT… what if a Genie magically appeared and told them, he will grant you your wish, but first you must live and experience life for 25 years. You will have ups and downs, twists and turns, but in the end you will be what you wished for, but it wouldn’t be until you were in your 40s.
Would you make that deal?
Are you patient? Are you persistent?
Could you hold fast and stay sharp that long?
Be THAT kind of artist.
🔥This Week’s Drawing CHALLENGE!
This week’s drawing prompt is…
THREE FEET FROM GOLD
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Keep digging!!! You’re almost there…