5 Secrets of Successful Artists

Posted on: January 26th, 2014 by deborah 6 Comments
photo 1 photo 2 photo 4
A note about the photos: I finished volumes 12 and 13 last year. What a happy coincidence that I started vol 14 of my sketchbooks this month.  The second and third photos are quick snapshots of spreads from volume 13.


I really enjoy listening to, learning from, and looking at the work of other artists. Last year I was really fortunate to  have opportunities to collaborate with and learn from some great ones. Not wanting to miss a moment of my experiences, I spent a good chunk of my time last year documenting as much as I could through drawings, photographs and notes in my sketchbook. What I learned not only increased my passion for art and art making, I also picked up some really good habits to improve my studio practice.  Below is a list of my five favorite “secrets” I learned from working with and observing other artists.


1. Release any negative feelings or thoughts you’re holding. For me that usually means deciding not to beat myself up if I miss or am running behind on a task or deadline. The trick seems to be to not let yourself get paralyzed when you fall short but  instead to try to find a good place to pick up where you left off and keep going.


2. Build real and meaningful community with other artists, art lovers and creative thinkers. If you are a regular reader of this blog or my facebook page you know how much this one means to me.  Actively building circles of creative thinkers and makers can lead to wonderful spaces of mutual inspiration and support.


3. Share what you know and what you have with others. It is a gift to be an artist and to live a creative life. We are given our gifts to share them.


4. Learn about other artists and their lives. Read blogs, catalogs and monographs, visit art galleries museums, attend artists talks. I read something by or from another artist daily. I always try to purchase catalogs or books by or about my favorite artists. And well, anywhere I go the first thing I do is look up the galleries and museums in the area!


5. Experiment. Fearlessly become a beginner over and over again by trying new materials, new approaches, new perspectives. Take a class in something that you know nothing about. Make a trip to an art supply store, a hardware store or a thrift store and pick up something unusual. Play with ways to incorporate the material into a new piece. Creative explorations always lead you somewhere. Let your experiences move you.


Of course none of these steps work unless you show up every day to create.  Even if I only have 15 minutes I try to make a quick sketch or note in a sketchbook. smear some paint in a collage. Something!!!!


What do you think? How about sharing a few of your own secrets of success for artists? Jump in and leave a comment!
Peace and Happiness,



Tags: , , ,

Categories: Art Life

6 Responses

  1. Mike Maliska says:

    Great post you have, this is a must share with our fans!

  2. Joyce Daniels says:

    Love this, especially numbers 4 and 5. I have just retired and just starting to get into creating fabric art. I love your work and your blogs.

  3. Grace says:

    Great article and sage advice. Totally agree and have done most….now need to find my #2, community/tribe locally. Miss that part.

Leave a Reply