Kicking your Art Career into Gear

Carlos and I are getting together each week on Friday for a brand new series of videos discussing the business side of art.

In this episode we talk about:

• Getting things started
• Some of the things we have planned for the upcoming year
• What’s holding you back and how to overcome it
• Taking action

If you have a topic you’d like us to cover in future episodes please leave a comment.

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8 Responses to Kicking your Art Career into Gear

  1. I absolutely can relate to the first two conversations. I have been illustrating for the children’s market for 25 years – most of it for the educational/magazine market. Freelancing can be a finicky beast to satisfy. After spending 4 years as an art director in a harsh advertising environment, I finally left to return to freelancing full time – and I just finished my first week back! Last week’s broadcast calmed my nerves and helped me focus, and today brought me that much closer to my goals. I will be in SC at the Highlights Hidden picture workshop this coming weekend (being taught by Highlights Team, Tim Davis and Cynthia Faber Smith). I would not be able to take this step back to what I love without a great support system – from both family and colleagues. Yes, I believe in my abilities, but they hold me up – and keep me accountable to my goals. Thank you for starting this series…I am so very grateful!

  2. Great advice.
    Resonated with me. Needing those that lift us up.
    – there sure have been times here and there, Wondering, “What am I doing?”
    Yet I move on ahead as best I can.

    I chose a focus word for coming year ahead- Open.

    Lisa G.

  3. I’m really glad you opened this discussion, because I think the subject of self-doubt and how it leads to failure to launch ideas, and failure to complete projects, lurks in the back of many artists’ minds. You explore it openly and honestly.

    I’ve been giving this subject a lot of thought, as it relates to the constellation of topics I’m planning to cover in my own blog. And here are my off-the-cuff thoughts…

    I think that this gap between making a resolution and the ideal outcome has less to do with time management and discipline and more to do with emotion. Usually that’s anxiety, worry, and fear about failure but sometimes success too. And those feelings could be for various reasons.

    Sometimes it’s because we’ve received vague negative feedback from others at a critical point in our development or career and are unable to apply that criticism in a constructive, actionable way; so it eats at our confidence whenever we try something new and step out of our comfort zone. Sometimes it’s because success means an inherent change in relationship to other people in your life. Maybe deep down you’re worried about competing with people who you’ve looked up to. Maybe you’re afraid of losing non-artist friends if you’re successful (this relates to how you mentioned surrounding yourself with balloons rather than anchors, some people are unconsciously threatened by their friends, or family member’s, success). Maybe you’re worried about being able to handle the extra responsibility, whether that’s for responsibility to consistently deliver the same results, or simply to up the level or speed of work.

    People get into avoidance behavior because it works. It avoids the discomfort of change, and of addressing these worries. There is a reason for it. But taking a step out of ourselves for the moment and thinking about the future can help shake us out of that avoidance in the short-term. That’s also why accountabili-buddies are so helpful, they force us to step outside of our current state of mind and be accountable too.

    At the same time, it’s difficult to change these habits for the long-term and get to having a new relationship to one’s work. It requires a lot of changes, in small, actionable, measurable, ways. That’s why it’s better to focus on one habit at a time to tweak, one thing to do today, (or even better, right now), than to try to overhaul everything at once. Put that article you read into practice _right now_. With consistency, that smaller uncomfortable change will become a habit and not feel so uncomfortable. And once you get results, you’ll feel the reward for doing it.

    This reply is already too long, so I’ll wrap it up. This is a great discussion, keep it going, and thank you for putting it out there!

  4. Great video! I really agree with teaming up with a partner, even if your specialties are different. After 25 years I’ve just recently begun to do this and the interaction really fuels the creative process. Not to mention eliminating the isolation!

  5. Very entertaining and hugely informative! I enjoy the fun chemistry of you two and respect and appreciate your professional wisdom. Looking forward to much more of these videos!

  6. Hi Carlos, we met at a Dallas con a couple of years back. One thing I would love to hear about is any advice on how to figure when to keep trying to kick a project into high gear and when to admit that it’s dead in the water. My strip has been going for over 6 years now and it still hasn’t really garnered the type of traction that it needs to sustain the effort that I put into it. I would hate to give it up, but maybe I should focus on a different project altogether. Any advice? Thanks!

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