Sunday, December 8, 2013

Dealing With the "Tough Stuff"

I have been debating all week whether or not to blog about a recent art related experience. I don't want to come across as negative or whiny. But the truth is, my experience is something all artists go through and I feel it's important to share how I am dealing with it and what I've learned so, here it goes.

Last weekend was the Black Friday Chrismtas Sales' Extravaganza that every retail store engaged in. I jumped on board and loaded my shop with affordable originals and I lowered my prices for my prints. I promoted it over the weekend trying to be "just enough" without being annoying. I didn't get a single sale. I was super disappointed. I did get more traffic but no purchases.

When a disappointment like this happens in your life, especially if you are an artist, a lot of negative thoughts start filling your head. Stuff like "your art isn't good enough", "all your friends who've told you your art is good were lying", "there are hundreds of people who are better than you", "maybe you should make jewelry instead" and so on. These thoughts lasted about a day or two and I tried my best to ignore them. They were just a story I was creating in my own head and they aren't the truths I want to believe in.

After a couple days objectivity comes into play. I had thoughts like "you haven't been active with your shop until this past weekend. You need to work on that.", "self promotion isn't your favorite thing to do. Find a more creative way to do it.", "make good art". That last one really stuck with me. There's a great commencement speech from Neil Gaiman called "Make Good Art". And that is what it's all about. During last weekend I had some time to paint and it felt so good and so peaceful. I didn't check Etsy. I didn't have negative thoughts. I was enjoying moving the paint on my surface and drawing with my pencils. I got lost in the art making for a while. It was joyful.

So, I'm moving forward from last weekend. It's okay that I felt disappointment but I don't want to stay in that place. I have to move forward and do what I love doing. I have to learn from the experience. So, I will spend time analyzing and honing my business skills. First and formost I have to make art that I love and not what I think people will love. I have faith my audience will find me and sales will come my way when they are supposed to.

Here are some pieces I've been working on. I just love making critters! Hopefully these guys will be in my shop this week.

Here is the link to the Neil Gaiman speech. It's very inspiring!

If you would like to share how you deal with disappointment, I'd love to hear! Just post a comment below.

Thanks for stopping by!



  1. I often have the same thoughts, but I just creating because that's what I love to do. When the time is right, people will find me and love my artwork the same way I do. Hugs!

    1. Glad to know I'm not alone, Susan. Making art is such a healing process. The audience will find you too. Hugs right back!