How to Avoid becoming ‘The Struggling Artist’

How to Avoid becoming ‘The Struggling Artist’


My journey as an emerging artist began in September 2014 as some of you might already know. Because I had no artist background i.e. I did not study art in my formal education and I have never attended art classes outside of school, I found it tricky getting my work seen in the physical world. Social media is great for promotion but it is a totally different thing getting your work into galleries. I knew the journey was already paved with organic challenges but I was excited to face them. One of the early challenges in the spectrum of them all is being tagged, with the sometimes inevitable label, ‘the struggling artist’. So I have put together four top tips of how to avoid this:


Tip 1: Don’t show anyone your work

It’s quite simple. Don’t show any of your physical work to anyone who can advance your steps in the industry. Not to gallery owners, or other artist or even collectors. They are the worst. Their critique might not be what you want to hear. Why should the opinion of others matter in what you create? It is your work after all so just avoid showing it to anybody in the first place.

Tip 2: Don’t collaborate with other artists

Again your work is special. Collaborating with other emerging artists is like belittling your work right? You want to stand out from the masses so keep your work solo and unique. After all they are your competition.

Tip 3: Don’t network

I repeat Don’t Network. Don’t attend exhibitions and get to know the roles others play in the art world. What is the point anyway? Plus you are probably awkward in those environments and would rather be at home drawing, painting or sculpting something that no one is ever going to see.

Tip 4: Bury your dreams and move on

That’s right I said it myself. It will save you a lot of rejections. No one will be able to tell you ‘No’ and you won’t have to be told “Your work is not what we are looking for”. So just bury that dream and get on with life like the rest of the world.
So it’s pretty straightforward. To avoid being the struggling artist just follow the tips above. In fact they would apply if you wanted to avoid being an artist altogether. Okay so you got me! I am being way too sarcastic for my own good. I have to confess that I am currently that struggling artist and I love it. I am young, single and have no children so this is the period which allows me the best privilege to be ‘the struggling artist’. I can be broke and unashamed. I can be daring and unapologetic. I can soak up all the adventures that come with the label. Doubtless they will one day be stories to tell my children. So I wear the tag with pride. I will never have this stage of my life again so I will enjoy it while it lasts; as long as it doesn’t last.