How will I become successful as an artist? This is my plan for myself, I am doing my best to follow it.
Whatever style or genre of art you choose, become the best at it that you can be. Find the artists whose work you admire most, study their work and learn from them. Stay humble. Take workshops, go to museums and art shows, watch YouTube, buy some good books, and Practice, Practice, Practice.... and then Practice some more.
Always use your own voice to speak through your art. Figure out what it is you wish to say and then find & develop your unique and authentic way of saying it. That means you can't just copy other artists - either their style or their subjects - and you’ll have to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Your position in this world is yours alone – discover it, embrace it and then let the rest of us see it through your eyes.
Never miss an opportunity to present and promote yourself and your work. Treat your art like a business. At the very least, have your own website and Facebook page that are dedicated to your art. Your cat is cute and your views on who should win “Dancing with the Stars” are interesting, but you need to have an online presence that showcases your art and focuses on your seriousness as an artist. There are free platforms (such as Blogger and Wordpress to name just two) and paid options (I use Squarespace) that even a complete novice can take advantage of to set up a website in a few hours. To set up a Facebook Page just go to your home page, scroll down the right column and click on “Create Page”. It, too, is free, simple to set up and takes no time at all. Lastly, there's a local art scene where you live – maybe it’s only a frame shop or an art supply store, maybe you’ve got museums, organized “art walks” and even a local artist’s association or collective. Whatever there is, get involved in it. You don’t have to be the life of the party, but show up from time-to-time, take an interest in and get to know people, make genuine connections.
Above all, if you believe in what you're doing, then have the patience and persistence to see it through. It can take years of directed practice to become the best you can be. Deciding what you want to say and finding the authentic voice in which to say it could take years as well. Developing the network of friends, supporters, allies and business partners who will lead you to and become the buyers of your work could take even longer. It's said that through the Power of Positive Thinking a person can accomplish miracles but miracles can't happen. Anyone who takes on any great challenge is bound to face obstacles, experience disappointments, suffer setbacks and find failure along the way. But if you have a passion for what you’re trying to accomplish and believe in your own abilities then you can be positive that you will always overcome. You can be positive that you have the patience for the long road ahead. You can be positive that you have the persistence to press on, always taking the next step on the path, always keeping your eye on the ball.
People want to connect honestly with other people - it's the primary way through which we create meaning in our lives. Be the best you can be at showing people the real you and when enough people see you, eventually some of them will want to know you and become a part of your life by having a piece of your art. Though it may seem like the wait is forever, all things come to those who hustle while they wait.
Now, go forth and prosper.