With the cost of gas and food at an all time high, how are you doing, I mean really? I know you are worried, I mean after all, it's hard to sell art in a good economy, never mind a bad one. I have some suggestions on how to handle the idea of a bad economy. Yes, I said the idea of a bad economy because the state of the economy is in part, a perception of reality. In other words, if you think it's bad, it is, if you think its good, it can be.
1. Don't read the paper or listen to the news. I know it sounds extreme, but I have been doing it for several months now, and I still manage to find out about the important things. But I don't have to hear the doom and despair stuff over and over again. When CNN first went on the air, I thought it was great, now I am not so sure. They rarely report good news and the more people hear bad news, the worse they feel, and panic is not a good motivator, in fact it can kill creativity. The bad stories get a reaction from consumers and that is what sells, therefor, the bad news will be reported over and over again by many different news media. This can actually contribute to a bad economy.
2. Stick with your plan. If you were mailing out packets to galleries, keep doing it, even if you work at Wal-Mart during the day, just so you can sleep at night, knowing the bills will get paid anyway. If you were planning to start teaching workshops or classes, do it. Our weekly classes were at an all time high attendance this summer. There will always be people who spend money on creative endeavors.
3. Keep painting. There are people who still have money even in a bad economy and if they are in the habit of buying art, they will keep doing it. If yours isn't out there, they won't even see it.
4. Believe in your work. There is a market for every type of art. I will not tell you it is easy to find yours, but you can do it. Keep going. If YOU can't be confident in your work, how do you expect others to be?
5. Believe in yourself. You have stuck with it this far, now is no time to quit.
Don't use the economy as an excuse to pack it in. You are the only one who does what you do. You are the only one who tells your story.
6. Surround yourself with positive, uplifting, people, places and things. Just a partial list: someone who thinks you are an art Goddess, your kitty who loves you unconditionally, motivational books and CD's, movies with happy endings.
I will tell you some of my uplifting things:
A vision board with copies of my favorite paintings, copies of my largest art paychecks, (including my first book royalty check), and photos of myself with favorite people. On my ipod (a gift from a good friend), I have Esteem Aid, (it's free!) and it tells me I am awesome, beautiful, etc. Every time I shake it, it says something else nice about me. (And it doesn't even know me!) When I am walking for exercise, I listen to music from my high school years. It makes me feel young and happy and energetic. A gratitude journal that I use to record what I am grateful for. Did you know that it is a proven fact that you cannot be frightened or depressed when you are being grateful? Books by Louise Hay. She makes me feel worthy and deserving and loved. And finally and most important of all, I have discovered that I can turn around a bad mood of any kind using positive affirmations. We spend a lot of time thinking and talking about what we do not want in our lives, affirmations remind you of what you do want and bring it to life.
I would say good luck, but I don't' believe it really has anything to do with luck. Keep working and keep believing.
Peace and love,