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Every week we receive questions from new artists on what it takes to become a successful artist. The truth is, there is nothing easy or quick about it—instead, it is a series of positive traits and habits, done consistently, over time, that will lead you to becoming a successful, professional, artist.

Most successful artists work very hard on all aspects of their craft in order to achieve successful end results. Here are just a few of their habits and traits:

• Successful artists have a passion for their art and a passion for all aspects associated with being an artist (it is not just about creating!)

• Successful professional artists continually visualize themselves being successful in their chosen profession and they continually work towards that end.

• A successful artist will have established achievable short term and long term goals, and they will continually monitor their progress and make corrections or adjustments when necessary in order to meet those goals.

• A successful artist is focused on their art and has a personal commitment to achieving their artistic objectives. Their families also support that artist in their commitment to achieving their goals.

• A successful artist is always professional—with the public, with gallery owners, with art reps, and with art suppliers.

• A successful professional artist will identify, create, and then leverage any opportunities that can further their artistic journey and their eventual success.

• Successful artists persist. They do not quit when they have a problem. In fact, they do not generally see obstacles as problems, but rather as opportunities to learn more about their art business.

• Overall, successful artists see themselves as business people, not just as “creative” people. They realized that they had to learn other skills in order to successfully operate their art as a business and were willing to acquire the skills and expertise they needed to become (and stay) successful.

Perhaps you’ve chosen to be an artist because you are a creative person – but just being creative is not enough to be successful in today’s competitive art business. You also need good working habits, the willingness to set goals and strive to achieve them, and a professional attitude in any circumstance.

With those additional skills, any artist can become successful over time.

Special thanks to John R. Math, of Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery for contributing this post. Click the link above to learn more about their monthly themed online art competitions and art exhibitions which help new and emerging artists reach a worldwide audience!

*Note: this post may contain affiliate links*

Editor's note: Recently I caught up with Dianne Panarelli Miller, a Boston-based plein air painter who also happens to do live event paintings!

Dianne paints primarily at weddings, but she's also available for pretty much any other social event where people want to see an artist working live, and have two original paintings made. . . read more

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