I think everybody should be nice to everybody. (75)

All of our suffering in life is from saying we want one thing and doing another. Debbie Ford

This quote reminds me of the seven things that artists do to themselves by approaching their art like a hobby instead of business, which it is. Don’t believe me? Ask the Internal Revenue service.

  1. Hobby artists give their art away. You should never give your art away if you want to build a market for it. Yes. That includes charitable donations and gifts to loved ones.
  2. Hobby artists operate in deep denial. They say that money doesn’t matter to them. Please. I’d like to meet someone who doesn’t care about money. Even a monk must rely on the financial donations of supporters.
  3. When someone expresses interest in buying a hobby artist’s art, they are not prepared to sell it because they can’t state the price.
  4. Hobby artists don’t have a clear, concise, and current written plan to sell their art. A plan to sell art without a plan is a plan to sell no art.
  5. Hobby artists are waiting for someone else to discover them. But no one is coming to save you, and no one will ever discover you.
  6. Hobby artists surround themselves with other artists who are often competitive and jealous of other artist’s success. Successful artists have a mentor and a strong support network. It’s too hard and too lonely to try to build a creative enterprise alone.
  7. Hobby artists buy into the cultural myth of the “starving artist” and just assume that’s the way it is. The problem with this is that your life is the story that you’re telling yourself.

Now if selling your art does not matter to you, there’s no shame in that. You have a meaningful hobby. But this blog is probably not the place for you. That said, I have yet to meet an artist who does not feel happy, affirmed, and inspired every time they sell their art. So how are you approaching your art? Are you approaching your art as a hobby or as a business? Hint: Businesses exist to generate a profit. Please share below.

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