Sigmund Freud explained artistic motivation from the viewpoint of a psychoanalyst (a defense mechanism protecting against neurosis), but now Jason Horejs, founder of Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona, has explained it from the perspective of a pragmatic gallerist. He shared his secrets of artistic success in a recent post entitled “5 Strategies Successful Artists Follow to Thrive in Their Careers” on his blog RedDotBlog. Also the author of the books “Starving” to Successful: The Fine Artist’s Guide to Getting Into Galleries and Selling More Art and How to Sell Art: A Systematic Approach to Creating Relationships with Collectors and Closing the Sale, Horejs lays out his strategies thusly:
Strategy #1: Successful Artists Define what Success Means to Them
Strategy #2: Successful Artists Dedicate Regular Time to Production
Strategy #3: Create a Consistent Body of Artwork
Strategy #4: Organize your Business
Strategy #5: Diversify your Sales by Showing your Work in Multiple Venues
Strategy #1 includes the very helpful Venn diagram above. Simply refer to the diagram and decide what your primary motivation is. Then you can set your schedule by priorities: studio time, following the press and the parties, or schmoozing with collectors and creating spread sheets.
Strategy #2 involves creating that spreadsheet or online calendar blocking out your studio time. (Don’t forget to include time for schmoozing and parties.) Share it with your friends and family and tell them to stop bugging you during those times. Get to work!
Strategy #3 is not so important these days in the way that Horejs explains it (using examples of artists from his own stable, of course).
Strategy #4: Shouldn’t a good gallerist be doing most of this for you?
Strategy #5: Really. Do all the work to investigate places to sell your art in as many places as possible. Your gallery still gets its cut!