“The reality is, for an artist to be successful, it’s extremely hard work.”
Cory Huff is on a mission: to help banish the myth of the starving artist for good. But how is he doing this? By teaching artists the world over how to turn their passion into a successful, sustainable career with his site, The Abundant Artist.
And, if you’re prepared to put the hours in, there’s no reason why you can’t do the same. As Cory says: “Basically, we help artists who want to make money understand how to do it”.
So what’s the number one roadblock that stops people from pursuing their creative dreams? “Without doubt, fear of failure and of not being taken seriously are common factors”, he explains.
But where does all this fear come from? And how did the mythological image of ‘the starving artist’ gain such a foothold in the minds of creative people?
According to Cory, the answers lie in a book by Henri Murger which was published way back in 1845. In ‘Scènes de la Vie de Bohème’ (Scenes of Bohemian Life), Murger describes the lifestyles of his aspiring artist friends, who spend most of their time thinking about being artists rather than actually working at becoming one.
It’s a fascinating collection of short stories which has inspired other famous works, most notably Puccini’s opera, La Bohème, which in turn provided the inspiration for Jonathan Larson’s musical, Rent.
Do you have to be starving to be a real artist? Cory Huff says this is a myth we need to dispel
Dispelling the ‘Starving Artist’ Myth
Although the book was written several centuries ago, Cory says the same things hold true for some aspiring artists today. “We need to dispel the myth of the starving, layabout artist,” he says. “If you want to be a successful artist, you need to see yourself as a small business owner. You need to market your product, network with people, and do all the other stuff like building a good website to showcase your work.”
If this all seems like good, common-sense advice, that’s because it’s been gained from many years of experience and knowledge. Although he’s not a visual artist (he went to drama school and took a BA in acting), Cory first started helping his creative friends when he landed his first post-college job at an internet marketing company.
He soon realized that many of them needed help with marketing their work online, and that’s when he started writing blog posts on the subject. In turn, these became the foundations for all the resources available at The Abundant Artist.
Key Resources for Selling Your Art Online
One of the main pieces of advice Cory Huff gives to aspiring artists is this: Divide your time equally between making art and marketing it. It’s called the 50/50 rule, and it’s crucial if you’re in the early stages of setting up your art business.
He also recommends joining or forming a group of similarly-minded artists who are focussed on building their careers, and taking advantage of all the resources available to you.
The Abundant Artist has a free course on how to start selling your art online, but Cory also recommends reading these books to help you get started:
Cory Huff has also been busy writing his own book, which is due for publication in 2016. In the meantime, he says: “Check out all these great resources, see what they say, and then go and do what they recommend – it really is that simple!”
Ready to launch your art career and forget all about that ‘starving artist’?
Check Out This Week’s Podcast And Learn:
- How to start thinking about your art as a business
- How to avoid ‘self-sabotage’ and giving in to your fears
- Why the online art market has changed everything
- Why changing your mindset is one of the most important things you can do as an artist
- Why writing a journal of your creative process can revolutionize the way you look at your art (seriously, this is such an easy thing to do, but it’s crazily effective!)
People on this Episode:
Mentioned in the episode:
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