Struggling Artists: 3 Things You Need to Know
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When struggling artists have a hardship he or she can find it difficult to create. Considering this insurmountable difficulty struggling artists feel like they’ve hit a brick wall. Maybe you or someone you know is a struggling artist.


My father is an artist. For most of my childhood into my adult life, my father spent time pursuing his art. And the rest working to make ends meet.


Eventually, he became a full-time artist to fulfill his dream of focusing his time on creating. I realize he’s not alone. Struggling artists exist.


All artists struggle. Your struggle indicates that you’re in the game and not sitting courtside.


What if being an artist is like being an entrepreneur?


Imagine an empty canvas in front of you. And in your hand, a stylus. How would you paint a visually stimulating nude?


First, you envision in your mind: a vision of her beauty? Is she sitting or standing? Or dancing? What impression should she make?


Is she voluptuous or lean? Does she have coarse hair? Delicate skin? Is the figure positioned squarely in front of you, or partially obscured from view?


When you’re set to render the anatomy, you sketch the head first. Then, you measure the height of the body (7-8 heads long). Next, you work on the details. Her delicate curves, her arms, eyes nose, and hair.


Moreover, artists and entrepreneurs come from similar backgrounds. Entrepreneurs have a passion for making a difference in people’s lives. Creativepreneurs, a mash-up of creatives and entrepreneurs want to pursue their passion. 


You open yourself up to criticism by sharing your work to create a pleasurable experience. Allowing your collectors to glance through your portfolio, feeling confident and uplifted. The point often overlooked, you communicate your message through your paintings.


Walk away today knowing the struggles of artists. Based on my own experience of working with my father to promote his artwork, I’ll share the struggles he’s faced. Specifically, in this post, I’ll show you that the lack of recognition, support, and earning potential faced by artists are similar to other professions. 


Being an artist is like being an entrepreneur.


Lack of recognition for struggling artists


Ever worked on a piece that you were proud of? You share the work and wait for the comments and shares. But the response is minimal.


Your comment section is bare. And your number of shares are better off concealed than proudly displayed.


Pff, it even happens to your works in progress.


Whenever you share your process online, you give insight and context to your art. A valuable way for collectors to learn about your process. Or involve your followers in a work that you’re currently doing.


People are searching online for artists to create the kind of art you specialize in to proudly display in their home. You know your work evokes emotions that many of your viewers have.


Why are your comments and shares miserable? Been there? I have and so has my father.


He’s worked on pieces that I thought were aesthetically pleasing only to never make it to a new home. Frustrating, right?


Being an artist or creativepreneur is a gift that everyone doesn’t possess or understand. Creatives see the world differently. A common struggle faced by artists and other creatives too.


Certainly, I’m learning an important lesson about art and struggle. Always remain true to yourself. Produce the art that you love to create. 


“I’m trying to talk to the viewers’ brain. And elicit an emotion.” – Romero


To demonstrate, does the figure below by Romero stare into your eyes, or avert your glance?



Blue Nude by Romero
Blue Nude



Lack of support for struggling artists


Struggling artists is often seen as a myth. In reality, many artists including struggling artists lack support. They’re told “you’ll never make a living as an artist” or “you need to get a real job.” 


As a matter of fact, people have expressed to me that “maybe you should look for a job.” Let’s face it, our job is to create. That’s our profession.


What exactly is a real job? Romero, Founder, CEO and Avant-Garde artist at Ikohaus, says, “Creativity is the new economy.” To explain, creativity supports innovation. Therefore, innovation is the key to stimulating economic development.


An artist’s life is emotionally fulfilling. Works of art have special significance to artists, viewers, or show us the world in a different way. 


“The message has to fit the messenger.” – Romero 


The visual messages that artists explore reinforce something you probably already know: Art provides opportunities for self-expression. Bringing the inner world to the outer world of concrete reality. 


Rather than marketing my father’s artwork only on Facebook, he’s taken to engaging on Instagram. Instagram is a highly visual platform. Not only that, but artists such as my father detest detailing everything they do. Having to plow through art jargon or wordy sludge to appreciate the art is unappealing to some art lovers.


The downside to being a struggling artist is that many don’t recognize your talent until someone else does it for them. Sometimes, people see your posts about your work but do not click on it. They may look at it, dismiss it and then go on to buy schlock art from the Home department at Walmart.


Given these points, support your creative friends. Instead of thinking an artists’ passion is a lifestyle, respect their artistic aspirations. In the same way, they respect your 9-5.


Lack of earning potential for struggling artists


Our society’s value system is disintegrating. Many people value what sells. Because of this, some artists are selling themselves as a brand, as say Audi and Lexus do. “Most artists today aren’t artists, they’re actors. They’re playing a part. They do nothing in the creation process,” Romero says. He adds, “Creativity wise they’re excellent marketers. Real creativity is marketing.”


So what do people need to keep in mind when connecting with artists? “I’m an artist because I say so. When John Doe says the same you accept it without say so”, Romero advises. With attention to what we’re told, who are we to discredit an artist or their work?


Incidentally, making a full-time living as an artist is difficult. For this reason, most artists need day jobs to supplement their income. Working to make ends meet indicate the lack of earning potential for struggling artists. My own father worked day jobs, as a result this left him little to no time get into a creative frame of mind. 


Subsequently, some feel that artists who aren’t selling need to quit. Settling is the equivalent of mediocre. We accept jobs we hate, tolerate friends who disappoint us, and turn the other way when injustices occur. 


On the other hand, some artists believe that they should create art that sells. The problem with this is that viewers may be confused by art for everyone. Focus on creating a body of work unique to you. In other words, art that you love to create.


Use the Internet to your advantage. In fact, the Internet and social media together are both valuable marketing tools. Additionally, struggling artists can market their artwork on many social media platforms for free.


All things considered, we all have our obstacles. These hardships can hold us back from moving forward and creating the art that matters to us.


I admire the way my father has invested in himself! Love your art. Believe in yourself.


What works for one may not work for others. However, these adversities are common to creatives. Even some entrepreneurs. These struggles are reasons to keep pushing.


Remember, your passion fuels your art and holds it together.


What about you? Which of these struggles can you relate to? How did you overcome them? Tweet your responses to Ikohaus.


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2 years ago

I never knew this kind of struggle is what artists go through. Im sharing this on Twitter and pray God gives you every good thing. You deserve it nena

2 years ago

Thanks so much! Your kind words mean a lot, Graciela! ☺️

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