This post is by guest contributing authors Rebecca Crowell and Ross Ticknor. Artist Rebecca Crowell and her entrepreneur son, Ross Ticknor, combine forces each week to bring you The Messy Studio Podcast, featuring engaging conversations about studio practice, creativity, art marketing, and more. Rebecca has been a professional artist for over thirty years, travels internationally for teaching and artist residencies, and is the co-author of the award-winning book, Cold Wax Medium: Techniques, Concepts, & Conversations. Ross has worked as an audiobook producer and voice talent, a web designer, a vineyard supervisor at a winery, and now owns his own business, Clear Water CBD.
The ebbs and flows of income and other positive events are some of the hardest challenges for any self-employed person, and artists are no exception. A flow of good news brings confidence, energy, and forward momentum. But we also have to deal with the inevitable ebb of income and recognition if we want to persist. Becoming discouraged can easily lead to a loss of motivation and losing sight of our goals. Understanding and accepting the cycle of ebbs and flows is key to maintaining equilibrium.
Slack times affect everyone on both emotional and financial levels, even artists with many years of professional life, especially if there is an expectation that overall success should eliminate these times. Ebb times are relative in their effect on our feelings at any stage of a career-- as distressing for an artist who typically sells work only a few times a year as for someone who normally experiences sold-out exhibits. A decline in non-financial markers of success such as grants, nonprofit exhibits, and other recognition can also affect our emotional state.
Unfortunately, a noticeable downturn in support for our work can throw us off course unless we recognize it as part of a cycle that also includes times of success. We may be tempted to go back to an older style in hopes of generating more sales, or to abandon a new direction we are excited about. The challenge is to stay true to our work at all stages of this cycle of ebbs and flows.
This year has been a hard one for many artists--if you are experiencing a downturn, you are not alone. In this Episode of The Messy Studio Podcast, we cover some strategies and mindsets that can help artists who are in the midst of a downturn, and also ways to take best advantage of the good times.
The Messy Studio is published each week by the mother-son team of artist Rebecca Crowell and Ross Ticknor, entrepreneur and art appreciator. Please visit www.messystudiopodcast.com for all episodes and other information.
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