The most important things for survival as an emerging artist, in order of importance, are:
1. Make drop dead stunning art. Make art that just stops people in their tracks. The competition is T O U G H. To survive your work has to be the best of the best of the best. The definition for a good work of art is: “Technical expertise itself adequate to produce an emotional impact.” So make sure you have exceptional technique, but that you do not concentrate so much on technique that you do not get your communication out. It’s the technique that gets people looking and interested and it’s the message that makes a work of art have the true power of art.
2. Be ethical. Being ethical means doing things which aid you, and the people and the world around you, to survive. Ethics is a personal thing. When a person does things which they themselves, deep down, know are not helpful to their own and others survival, they then cut back their own success. You are basically good and you only allow yourself success if you feel you deserve it. If you want to succeed in anything, you have to be ethical.
3. Do not have suppressive people around you. Do not accept ANY invalidative criticism (that’s criticism where the critic says something is not good – even if they say it in a hidden way – like “Don’t worry dear, not everyone’s got talent” – yuck!). Artists are creative by definition. There are people out there who are currently destructive. They like to pick on artists as targets to pretend to be friendly to, but actually to pick at, upset and destroy. Suppressive people are defined here: www.scientologyhandbook.org/SH11.HTM
There are two types of criticism: Constructive Criticism – where the person suggests a better way to do something & Invalidative Criticism – where the person just says something is not good. Be aware in any criticism that there are such things as personal taste, contemporary standards and even envy or jealousy. Criticism is the biggest reason an artist stops making art. Surround yourself with supportive people with social personalities.
4. PROMOTE. If you have No.1, 2 & 3 done then this step will be EASY. Promoting exceptional art by ethical artists who do not have suppressive people around is a dream. If you are having a hard time with promotion have a look over 1,2 & 3 and work on them a little, then promote again. But, there is a law in the universe and it is: Outflow = Inflow – the more you communicate to the world about your art, the more attention and money you will get back. In the arts the Press is God – so make sure you are always communicating to the art, luxury lifestyle and mass press. But also make sure you are always communicating to art buyers or galleries and your past buyers. Ideally you will have a gallery do that for you, but the point is that you have to promote if you want to survive and the key is – number of people reached and number of times reached.