Most artists that strive to make a living from their arts practice have two things in common: Passion and Desire. It doesn’t matter what your creative discipline is, you need more than just passion and desire to assist you with your dream.

TALENT: While some may think that talent comes naturally, it actually takes hard work to develop yourself to a professional level. In Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers: The Story of Success, he talks about the “10,000-Hour Rule”, claiming that the key to success in any field is, for the most part, a matter of practising a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours. To be successful in the creative sector you need to be motivated enough to continue to practice and learn your craft, to keep trying to be better.

SELF CONFIDENCE: You must believe in yourself and your creative ideas and products. If you are a performing artist you may need to develop the self-confidence to overcome the fear of performing in front of an audience. For all creative types, you need to have confidence in your abilities and your products and services.

DETERMINATION: Creative people need to be determined. It is often hard to develop a creative career. In the early days, you may have to juggle family, day job, creative training, practising your craft and still find the time and the inclination to develop your business. You may find the business aspects of your creative career difficult. To push through you need to be determined and push through all the difficulties and obstacles.

RESILIENCE: All artists need to deal with rejection at some stage in their career. Rejection can come from a lack of belief from family and/or friends or from people or businesses that you are trying to sell your creative product or service to. You need to press on regardless and learn to move on from the lack of support and the ‘no’s’.

Some creative practitioners will have to deal with unpredictable income, long and tiring hours or early starts/late finishes. You may have to be up early to set up a market stall or work late as a performing artist. You will have to find time to work on your art as well as your business. This can wear you down and you need to learn to manage your workload.

Attitude is key and creative artists need it to succeed. What skills do you feel you need to manufacture a successful career as a creative artist?
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