Raise your hand if you’ve ever doubted yourself, stressed out about failure, neglected relationships, or feared the obstacles standing in your way of being an artist.
Having an art career is challenging enough, but bringing along self-doubt, stress, and fear make it even harder. But, what if we told you that there was a way to overcome these problems and even become more productive at the same time.
How is this possible? The answer is mindfulness. From how to start practicing it to how it will transform your bad habits, we explain this magnificent mentality and five ways that it can help revitalize your art business.
Psychology Today defines “mindfulness.”
1. Focus on the Present
What’s the first great benefit to being more mindful? Acceptance. When you practice mindfulness, reveals The Greater Good Science Center of UC Berkeley, you are able to focus on the present and what you can do in the world at that very moment. You aren’t dwelling on mistakes of the past or worrying about the hypothetical outcomes of the future.
This brings you to an acceptance with what has happened in your life, the good and the bad. There is no judgment about failure as you realize that those are the experiences that helped you grow and get you where you are today, which is living out your dream of being an artist. Then, you can focus on simply creating art and running your business without unnecessary worry.
2. Pay More Attention
Benefit number two? You become a lot better at paying attention and recognizing the needs of those in your life. Why? The Harvard Business Review explains, “In our own work, we define mindfulness as ‘the awareness of events and potentialities within an environment."
In other words, mindfulness breeds awareness. When you are more aware, you can better understand what you need to give back to your family, friends, and clients supporting your art career, and even what your business needs from you to be more successful. You become more in tune with what your customers, gallerists, and collectors are looking for, and this opens up more possibilities to sell your artwork.
3. Feel Less Stress
Wouldn’t it be nice to let go of the heavy weight of running an art business? We think so. To begin practicing mindfulness, a Forbes article on mindfulness in the workplace recommends “to sit quietly and focus on your breathing for two minutes.”
Concentrating on nothing but your breath helps you focus on the present and stress less about the piece you need to finish or the juried show you want to be accepted into. With less stress, you will feel better mentally and physically which can only help your ability to create.
4. Have Less Fear
Being a full-time artist can be a scary road to travel. But, practicing mindfulness allows you to put in perspective the things you fear. Wanderlust’s Rose Candela suggests taking a hard look at what you are scared of: “In looking at your obstacles, ask yourself what is real and what is an excuse because you are afraid.”
Then, see what you can do to hurdle these self-made obstacles. Art Business Institute explains, “Setting goals can be daunting, but breaking them down into manageable chunks can actually be motivating.” Having smaller goals is a great way to alleviate the fear and make tasks seem more manageable.
5. Become More Intentional
Your newfound mindfulness helps you embrace who you are in the present moment which will make you more intentional about the art you create.
Candela adds, “You embrace what is going on with you right now with fascination and curiosity. You fall radically in love with the change of life because it inspires new ideas to fuel your art.” Creating with such passion and intention will help you develop a great story behind your art that can help your art business in both the short and long run.
Need we say more?
It is clear that taking the time out of your busy day to practice mindfulness will help not only your art career, but your entire life. Accepting challenges, focusing on what you can control, and becoming more intentional with your art is a much healthier way to live than stressing about every little detail past and present. Plus, it will help you become much more productive and attentive to your dream of being a successful professional artist. So give it a try!