Habits are patterns of behaviors or actions you exhibit regularly and subconsciously. It has become a part of you that you are no longer aware of such behaviors. Habits such as leaving the toilet open, licking fingers in public, belching, finishing people’s sentences, monopolizing a conversation, talking during a presentation, and trichotillomania are some of those subconscious behaviors that cannot be very difficult to overcome.
As an artist who looks to tap into every opportunity that comes your way, you have to start controlling and giving up the habits that need to go. Because you never know who you are talking to or whose contribution you are interrupting.
“NOT ENOUGH” mindset
As an artist, you need to overcome the habit of excusing not reaching your potentials with “not enough…” kind of mindset. Avoid being caught up saying things like not enough time, not enough money, not enough whatever it is that you try to use an escape.
There will never be enough to do the things you have to do but if you don’t overcome this fear of “not enough”, nothing you do will be enough.
Comparison is weighing yourself on the same scale as another artist. The fact is that you are always going to be the best at certain things than other people and worse at other things in life, as an artist, or human.
Holding on to either of the two won’t get you far in the art industry. For instance, comparing yourself as an emerging artist with an expert with twenty years of experience can suppress your creativity and even more dangerous is comparing yourself with someone with less experience than yours; such prevent you from developing.
The only comparison that is allowed is weighing your present works with the ones you have done days, months, or years back. This self-comparison helps you measure your growth, and areas of improvement for the future. You are only permitted to compare yourself to yourself.
Stop making excuses…
It is high time you stop trying to reduce blames, faults, or justify not meeting requirements by giving poor reasons or explanations. Show up for meetings. Be disciplined. When you stop giving excuses, you start moving towards the direction and increase output.
Not taking time out to recuperate
Indeed, you need to put in a lot of effort, stop the not enough mindset and giving excuses but also, your health is as important as making the best art piece. A wise artist knows when to take time out to relax and when to shift attention away from the studio to take care of the body, health, emotional, social, and psychological well being.
Never sacrifice any of these in the name of your craft if your aim to be relevant for a very long time in the art industry. Plan your calendar so you can hang out with friends, family, and colleagues.
You can make your best work or be a successful artist if you are not investing in your body and mind. Neither will any of that be possible if you block yourself away from the world.
Not filtering your circle of influence, who and what you listen to.
You have to stop that habit of listening and considering everyone’s advice. Not all advice is useful, correct, or relevant; you must learn how to choose correctly from who and what you listen to. Unfriendly friends and poisonous relationships can go a long way to determine the heights you reach as an artist.
If the people you surround yourself with don’t know, have adequate knowledge, or understand what art is and who an artist is; you will need to filter their advice in connection with your art. Or else you might get bordered when they say things like “ when are you going to get a real job?” “ At what moment in your life will you discover you are not cut out to be an artist”.
Your relationships should consist of people who push you beyond your limits to do extraordinary things, artists who have excelled, and those who can inspire you to succeed.
Overcome aiming for perfection
A perfectionist is called that because they are afraid of failure but when you become obsessed with being perfect at everything you do- you end up not putting anything out there for the world to appreciate. You develop when you display your work to the public; their feedback aid your growth. The fact remains unchanged that you will fail.
Yet, the comforting reality is that every successful artist at one point in their careers has failed via shows that flopped or ideas that did not lead to a positive outcome. But with failure comes learning and learning applied leads to success.
Overcome desire for compliments
Every artist wants their work to become popular on social media, get so many likes and be praised by reputable galleries and critiques. However, successful artists understand that their growth comes more from within than from external approval, glorification, and admiration.
It is okay to want everyone praising your work but that is not the way things work. Understand that not everyone will commend your work for its technique, quality, or theme because really, it can be hard and take a lot of time to comprehend interesting and unique artworks.
By now you should know that the hardest thing is putting your work to the scrutiny of everyone. However, irrespective of how their perspective or evaluation- never let self-doubt creep in because you are not getting applause from everyone or a majority.
Finally, you need to overcome that feeling that says being an artist is not as important as being a doctor, lawyer, etc. Often, [emerging or struggling] you might feel bad for not having a “ real job” that can bring insufficient income to pay the bills which indirectly affects your creativity. If you don’t see your work as important and needed- such guilt will always creep up on you consciously and unconsciously.
I have been there and the best of the popular and successful artists you look up to have habits that could have weighed us down. But we continue to improve on ourselves and that is the only way we can develop in life and you can develop as an artist.
Which of these habits affect you as an artist. Share in the comments section and tell us how you are trying or have overcome them. Overcome bad habits and making art will become easier.