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Buying Out of the “Starving Artist” Mindset

Over the weekend, I stopped in a local gallery and was talking with some of the artists. Several were quite successful.

One described herself as struggling. Then she said with a laugh, no she was really the typical “starving artist.”

What ensued was a rather lively discussion about our value, what we believe we are capable of, what words to do us, and the notion that we do not have to buy into that “starving” mentality.

The starving artist mentality is totally in your head.

You see successful artists all around you.
What is it that they have that you do not? Nothing.

Your work is just as good. You work just as hard.

The problem is that on some level you buy into that romantic, bohemian notion that artists should be starving. Words are powerful in both a negative and positive way.

This mindset does not serve you, and it does not serve anyone else.

Who told you that you don’t deserve to earn a decent income doing what you love? They are dead wrong.

How do you leave the “starving artist” limiting belief behind? Here are some tips.

Starving doesn’t change the quality of your art

Realize that being poor, or “starving,” doesn’t mean your art is better or worse. It is the same art.

I might even say that if you cannot take care of yourself, your art is not as good as it could be. You have distractions keeping that belief and “starving artist” lifestyle alive.

Understand what is behind the belief

You need to dig deep and find out how you got that belief.

It may be lingering from childhood or even your notions about a favorite artist.

Journal your thoughts about money and people, even artists, who have money. If they are negative, ask yourself, “Is this really true?” And, if you say it is true, how do you know that?

Understand your “compared to what”

This is about exploring your untapped potential.

It’s so easy to compare yourself to what you did before. It’s time to compare yourself to what you are capable of.

Give yourself permission

Stop waiting for permission to make money.

Stop waiting for permission to raise your rates

Watch for ways that you sabotage your worth.

The only person who needs to give you permission is you. If it helps, find a permission slip on the Internet and write it to yourself. 

Think like a business person

Start today to approach your art as a business. Yes, you are the CEO of a business, your art business. Start to make your decisions from that place.

Learn about your ideal client and where he or she hangs out. Learn about marketing, online and off.

Take some business classes or some financial classes.

When you are 100% responsible for what is in your life, including your business, you can make changes.

Have you heard about the Law of Attraction? It says you bring about what you think about. Bring about a successful art business.

Find your village

You know the saying, “It takes a village.” That is true no matter what you do. You need people who will support you.

Find people who support your vision and who won’t not let you fall into that “starving artist” place.

Build confidence

Continue to work to build your confidence in your money mindset, just as you build your confidence in your art. It will happen and you will kick that “starving artist” to the curb.

It’s your turn!

What do you do if the “starving artist” shows up in your studio?

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