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Posts Tagged ‘starving artists’

Buying Out of the “Starving Artist” Mindset

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

Ferrara Buskers Festival

Over the weekend, I stopped in a local gallery and was talking with some of the artists. Several were quite successful and 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. I am sure you see successful artists all around you. What is it that they have that you do not? I am sure your work is just as good, and I am sure 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. No one ever said that you don’t deserve to earn a decent income doing what you love.


So how do you leave the “starving artist” limiting belief behind? Here are some tips:


  • 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.


  • Try to figure out why you really have those beliefs. Journal your thoughts about money and people, even artists, who have money. If they are negative, ask yourself, “Is this really true?”


  • Give yourself permission to make money. Watch for ways that you sabotage your worth.


  • 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 hangs out. Learn about marketing, online and off. 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 people who support your vision and do not let you fall into that “starving artist” place.


  • 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.


If you have dealt with your mindset about being an artist, please share your struggles and successes with us below. I would love to hear from you and what your techniques are. You are also welcome to share your thoughts on the ICAP Facebook or Google+ pages.


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Morna McEver is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals where creative arts entrepreneurs craft business success. Her weekly e-zine offers tips, techniques and inspiration to help you craft business success from your creative arts passion. You can sign up for a FREE subscription at


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