5 Tips About How to Stop Thinking Like a Starving Artist

05/06/2015 07:07 pm ET | Updated May 06, 2016

Most of my life I believed that if I went after a creative career I would struggle financially. It was deeply ingrained in my belief system. I would think about phrases like "poor starving artist" and "feast and famine are part of an artist's life". It was a nonsensical belief system that was very damaging to my motivation. I literally believed all artists or creative's had a hard time.


I also felt like if I enjoyed my work and my creative projects, somehow I shouldn't be paid properly or at all. Because I get joy from design, writing and art it used to be hard to expect actual money from being creative. Some people don't value the arts as much as others. I have found a wide range of appreciation towards artistic projects from other people. Many people I have met have a great appreciation for design, writing and paintings. Other people I have met don't value it at all. So as you can see the attitude and value is very different depending on the person viewing the work. How you value your own work is the most important part when getting over old crappy belief systems. You must believe you are good enough and talented enough. The rest falls into place with more confidence each step of the way.

My second belief deeply ingrained in me was if people thought I was creative they did not think I was business savvy. So I had a silly thought that I could not be creative and business smart at the same time. I held onto this conflict for most of my life. I am now 38 and realized a couple of years ago that I needed to change my inner thoughts around creativity, business and art. My life and business changed drastically, once I switched my thinking around.

1. Find some audio tapes so you can replace your belief system around feeling like a starving artist.
Start listening to people, podcasts and audio that speak highly of creativity and art. Invite people into your life that respect and admire your work. Focus on telling yourself the opposite of what you believe about money and creativity. I personally found I had to completely change my way of thinking around my work and what I have to offer the world. It took serious focus and quite of bit of time listening to other positive words around the subject. Audio tapes about positive thinking, business and art became my new best friends.

2. Make more art!
I say F**k what other people think. Don't be shy, don't hold yourself back, and don't stop being you creatively because you are afraid. The more you feel inhibited, do the opposite and jump into your creative side, go for it. Use the fear like it is oil to fire. Be stubborn and keep creating!


3. Read more about what you feel afraid to learn, or think you can't learn.
I felt uncomfortable around selling and marketing my own creations. So I switched my thinking and read as much business and marketing books I could possibly get my hands on. I hated this thought at first because all I wanted to do was design, draw, sketch, paint and write! It felt awful at first but once I took control, I felt so much better. The best part was, I felt more confident about my work in every way, including business. As soon as I faced my fears, I started earning more money for my creative efforts. The results felt instant!

4. Vulnerability brings great lessons in life.
Being vulnerable with your art, writing and creativity can be a huge step for some, including me. I always shied away from truly putting myself in front of people. I really disliked the feeling of possibly being rejected or feeling judged. I decided that my vulnerability was just what I needed to go forward. Nowadays if I feel vulnerable I take it as a sign that I need to do more of it. The rebel side of me comes out and I just make the leap into the unknown and see what happens. Feeling rejected is all part of the process. Of course we are going to get rejected sometimes but you can't get a big fat "yes" if you don't try. Trust me, the uncomfortable feelings soften and become less of an issue, the more you simmer with your own vulnerability.


5. Hide out for awhile and stop any outside influences from interrupting your change of thinking.
Changing how you perceive something takes time. You may need to back away from friends or family for a little while, until you get grounded on your new way of looking at creativity. For me, if I honor my ideas by executing them and being true to myself I then value my work in a much higher regard. Taking yourself seriously and working hard, can increase your creativity and trusting the process can open up opportunities as if by magic.

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