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Artist Tip #285: A Following Doesn’t Equate Success

TV Noise

The Illusion of a Following

I never cared too much about making art to sell. I figured you had to spend a lot of time growing an audience… years and I’ve never been good at being consistent with things of that nature. I liked to paint because it helped me escape my anxiety.

I always seen artist with loads of followers on social media and admired their persistence at growing a following. I figured if they had a following then they must be getting business for their art. This isn’t actually true.

Some People Only Create Noise and Not Success

Some people are good at creating noise and only creating noise. Like the class clown who was kinda funny but also really dumb with no substance. It ends up creating an appearance because people are “talking” but not really interested long-term. Their only way to stay relevant is to only do things that are relevant and not really what they love.

A lot of large following artist create for success and not for passion or purpose. Their styles become all over the place, the message all over the place, the audience becomes large and random. They post “selfie art” and get likes and followers because of their beauty not their art.

I reached out and followed a lot of artist I thought were successful and found out that a lot weren’t actually financially successful or genuinely content with their life creating art. The most successful were actually the ones creating the least noise on social media.

On social media, aside from artist with thousand upon thousands of followers, those who had lower numbers were selling their pieces for more and moving more of their art.

So what’s the take away?

When I began dabbling in art as a way to add $ to my life doing things I love I looked up to certain people because they LOOKED successful. I asked their advice and seen them as sort of “gatekeepers”. I tried to make similar noise and that noise rarely had a return.

Kill your heroes. Although success is in the eye of the individual, the loudest people are usually making the least movement with their passion. I’m sure it goes without saying that the appearance of success doesn’t always equate it in reality. Although appearance is a huge part of perspective, nothing not real last very long. Create with love, don’t feel the need to sell out, don’t envy the appearance of success of your peers, your path is yours, inevitably made for you. Follow your soul.

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