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6 common obstacles faced by emerging artists in 2024

Artwork submitted by Andrea Castaneda

Being an artist is one of the greatest gifts on this planet, but it can also be hard at times. From the moment you decide to follow your dream and let your creativity flow, at every step of the way you will find your path riddled with challenges. While your entire art career will be filled with ups and downs, for emerging artists this journey can be particularly hard, and that’s what we’re going to talk about this week in our community article.

Each week, on our Instagram account (@artstoheartsproject), we ask our community of artists a question regarding their art careers and experiences in the art world. This week, we asked the emerging artists about the obstacles they face. We share these comments with our dear readers in the hope that they may relate to these responses as well since we are huge proponents of building a community where artists support and help each other out!

emerging artists

Our followers provided us with their insights and experiences, highlighting how difficult it can get if you are just starting out in the art world. Let’s look at some of the most common struggles emerging artists face in the beginning of their careers!

Getting the right exposure

When you are starting out as an artist, one of the first things you need to do is to get the right exposure. You have to work towards getting the recognition you need, and for that, you must send your work to various websites, exhibitions, etc. However, sending work and getting it published/showcased is not that easy. There are various hoops you need to jump in order to submit your artwork to publications, one of them being the submission fee. Moreover, there can be other hurdles as well, and it’s not always easy to bypass them.

As an emerging artist, you also need to make some informed decisions regarding the shows you want to opt for. For example, you can’t showcase your work in every show, but you have to do your homework and figure out which show is best for your art. It’s important that you get the right audience and the right exposure, and emerging artists don’t really have anyone to guide them about it, which can be a challenge.

Finding the time and space

For artists, having their own space is extremely important. In order to do their jobs, they need to let their ideas marinate so they can ruminate over them. As they make their artwork, they need to give it time so they can create it in a perfect manner. Some artists prefer solitude, while some like to work in a certain environment that boosts their creativity. In short, artists need their time and space and their creations do not magically come into existence in the span of a few hours. 

For emerging artists, finding the time and space can be another challenge because they lack the money and resources to get a space that caters to them. If you are someone who is facing a similar problem, our advice for you is to make do with what you have and keep looking for options that suit you. Another great way to overcome this challenge would be to reach out to fellow artists who are also starting out, and try creating a system where you all can benefit from each other.

Getting people to respect your work

Starting out as an artist can be a bit of a paradox, because you need to expand your client base in order to be given the respect you deserve, and at the same time, you can’t really do that as an emerging artist because people don’t give you the due respect because you are ‘just starting out’.

For this reason, perhaps receiving that respect can be the biggest challenge because people assume that you are not good enough to be paid a certain amount for your work when in reality, you just don’t have a wider audience yet. The only way to deal with this challenge is through patience and hard work because as long as you are trying to get to the right art patrons, you are getting closer to your goal!

Not having enough money

Money is another major issue that can hinder an emerging artist’s growth. Whether you are an artist or belong to some other profession, it’s natural that things can be tough in the beginning. For an emerging artist, it can be especially difficult because your income comes directly from your art buyers, and until you expand that pool, it will take time to establish a steady flow of income. This, again, is something that can only be dealt with through patience and time, but until then, you will have to budget everything accordingly.

Building confidence in oneself

For emerging artists, it can take time to get to a stage where people truly see your art’s worth. However, until that time comes, you must face another challenge, and this time it’s with your own inner voice. Sometimes, we can be our own biggest critic, and it can be hard to ignore that small voice in our head when things are not going as smoothly as we had hoped.

As a beginner, you will have your artwork rejected by multiple galleries and clients, and that can be a serious blow to your self-esteem. Sometimes, it can make you question every decision you have made, and you begin to lose confidence in yourself. However, you must understand that it’s all part of the process and that in the end, you have to trust your gut and inner artist!

Finding the strength

Life will throw curveballs at you, all you need to do is chin up and have the strength the move forward. As an emerging artist, sometimes it can be difficult to move past that fear and self-doubt, and finding the strength to continue can be a huge struggle. For an emerging artist, creating art can be precarious, as @cami.ruohonen also mentions, and that in itself can be scary. There is no right way to become a successful artist, and the unpredictability can be daunting at times. However, the only way to deal with these thoughts is by focusing on your work and knowing that it will all be worth it one day!

Yes, as an artist you will need to make some hard decisions, but let us assure you that the rewards will also be immense. The satisfaction you will get from following your inner voice and having other people see your work is an experience that is unmatched! So, as an emerging artist, do not let anything bring your spirits down, and take heart in the fact that with hard work and persistence, you will be able to overcome anything that comes in your way!

You can always read more articles where our ATH community comes together to engage with each other!

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