Studio Visit Book Vol. 1

6 ways to deal with your frustration with the art world

Artwork by Linnea Pergola

As artists, we love everything about our work! From visualizing to creating it to finally putting it out in the world for people to see, we enjoy every moment of the entire process. But just like our real world, the art world is not perfect, and that can sometimes lead to feeling frustrated.

Artists don’t have everything handed to them on a silver platter as they have to work hard to get their voice across to the right audience. Once an artist chooses to be in this field, they have to jump hoops to get the attention of the gallerists and art collectors. It may take years before an artist is able to get across to the right people and have their own exhibition, and that can get pretty discouraging, especially for emerging artists.

This week on our Instagram account (@artstoheartsproject), we asked our community of artists to share if they also felt frustrated with the art world, and if so, how they deal with those emotions. Our followers gave some vulnerable responses, where they shared their struggles and the problems they have faced so far. We decided to share those responses with our entire community so that if someone is struggling out there, they can identify with their fellow peers.

art world

Artists’ frustrations with the art world

First, let’s look at some of the responses we received that addressed the common issues artists face in the art world.

It seems that many mothers feel that their art careers are much more challenging as they have two roles to juggle. When you think about it, the feedback is quite honest as mothers are already fighting on two fronts, one at home and one at the studio. For women, and especially mothers, balancing a career with children is hard enough, and when you are an artist, the challenges don’t seem to end. @strangeartist.isa also highlights the need to be in a collective of women, and perhaps that’s one way many female artists, especially moms, will feel included and seen.

Some artists came forward with their dissatisfaction with how galleries work, especially the sheer competition in the art world. As artists, there is a dire need for a sense of comradery where instead of feeling excluded, artists feel supported.

Artists are also human, and in fact, they feel emotions much more deeply than the people around them. So when these emotions get overwhelming, how do you deal with them? Some artists shared their own coping strategies and we’d like to share them with you as well!

Dealing with these emotions

Create more art

We know how discouraging it can be to work so much and not get rewarded/acknowledged for it. From the beginning, we have been taught that the key to success is working hard, and that is still true to some extent. However, for artists, it seems that working hard is much more than just creating art. Reaching out to galleries, expanding your audience, and getting to the art collectors, are some of the things that you’ll need to work on if you want to boost your career as an artist.

Having said that, it’s important that every now and then you take a deep breath and remind yourself that no matter what happens, you will never stop creating art! Doing what you do is the only way to ensure that the work keeps going, and your progress is not stunted.

Focus on your own art/follow your heart

Do not let your creativity drown in all the noise! We know it can be hard, you may not be able to achieve the financial goals you hoped for, or your social media reach can be disheartening, but don’t let that dim your light. Keep reminding yourself why you came into the art world in the first place and what makes you happy; creating art! keep on experimenting with your work, and focus on what makes you happy!

Don’t compare yourself to others

In a world where we spend most of our time on social media, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of ‘perfectionism’, which ironically, doesn’t even exist. In a world where have gotten used to seeing the perfect art, we can sometimes feel like we are not enough, and that’s a huge problem.

Don’t compare your journey with others, and focus on creating what comes naturally to you. If you feel like you don’t fit into the world, shake those thoughts because there is no truth in them. Everyone has a place in this world, and if we get hung over these thoughts, it can be hard to fully utilize our own potential as a creative.

Find a community of like-minded artists

We cannot stress enough how important community building for artists is. In a world where you feel like the unnecessary competition is getting to you, find artists who are in the same boat as you. Go to workshops, attend exhibitions, and talk to other artists. You are bound to find someone who is not only supportive of you, but will also help you in your journey. Talking to other artists also reaffirms your belief that things do work out, and it’s the first step towards getting that power back!

Keep going

Most importantly, keep going. We thank @shimastar_ for reminding us that no matter what happens, life goes on. It stops for no one. So, whatever you may be facing right now, it will pass as well. Never losing hope and moving forward is how you will be able to fulfill your dreams!

It may feel like you are all alone in this, but you are not. Challenges and hurdles are part of life, and the art world is no different. There may be times when you feel let down and don’t see the purpose of it, but we promise you, with consistency and faith, you will find your way. Take inspiration from all these amazing artists that have been featured in this article, and if you want to, you can always reach out to them for any kind of support or reaffirmation you need!

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

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