Relationships Rather than Goals

I recently spent some time re-reading Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland- the first half of the book is amazing and full of wisdom for aspiring artists (which we all are) — and one of the issues that the authors address early is a field manual for NOT QUITTING.

See, an artist may stop, but that doesn’t mean they’ve quit. As long as they start again, they’re still an artist. And one of the best ways to NOT QUIT is to develop relationships with other artists and share your work with them. That should be one of the primary goals of an artist, because you’ll have someone to keep you accountable and help you learn.

If your goal is to get into a gallery, you may fail, but if your goal is to develop relationships with other artists who push you…you may just get into a gallery.

Even if a gallery is your goal, having multiple goals is important for an artist — so you don’t give up after you reach your “terminal goal.”

Reaching a big goal often results in depression, as many artists don’t have anything else to seek after they reach it. So have another goal, an infinite goal, that you can continue to strive for as you reach new peaks along your path.

One way to do this is with relationships with other creators. Relationships with other creators will help you remain resilient in the face of the daunting task of being an artist. Especially if you’re brave enough to show up for critiques of works-in-progress.

And it’s less lonely, too. If you’re here — you might just be in the right spot to develop new relationships. That’s today’s food for thought! Happy creating, and I’ll see you next time.

Josh Johnson

I'm a husband and a father to three beautiful kiddos. I'm obsessed with philosophy, creativity, learning, and teaching. I want to make the world a more beautiful place by teaching others to embrace creativity.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *