10 Characteristics of Successful Artists

What makes an artist successful? Successful artists are hardworking, dedicated to their art and they constantly strive to upgrade and improve their art skills.  Although there is no exact formula for success, all artists who are successful in their careers share common characteristics.

There are primarily 2 types of artists:

  1. Professional Artists: Professional artists spend a majority of their time creating their art, selling and marketing their art and they derive a majority of their income from this work.  
  2. Hobby/and or Part-Time Artists: These artists may or may not try sell their art and they do not derive the majority of their income from their art.   

Both types of artists love what they do, are an important part of the art community and have the potential to achieve success in their field. This article highlights essential characteristics of successful artists and below are 10 things that all successful artists do consistently:

  1. Successful artists understand that in the art business, success just does not happen overnight.
  2. Successful artists understand that is just not about the art, but that it is also knowing and understanding that art is a business.
  3. Successful artists are continually trying to enhance and upgrade their professional reputation.
  4. Successful artists take an active role in promoting and marketing their art.
  5. Successful artists actively network. They are active in multiple art associations, prioritize establishing contacts and give back to the arts community.
  6. Successful artists are resilient and they understand that the art business is not easy nor is it a consistent endeavor.
  7. Successful artists have established a support group of family, friends and other people who help and encourage them in their artistic endeavors.
  8. Successful artists are always trying to establish, upgrade and maintain a “Body of Work” to show to art galleries, art collectors and art enthusiasts.
  9. Successful artists are focused on multiple tasks and they have developed and perfected time-management skills.
  10. Successful artists are never satisfied with their current status and they are always trying to improve their art skills, while exposing and promoting their art and the sale of their art.

How many of the above characteristics do you see in yourself?  Are there areas in which you can improve or devote more or less time to advance your art career and become a full-time, professional artist?

Becoming successful takes hard work and dedication but it can become a learned behavior with practice and discipline. Using the above list as a guideline can help artists achieve their dream of becoming successful in their art career.

Read more art career and art marketing articles on our blog.

This article was updated in March 2023

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