I'm digging back into my Heartspoken archives to find some of the most popular posts and re-run them for those who might have missed them.

Three years ago, I welcomed guest blogger and amazing abstract painter Gwen Fox. Gwen and I took a writing class together, and I've followed her blog and newsletter ever since. When I read this piece in her newsletter, I asked if I could share it, because I have come to believe we are all artists, whether we do our creating on canvas or elsewhere on the stage of life. I've written about this elsewhere (“Are you an artist?”), and I hope Gwen's piece resonates with you as much as it did with me.


There are many skills an artist needs to be successful. Here are five I personally think are necessary.

1) Develop your curiosity.

Curiosity is one of our greatest assets as an artist. This gives us the opportunity to ask “Why not?” “What if?” and “How would it look if I did it this way?”  These are questions we need to ask ourselves each time we step before our future painting [or creation].

2) Let go of perfectionism.

Why do we always feel we have to be perfect? Perhaps it is because we were told as children to do it “right.” Perfectionism is a killer of growth.

2) Get out of your comfort zone.

I call it “Getting out of Neutral.”  When we always stay where we are comfortable, we don’t give ourselves the opportunity to explore. Painting, writing, or anything that requires us to think in a creative manner also challenges us to expand beyond where we are comfortable.

4) Manage your time wisely.

Setting aside studio time is essential in order to produce quality work. As with anything if it isn’t in my schedule, something else will come along and fill the space. Schedule your time to create!

5) Learn how to market yourself.

Not one of our favorite things to think about, but marketing is now a huge part of our puzzle to success. As I tell my students, the biggest reason to market is….You Will Not Be Discovered unless you learn how. The world is a big place, but with the Internet it has become smaller and more accessible. In my workshops this summer in Taos, I had students from Vietnam, Poland and Lithuania — these students found me on the Internet.

Let me know what you think.


Banner from Gwen Fox's websiteGwen Fox is a world-renowned abstract painter, teacher, mentor, & workshop leader based in Taos, New Mexico. Gwen's mission is to help artists find their own authentic creative voice.

Her exciting new workshop “Marketing Made Simple for Artists” is filled with easy to understand marketing information presented from a working artist's perspective. Read more at http://www.gwenfox.com.

Gwen on Facebook

Gwen on Twitter

Photo Credit: “Paint” by Ria Mendoza, Dubai, United Arab Emirates via StockXChng


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