A Gallery Owner’s Advice To Young Artists [& The Rest of Us]

Roppongi Breakfastjpeg.007This week, towards the end of the day, a friend who owns a ceramic gallery dropped by our gallery with two young ceramicists.

I’ve bought the work of one of them, and was meeting the other one for the first time.

We talked and laughed, and drank wine, and talked some more.

Part of what we talked about was how to make a successful career as an artist.

As I think about it, it applies to all of us, including gallery owners and business people as well.

1.  Only you can do what you can do.  You and your work is unique.

2.  You don’t have competition.  There are other artists but the other work is different.

It appeals to different people.

3.  Remain forever optimistic.  There really is no such thing as instant success, but keep on doing the work and the work will find an audience.

4.  Keep on learning and changing.   Most artists do this naturally, so not sure if it’s needed, but just in case, I’ve added it here too.

5.  You have worries.  We all do.  But you don’t have to worry.  Worries are something we all have but consider it a noun, not a verb.

6.  Be confident, even if you have to fake it.  No one wants to hear from an artist who says, “my work is nothing special.” There is a thin line between confident and arrogant.  No need to be arrogant or angry, just be able to say confidently. “this is what I do”.

black-compliment-cute-good-haha-handwritten-Favim.com-387677. Don’t Say You’re Struggling.  The struggles are all yours, you don’t have to share them with everyone.

8. Recognize that You Are Doing Something Most People Can Not Do and Wish They Could Do.  

I can’t even draw a straight line. How many people in the world can make art, music or write?

Artists are the original entrepreneurs.  I wrote one post before about how our gallery chooses artists that you can read here. http://wp.me/p1LG6c-3Y

Today’s post is a bit different.

As I finished this post, thought it applies to all of us. Myself included.

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  1. Paul Shioda says:

    I love this. So called “usual business person” should also think how she/he can work as a professional like an artist. That’s what I’m reminding myself every morning.

  2. Love this post Bob. Very affirming. Will share this with my artist friend.

  3. Eight excellent tips, should be read by all.

  4. […] The gift I have “discovered” is the gift of writing. I love to write. It is something I would do even though I’m not paid; writing is its own reward. I thrive when I write. A good friend and art gallery owner Bob Tobin (of Tobin Ohashi Gallery) wrote in his blog post “A Gallery Owner’s Advice to Young Artists [& The Rest of Us]”: […]