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An Upstream Journey

by Keith Bond on 5/12/2009 8:26:48 AM

This Post is by Keith Bond, Regular contributing writer for FineArtViews.  Find out how you can be a guest author.

When I was about 14 years old, our Boy Scout Troop spent a week camping on the shores of the Shoshone Lake in Yellowstone National Park.  To get to the camp site, we canoed across Lewis Lake, then up a river to Shoshone Lake.  During that upstream journey, we had to constantly row or our canoes would be carried away downstream.  There were many obstacles in the shallow river (it would be considered a creek in many areas of the country).  Rocks and sand bars were a challenge.  The final leg of the journey, we had to portage our canoes. 

Then, crossing the Shoshone Lake was a new challenge.  We were canoeing contrary to the wind.  This required constant work and our progress was slow.  The wind caused the waters to be choppy, and if we weren't vigilant, our canoes could easily capsize. 

Likewise, a career in art is a similar journey.  You are charting an upstream course with many obstacles in our way.  Sometimes you may need to portage.  And if you ever feel that you have made it, remember, the waves are contrary and you must continue to be diligent in your efforts.  If you fail to constantly push forward, the current or wind will sweep you back.  If you quit creating art for a period of time, or if you quit marketing your art, you will be swept back downstream or even capsized.  Once you resume your efforts you cannot start where you left off.  You will need to re-enter the waters downstream.  It will require tremendous work to regain what was lost. 

In this time of uncertainty, there are many challenging obstacles.  What you do during this time is critical.  Even if you must slow your pace, you must never take your oars out of the water.  You must keep creating; you must continue marketing.  It is imperative that collectors continue to see your work.  If they don't see you, they will see those artists who are continuing to toil upstream.   Don't let the current sweep you back.  Do what you must to carry on; even if the progress is slow.  There is no resting on the sidelines.  Either you move forward or you move backward

You may not be able to spend the time creating as much art as in the past.  But create something and let your collectors see it.  Make it a priority.  And keep your oars wet.

Best of luck,

Keith Bond


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Topics: Art Business | Art Commentary | Creativity and Inspiration | Productivity 

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Linda Armstrong
via web
Very inspirational, and very true.

Rebecca Finch
via web
I completely agree. What you do now will determine your state when things start to turn around. So what if people can't buy my work right now. I'll just keep painting and showing it to them until they're so in love with it, it's the first thing they think about when they get some financial freedom.

Find new ways and reasons to market, create a buzz, and figure out how to give more bang for the buck.

I've started painting smaller paintings so as to be easier for people to purchase, and offered them at a lower rate this month because of a painting marathon that I subjected myself to. ( I don't know what will come of it, but I have many more viewers just in the last week.

Keep painting, everyone!!

via web
So very well said, I love how you verbalise cleverly and confirm things that I have thought!

Very timely advice. Thank you!


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