This post is by guest author, Donald Fox. This article has been edited and published with the author's permission. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here. We've promoted this post to feature status because it provides great value to the FineArtViews community. If you want your blog posts listed in the FineArtViews newsletter with the possibility of being republished to our 19,000+ subscribers, consider blogging with FASO Artist Websites. This author's views are entirely his own and may not always reflect the views of BoldBrush, Inc.
There is a saying that tells us to play the hand that we were dealt. Like many clichés, there is a germ of truth within the statement. This particular one is suggesting that we have to deal with the circumstances that confront us. There also is the suggestion that what is present is all that there is. We have no additional resources. This latter part may be subject to interpretation, and unless we’re only talking specifically about a card game, the statement may be true.
Anyone who plays any sort of card game knows that there is a large element of chance involved in the outcome. One can gain skill at counting cards, recognizing which cards have been played and which ones are left, one may pick up on clues that other players may inadvertently drop, or one may become very adept at bluffing. With certain games, one can also learn basic strategies and boost chances of prevailing as a result. Still, what one cannot change without cheating is the order in which the cards are dealt. Thus we get the admonition, a situational truth, to play the hand one is dealt.
If we apply this advice to making art and to running an art business, we will see that many things can be done to enhance our chances of success while actually building on the dealt hand. Each of us is different. We have different experiences, different understanding, and different intellectual and creative impulses. Depending on our motivation, we can learn new and useful things for improving our artistic skills, our business skills, and our people skills. The internet is a treasure trove of useful information (and misinformation) that can guide us directly or indirectly in the direction we need to go. Many books, professional periodicals, and other publications including DVDs and CDs can be found online, in bookstores, and in old fashioned libraries. Topics related to art, creativity, materials and techniques, and business strategies are abundant. Every professional builds a personal library of resources, so why shouldn’t artists?
Some of us may also feel that we need more personal guidance. This is where local arts organizations like art leagues or specific arts groups for oil painters, watercolorists, or pastel artists can be beneficial. Through these groups it can be easy to find like-minded people who are on the same journey. They can provide advice if more experienced or support if at about the same level. Eventually you may create a personal support group composed of people you trust and whose expertise you value. Most successful business people have a core network of advisors and people with experience and knowledge within certain areas that they can rely on. Many arts organizations offer classes, workshops, and seminars on topics related to creating art and/or promoting and selling it. At some point you will probably find yourself in the position of offering your own expertise to others given what you have learned through your own efforts. You will have taken the hand you were dealt and found that you played it deftly.
Editor's Note: You can view Donald's original post here.