Your Art Career

10 Rules for Being a Professional Artist

10 Rules for Being a Professional Artist

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You may have been one of the lucky readers who got their hands on a hot magazine that Network published several years ago: Acrylic Artist.

If you didn’t happen to get a copy (digital issues of Acrylic Artist are still available in, then you may have missed the work of Mark Gould. I was browsing through an issue recently, and his acrylic landscapes once again caught my eye, such as his painting My Neighbor’s House 816 (above; acrylic on panel, 24×36). In this feature article, Mark shares his philosophy for professional creatives that I thought was worth passing along here:

Mark Gould’s 10 Rules for Being a Professional Artist

1. Creative efforts take priority over other activities whenever possible.

2. Simplify all aspects of life in order to think and act creatively.

3. Ensure the creative process is always challenging and enjoyable; always balance a risk of failure with the potential for success in order to keep efforts honest and engaging.

4. Be the eternal student, always willing to learn.

5. Welcome other opinions—good, bad or indifferent—but never relinquish final judgment to another.

6. Seek out people who are positive in their approach to the creative process and welcome their constructive critique. Avoid negative people and their attitudes, even when personal sacrifice is required.

7. Think before committing time, money or other resources to any future aspect of the creative endeavor. Be certain that both feeling and logic regarding the decision are sound.

8. Release to the public only those works that are fully “competent and satisfactory,” those that are properly executed with a high degree of creativity.

9. Never become problematic for any gallery or collector. Be sincere and forthright in all gallery dealings. Require absolute honesty in return.

10. Be truthful and self-aware in regard to your creative efforts. Only then can artistic vision be trusted and improved.

Great reminders! If you’re ready to take this advice to heart, especially the points that are on the creative side, Acrylic Solutions: Exploring Mixed Media Layer by Layer by is a great resource. In it, Chris Cozen and Julie Prichard share more than 30 painting lessons to keep you actively moving toward your own art goals.

Until next time,

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Watch the video: How I went from Side Hustle to Full Time Artist + 10 Tips (August 2022).