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After writing The Proper Care and Feeding of your Artist last week I realized that if we artists are going to ask for more support from friends and family we need to define our terms.

For example, I wrote that if your friends and family don’t know how you measure your success as an artist, they should ask you. This means, of course, that you have to have your answer ready.

So let’s do our homework:

1. How do I define my own success as an artist? What kind of recognition/sales/etc. do I want to achieve (if any)?

For me, my success is more about living the life of a working artist than about making any certain amount of money. I love that I get to have a studio and spend most of my working hours making art. The fact of working as an artist is a big part of feeling successful for me.

2. What kind of feedback do I want?

The answer to this is very person-dependent; I want different feedback from different people. If the person in question is a fellow artist I’d like something different than I would if the viewer is a personal friend or family member.

3. Have a ready answer when a friend or family member asks what they can do to support you. Would you like them to go on an artist date/buy something small from your Etsy shop/text you now and then during the work day to remind you that you’re not alone? Be prepared so that when they ask you have your answer ready. Again, you might have more than one answer depending on who is asking.

For my part, I’m thinking of making The Care of Feeding of your Artist a printable manifesto to hand around to people I know. If it comes together I will share it so you can spread the word too.

Let’s make gathering support for artists a mission! We need it and we deserve it.