ladder of success Attempting to define success as an artist is difficult because it is a subjective term that varies widely from person to person.

In the recent article, “5 Common Traits of Successful Artists”, you will find an interesting and concise list of traits that are common to most successful artists – however, this is not a formula!

The comments have been about as interesting as the article itself. I had planned to post this follow-up article a bit later, but after receiving the following comment, I decided to share this short but revealing article sooner rather than later…

Elaine stated, “I think you need to begin by clarifying what you mean by ‘successful artist.’ I have a feeling your definition might be different from mine. And the artists I know are ACUTELY aware of the difference between making art and marketing it.”

Well Elaine, thanks for your comment and I hope this article helps answer your question…

By guest author/artist advisor: Aletta de Wal

How Fine Artists Define Success:

When I ask fine artists to define ‘success‘, this is what they tell me that they want:

  • Faith: Conviction that they can produce what they envision, sense or get through a higher source.
  • Followers: People who like their work enough to buy it or tell others about it.
  • Fame: Publicity that draws attention to their work and attracts gallery dealers, art critics, museum curators and writers.
  • Fortune: Income from selling enough work to support themselves comfortably without having any other source of income.

Ask yourself: How can I adapt this idea or way of working to my situation?


To learn more, you can read or listen to Aletta’s interviews of successful artists here:

PS. I always enjoy the wisdom of others…here are a few successquotes:

Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be”~George Sheehan

“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, that is way great spiritual giants are produced.” ~Swami Vivekananda

“Victory is sweetest when you’ve known defeat.” ~Malcolm S. Forbes

You might like to read: Newsletter Art Marketing Tips that Work!

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