To be a successful artist you need to let go of your art.
Visual artists tend to develop relationships with their paintings. For some artists, that relationship started well before the painting was every put to canvas. For too many artists that relationship remains strong after long after the paint dries.
So how does an artist get out of his or her own way and learn to let go of their works?
1. Go Public with Your Art
If you are not showing your work public then you need to. Art is a form of expression, and of communication, and is made to be shared.
2. Do not Purposefully Overprice Art
Some artists will purposefully overprice certain pieces of art that they do not want to give up. They still want to show them, but not give up ownership. If you have no intention of selling a piece of art, do not include it among other works for sale at gallery or art shows.
Re-consider not selling pieces. Each piece of art that an artist has created has a special meaning, a story, or a is a reminder of a time, a mood, a person, a feeling. Why are some so much more important? Would it be more important to you to have a professional career as an artist and actually make a living?
3. Use Technology to Copy Your Art
With technology there are numerous ways to “hold onto” the image of an artwork even when we sell the original. The opposite is also true. There are ways to sell prints and copies, and retain the original for yourself.
4. Remind Yourself You can Always Make More Art
If you find yourself unable to let go of your artwork, remind yourself that you can always make more.
5. Letting Go of Your Art Moves Your Forward
The biggest reason that artists need to let go of their artworks is not only to make money on their art, but more importantly, to move forward as artist.
When an artist spends their waking hours mooning over their favorite piece, of on the works they’ve created in the past, they are not letting their artistic vision evolve.
Letting go of the finished pieces will bring you out of the past, and into the present, where you can move forward with your art. Moving forward you can continue to explore and deepen themes of previous paintings, and to evolve you visual art into something more.
By letting go of finished pieces physically, you will also let go of them mentally. This will free you to move on an explore different themes and mediums.
If you never let go of your art, you will never know where your creativity will take you next.