Common Artist Misconceptions and Realities: Understanding the Art World Better

No votes yet
Courtesy of
After kicking around the art world for three decades now, and during those years talking to countless thousands of artists, gallery owners, and other artland professionals, certain facts and fictions about how everything works gradually become clear. So reflecting back on all that, here's a list of common misconceptions that many artists have, and their corresponding realities...

Misconception: "I've got the art. Now all I need are some names and numbers of galleries and collectors who'll be interested in my work and I'll never have any problems selling again.
Reality: There is no instant path to success. Way too many artists believe the only obstacle standing between them and greatness is that they've yet to be discovered and that once the "right people" see their work, the world will grasp the gravity of their talent. The truth is that the process of getting known and ultimately recognized is a long game. Only a consistent track record of accomplishments and successes ultimately leads to fame. Just like in any other profession, you start at the beginning, prove yourself over time, and gain a progressively respectable reputation as an artist.

Misconception: "My art is unique. Nothing like this has ever been done before.
Reality: All art is unique (assuming you're not working in limited editions). The fact that a work of art is unique, or the process used to create a work of art is unique is not enough in and of itself to render that art significant or worthy of notice. Having said that, unusual or unique techniques do count for something, especially if they're highly involved or difficult to duplicate. In the end, though, it's all about the quality, significance and import of the art, not simply that it's different from all other art.

Misconception: "My art will sell itself.
Reality: No art sells itself. You have to sell it. This doesn't mean hawking it on street corners, but rather engaging in various forms of communication or dialogue around it and demonstrating in various ways that it's worth considering from either aesthetic or intellectual perspectives and even more importantly, worth becoming a part of people's lives. 

. . .

Artist Resource Center: 

PO BOX 66494
Houston, TX 77266-6494


Fresh Arts |  The Silos at Sawyer 1502 Sawyer St, Studio #103 Houston, TX 77007