Every job comes with its stereotypes, some good and some bad. Where firemen are often seen as heroic do-gooders, doctors are sometimes perceived as arrogant know-it-alls. Obviously, these assumptions aren’t always true. When you think of artists, what are some clichés that come to mind? What do people think of entertainers on a personal level? As an artist, you might be concerned with avoiding certain clichés and side-stepping the pitfalls that have plagued many other performers. Here are 5 clichés about artists you should avoid as your career begins to grow.
1. Don’t let your finances get the better of you
One of the more enduring clichés about artists is that they’re irresponsible with money. We’ve all heard stories about entertainers who became wildly successful only to fritter their money away on a fleet of yachts or a rare snow leopard. You can avoid this misstep with a little financial planning. As with lawyers or businesspeople, any artist who achieves even a modest level of success should prepare themselves for the future. Several institutions, such as Morgan Stanley and Pacific Wealth, offer financial advice through their websites that are specifically geared toward entertainers. Of course, artists should be encouraged to enjoy the profits of their hard work, but they should also maintain a level head for finance while navigating the uncertain world of entertainment.
2. Don’t underestimate the power of kindness
No one wants to be the bad guy. Unfortunately, life isn’t always that simple. For artists to be successful in their professional lives, there are going to be times when they have to stand up for themselves. That being said, there is often a fine line between assertiveness and meanness. Firmly expressing your opinion about your art is far different than berating an assistant or throwing things at people. Although show business regularly gives this kind of behavior a pass, remember that kindness and humility are far more respected than rudeness and abuse. Open communication is the key to avoiding these behaviors. Use social media to maintain relationships with artists that are just starting out in entertainment. Doodeo is a perfect place to discover new and talented artists and keep in touch with your friends working in other fields. Holding on to your humanity will help you become a more introspective artist, and make you a more pleasant and desirable person to work with.
3. Don’t get caught in the emotional storm
When we talk about entertainers and artists, we often describe them as being left-brained. This is often akin to being creative and imaginative. Although these are wonderful qualities for an artist, they can sometimes be paired with irrationality or moodiness. Obviously, not all entertainers are prone to these traits. If you notice these qualities in yourself, it might benefit you to rein-in your tendencies toward extreme behavior. As your career begins to take off, it will become essential to balance the fiery emotions that make you a passionate performer with a capacity for self-control. A good dose of rationality will also assure those working with you that you’re dependable and able to roll with the punches in an ever-changing industry. Do some online research about artists you admire or search for a few autobiographies of well-known entertainers. This could offer insight into how they learned to temper their more intense emotions during their early days in entertainment.
4. Don’t try to be perfect all the time
Artists are perfectionists. It just comes with the territory. Entertainers always want to produce the best work or give the greatest performance they possibly can. The trick is not letting your need to be perfect derail your drive or creativity. When your desire for perfection gets in the way of your art itself, you may start to feel frustrated and burned-out. Always keep in mind that no performance or novel is completely perfect. Just ask any successful artist and they’ll tell you where they have room for improvement or how they flubbed a particular piece. Learning from mistakes is the way artists grow. In fact, it’s usually the experiences that we believe are failures that provide the inspiration to create exceptional art. Find an online community like Doodeo where you can share your stories of failure and success. This will help you realize that you aren’t alone. Everyone strives for perfection, but remember that it’s the imperfections and quirks that make your art unique.
5. Don’t let your health take a back seat
Sadly, there are far too many stories about artists succumbing to mental illness and addiction. In a 2018 study, it was found that almost 50% of musicians reported symptoms of depression vs. 25% of the general population. This isn’t surprising when you consider that entertainers use their sensitivity and keen insight to create beautiful artwork that enriches the world. As you continue to make a name for yourself in your chosen field, always take particular care of both your physical and mental health. There is no shame whatsoever in seeking help when you need it. Fortunately, this assistance is widely available. The Actors Fund has an online presence devoted to helping artists deal with professional stress, anxiety, and depression. Tour Support, through LightHopeLife.org, also provides mental health tools for touring professionals. The world of entertainment can be stressful, so always reach out either online or in-person if you feel that you are struggling with your health.