Lynn Anderson Fine Art

Maximizing Artistic Resources

Myriad of Tools Coupled With Vast Art World

Many talented, aspiring artists feel inadequate about their work and wonder how to develop a successful artistic career. They may secretly envy other artist’s accomplishments, and question whether their portfolio is good enough. What they may overlook is effective use of their internal and external resources.

The art world is vast. It values unique artistic expression without limits. It contains infinite possibilities for creative expression in music, fine art, photography, dance, film, design, and theater. Thus, artists are not constrained by their field, nor by their creativity, but rather by their own perception of the available resources.

Gallery exhibit

Photo by Deb Wesley

At their disposal is a plethora of external tools. These encompass

  • meaningful critique groups,
  • gallery exhibitions and art shows,
  • networking with other artists,
  • mentoring relationships with instructors,
  • field trips to inspire imagination and creativity,
  • artist-in-residence placements,
  • classes, workshops, and conferences,
  • memberships in art organizations and photography clubs.

Add to this list resources to create and present one’s art, along with print and media marketing collateral to publicize one’s work.

Nourish A Positive Inner Attitude

Yet, first and foremost, the key to success in any field, is the cultivation of a positive inner attitude which is inclusive of infinite possibilities. As you perfect your artistic vision (whatever your gifts) recognize the opportunities and follow that stream. Believe in your work.  One prospect leads to another. Let yourself be open to all sorts of experiences. Think of yourself on a journey of discovery, and be committed to getting your art out there in the world.

Cultivating a positive inner attitude means overcoming limiting thoughts, such as,

“What if people think my work isn’t good enough?”
“What if gallery managers think I am full of myself if I ask them to review my work?”
“It’s too much work to put together a solo show.”

Morel Mushroom

Morel Mushroom

All of this mind chatter interferes with exploration. Don’t take it seriously. When you do receive a “No,” take no offense. Keep on searching for those right environments where your work will thrive. Remember that there are many types of wild flowers. Some thrive high on alpine mountain slopes, others in mid-western prairies, while others in the desert heat.  A strong positive attitude and patience to continue discovering those right environments matters. Imagine a morel mushroom hunter searching for the delicacy in the woods. He looks near decayed ash tree logs with no results. Continuing the hunt he investigates other locations. Still no morels. Everywhere he looks he gets a no.  All he needs is one yes. Eventually he spots the textured mushroom poking out from under dry fall leaves in a perfect shaded environment. His patience has paid off.

Synchronicity Involves Connections

When an artist’s conviction in their work is strong, resources in the outer world fall into place. Exhibitions not only provide the opportunity to sell one’s work, yet more importantly, offer a venue to network to learn about other galleries. You don’t need to be an exhibiting artist to make use of this resource. Attend as many gallery shows as you can, to socialize with others to increase your networking contacts. Critique groups provide an independent source of feedback. You can organize one with other artists if you don’t belong to one.

Emergence Gallery Show

Emergence Exhibit, Burning Bush Art Gallery

In addition to responding to formal calls for art, reach out to establish connections with gallery managers. Attend gallery openings, enjoy the artwork, and evaluate the gallery vision to determine if it is an appropriate venue to showcase  your work. Emergence–Touching the Inner Source of Being evolved to a 28 piece exhibition at The Burning Bush Art Gallery.  Attending a friend’s photography show, the gallery manager introduced himself and asked me how I heard about the gallery. As we chatted, I asked about the possibility of exhibiting my work there. Several days later I followed up with an email and link to my website. The timing was right. Easter was approaching, and my colorful botanic photographs were the right subject matter after a prolonged chilly winter.

This momentum led me to a number of future exhbitions and the opportunity to sell my fine art photography at purchased at Art On The Plaza located in Superior, Wisconsin. In each situation, these possibilities evolved as I utilized my resources and reached out to make connections.

Additional exciting resources for artists to check out:

  • Self Employed in the Arts (SEA) offers a yearly annual conference and a number of regional conferences.  More info at Self Employed in the Arts
  • Springboard for the Arts -Creative Exchange is a new national platform for storytelling and resource-sharing around artists, creativity & community. Learn more at Creative Exchange powered by Springboard for the Arts
  • Filter Photo Festival every fall offers workshops, portfolio reviews, lectures, and panel discussions by gallery owners, museum directors, curators, and other photography experts from across the country. More info at Filter Photo Festival.



The Space Between Now and Next