Three Myths to Stop Believing Now for Artists and Writers

You need to know about marketing and money to get your best work noticed

Shad Engkilterra
Oct 8, 2019 · 4 min read

As an artist and creator, you know how hard it is to find the time to do the work you find most fulfilling. The more you can work at your creative endeavors, the better you feel. Unfortunately, there are probably a lot of things standing in your way. Here are three myths you need to stop believing now to boost your creativity and the opportunity to work on your art.

The Cream Always Rises

Does the cream always rise to the top? A cow watches milk being carried away.
Does the cream always rise to the top? A cow watches milk being carried away.

This is unprovable if you’re using this as a metaphor. There may be someone out there who was better at music than Taylor Swift, or better at basketball than Michael Jordan, or better at animating films than the Walt Disney Company, but they were never discovered.

The second problem is that if your talent is recognized after you’re gone, it doesn’t do you any good. Vincent Van Gogh died a pauper. He’s famous now, but that’s probably cold comfort. Van Gogh isn’t the only artist who has had to face fame after dying. Paul Gaugin, Claude Monet and El Greco also failed to find success during their lives.

With the Internet, it’s harder than ever to rise to the top. Your art or business has to fight through distractions beyond just your competition. You’re competing with the latest Marvel movie, what controversial thing politicians have said, and how many cat videos a person can watch in a day. Attention is the true commodity of our time, and you need to find a way to garner it if you want to rise to the top.

In real life, the cream rises to the top literally, so does the scum. You’re going to be battling with both and everything in between to breakthrough.

Money Is Evil

Burning money
Burning money

“You should be doing art for art’s sake” is a common refrain that artists, writers and crafters hear. Money is the root of all evil; it will corrupt your work. Artists that do commercially viable products are “sell-outs.” The idea of the starving artist is pervasive and damaging. If you want good art, you need to have artists who can devote their time to their specialty and its techniques. People who have to work a full-time job and do art as a hobby will always fall behind those who get to do art full-time and eat well from it.

Author Nogie King says “Money was invented to facilitate human relationships.” Making money isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s what we do with it that makes a difference. Your relationship with money will determine whether you embrace it as a tool to become a better creator or whether you find yourself in a position to continually scramble to come up with enough money to live. Money isn’t evil, and artists shouldn’t shun it. It’s simply a tool to make creating easier.

Marketing is Lying

Marketing should be about building a relationship with your future clients.
Marketing should be about building a relationship with your future clients.

Marketing gets a bad rap because it has been used nefariously in the past. However, if you do it right, marketing isn’t about lying to sell your products or services. It’s about building a relationship with your customers and potential customers. To sell your art or your books, you need to learn how to market, so that people will not only see that its available but to also entice them to purchase it.

The last thing you should do is lie about it. Your marketing campaign should be real and truthful. If you can you can, you want to under-promise and over-deliver. This doesn’t mean you should sell yourself short, either. You need to be enthusiastic and positive about what you create, and focus on what your potential customers and clients see. Be aware that as a creator, you are your own worst critic. Do not let that part of you dictate your marketing. Provide an honest, uplifting experience about what you deliver in your marketing and get yourself more customers for the long term.

If you can stop believing these three myths, you could see a boost in your income and your creative productivity. Embrace money and marketing so that you and your art can rise to the top.

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Shad Engkilterra

Written by

Earned a Master’s in Creativity and Innovation from Malta U., author of “Disneyland Is Creativity” and other books, other works available at www.penguinate.com.

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +720K people. Follow to join our community.

Shad Engkilterra

Written by

Earned a Master’s in Creativity and Innovation from Malta U., author of “Disneyland Is Creativity” and other books, other works available at www.penguinate.com.

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +720K people. Follow to join our community.

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