If you plug your mind, emotions and soul into the evening news then you will get a grim view of the world.
Rising interest rates and inflation, US debt ceiling, bank collapses, housing and homelessness crisis, wars in Europe and on and on. Nothing but bad news if that is what you choose to plug in to.
The great news though is that our Universe operates on polarity. Polarity simply means that you can’t have good without bad, day without night, positive without negative. It’s a universal law.
So despite all the negative focus that the world is gripped in right now the opposite is equally true.
There is more money in circulation than at any point in history. There are more people than ever before who have access to the internet and are being exposed to arts and creative industries. In turn this leads to more art being sold than ever before.
Both scenarios exist at the same time. The question is what will you focus on?
You either go through the world seeing lack, or you go through the world and marvel at how abundant it is.
For creative people there has never been a better time in history!
There is more opportunity than ever before for creative people to make a full time living from their art. And for many, to go and build substantial businesses around their art.
The days of the starving artist are long gone. Being a starving artist is now a choice. If you choose, like I have and many others have, to become an affluent artist then the opportunities have never been better.
And its been this way for close to two decades now.
Back on the 4th March 2008 Wired Magazine co-founder Kevin Kelly wrote one of the most widely read blog posts in history. It was titled “1000 True Fans”:
In the blog post Kelly presented the idea that it was now possible for any creative to make a decent living from their art by gathering together their true fans.
The idea was that if you attracted 1000 true fans to your art who gave you $100 each per annum then it was possible for any artist to make a six figure income as a self-representing artist.
If that was true then the need to be selected to enter art shows, or to be judged the winner of a competition, or to get the approval of a gallery owner and so on no longer existed. In other words the barrier to becoming a successful artist had crumbled like the Berlin Wall.
So was it true? Was there any merit to the idea proposed by Kelly back in 2008?
I read that blog post in 2010 shortly after doing my first oil painting. I was hooked on painting and my mind started to wonder. Was it possible I could become a full time artist?
Initially fear, doubt, and the starving artist mindset held me back but the more I thought about the 1000 True Fans idea the more I realised it was possible for me, and any creative person, to make a reasonable living from their art.
So the 1000 True Fans principle became my guiding light.
Find and attract true fans to my art who would want to purchase the products I created along the way.
Did it work?
Well over the last decade the opportunity for creatives online has just got better and better.
When I started out in 2010 YouTube was just getting started. It would take hours to upload videos back then. Instagram didn’t exist, nor did TickTock, Shopify or Square. And most of the online art galleries like Etsy either did not exist back then, or were only just getting started.
And so in a decade the opportunity has just gotten better and better. Today we have a high definition video camera in our pockets. We can shoot video, edit it and upload it and reach out to a global audience of prospective True Fans within minutes.
As I pursued the idea of attracting 1000 True Fans the technology just kept improving, and the opportunity became even better over time.
It didn’t take me long to reach the point of Kelly’s article of attracting 1000 True Fans who on average gave you $100 each per annum.
And then I sailed right on by this point and kept going.
I should point out that I am not the greatest artist ever 🙂 Not even close. I learned to paint as I went over the last decade.
Even so I was still able to attract far more than 1000 True Fans and I found that if you create the right opportunities for them, and provide tremendous value to them, then they will give you far more than $100 per annum.
And this is why I say to anyone who will listen that right now it is the greatest time in history to be a self-representing creative person.
The opportunity has never been better than at any point in history.
My belief is it will only continue to get better from here.
The question is what will you do with it?
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