Losing Steam by Heather Goldstein

When I graduated last December and started my job full-time here at Jerry's, I was beyond motivated to make it work.  I had read somewhere that something like 90% of art school graduates do not create any art in the 2 years after graduation.  That was not going to be me!  I left school feeling refreshed and motivated about life, my job, and expecially my art.  So here it is, October 11, and I have seen my art take the back seat.

Now, productivity is definitely NOT the issue!  I have done 11 paintings on my own plus 1 in progress, 3 commissions, and 6 collaborative works with my friend Heather.  No, the real problem has been what I find to be most artists' problem...the business end. 

When I graduated, I was constantly looking for shows to enter.  I joined the Visual Art Exchange in Raleigh and was looking for as many additions to my resume as possible.  I need to get back to that.  I was so worried that I would not be able to force myself into the studio without deadlines, but the truth is that it does not take much forcing to get me there.  There is nothing I love more than to come home, pour a glass of wine, put on some music, and paint for hours.  But it's time to focus!  Time to find gallery representation.  Time to find juried shows.  Time to find my market. 

So off I go into the great blue yonder of the internet.  I'm in search, like so many, of an audience.


One of my newly finished pieces:

The Other Side

Oil, Encaustic, and Pencil on Canvas

36" x 36"

Comments (7) -


I here ya. I didnt even get to grad due to some personal problems but i still went forward doing work but oh man so hard to get into shows and a gallery.....

Xavier Lopez Jr.

Honestly, this is a very natural whittling down and extracting of the wheat from the chaff.  The truth is either you have to do art or you don't--those that need motivation or steam won't be doing it in 2 years and its the very best for everyone that aren't.  I know this sounds elitist or whatever--but art isn't about dilettantism--if it's a hobby for you, it's a hobby.  Don't worry whether you will be doing it in two years or not.  Artists work 9-5, have art shows at night and on weekends and wheatpaste 'til 3 am on school nights.  That's just the way it is.  Honestly, if your losing steam--maybe art was never what you were meant to do in the first place--then again, there's a lot of bad art out there--if your work is amazing--and you know, deep in your heart of hearts if that is true--then you owe it to the art to get out there and do what needs to be done to make your art as successful as it can be!


i agree with you but it  dosen't make it any easier :X and im not giving up even if my apt ends up being nonthing but storage for my art ill keep doing it .... Im just saying it isnt easy..... Even dough every day street art looks more tempting <.< cause at lest ill get my work out there but then again i would never thought of it before........So i dont if it me jumping on bandwagon or i just really want post my art out there...


Mmmm..I wonder- I came into my element later in life and did not start as an artist for any motivation to make a buck at it. If it sells- great- but if you don't then do it for yourself. That's the true inspiration. Read how DeKooning lived on mustard packets in the 40's and 50's in New York City and you get a feel for what a great artist had to plow through just to have the sheer fortitude to get through the day (and night).

M Theresa Brown

LOL Heather, that's actually "real life" and it's not the  twentieth century concept but rather the same basic challenges that artists throughout history have had to deal with.  It all boils down to how you perceive and handle the combined challenges of creating and paying bills that determines if you can "make it as an artist!"  There is a very direct correlation between need and motivation!
Self motivation is hard which is why most people are not self employed so keep doing what you are doing...organize your hours, set your goals and it will all fall into place....lol come to one of my workshops....we like to say that "even a kick in the rear is a step forward!"

M Theresa Brown

Ah Heather, this is real life Smile. And it's the same in any career...plus you're just coming off of School.....9-5 takes some getting used to!


Try coffee houses...I have pretty good success w/those...I don't even bother w/galleries (non here anyway)

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