i am a thriving artist :: creative thursday

i am a thriving artist illustration - creativethursday

you know marisa, from creative thursday, right?

i am constantly inspired by her positive, professional, creative take on being an artist. marisa envisions her success and works towards realizing it every day. today’s post on her blog came of no surprise to me: marisa is embarking on a campaign to empower artists to think of themselves as “thriving artists“, not “starving artists.”

i couldn’t agree more!

do you suffer from this? do you assume because you’re creative, enjoy working with your hands, and enjoy pretty things that you’re destined for a life without?

artists, crafters, creatives: i have news for you. you are in demand.

you are people who are actually producing something tangible, with real worth, in an economy that is based on service. we must reclaim that sense of value or corporations – and friends, and family – will [continue to] take advantage of us.

don’t let anyone else assign value to you or what you create. don’t let others tell you to starve. only you can give value to your work by finding real value in yourself & your talent. you must choose to thrive, succeed, and prosper.

this weekend, make it a point to exclaim that you’re an artist, crafter, writer, creative to anyone who asks – and maybe those who don’t. and let them know you’re thriving, not starving.

if you need a reminder, marisa is creating a line of “thriving artist” goods – starting with the print above – available in her shop. and marisa, if you need any foot soldiers for your battle, you can count me in!

want more? read my follow-up to this post: embracing abundance & breaking the scarcity mindset.

58 thoughts on “i am a thriving artist :: creative thursday

    1. You’re welcome, Liz! I think this is something I’ll be pondering for a bit. Definitely check out Creative Thursday if you haven’t!

    1. Exactly, Amber! I really think Creatives have are at a premium in todays society. It’s all about harnassing it!

  1. Yup – this was something I needed to hear. I often feel undervalued and under appreciated – right now, this is the central theme in my day job. I make my art because I MUST, and I love that through blogging I can share it with people who give me AWESOME, LIFE-GIVING positive energy!

  2. I’m so over the starving artist thing. I make a point of telling people who joke about starving artists that it’s really not funny or helpful! I also have strong feelings about the idea that you must be depressed and tortured to be creative :)

  3. I’m a thriving artist and proud of it! I think people who joke about the starving artist thing may be a little envious that they don’t have a creative bone in their body! : )

  4. Thriving?? You’d better believe it. I have never taken on the starving artist identity. For better or for worse I expect more from myself than that. I think we determine your own value. When we project this to others they begin to understand. Every time I hear someone say that Americans don’t make anything anymore I say you are not looking in the right places. There is so much creativity here. Artist are a national treasure.

  5. I’m a teacher during the day and I always encourage my kids to speak positively about themselves and their passions. I teach middle school and so sometimes this is a challenge. It’s funny though, and I’ve never thought about this, but I often don’t practice what I teach. Teachers are horrible students! I love sewing and creating art and yet I always talk down on my ambitions and work. Maybe starting today I’ll change and be an example for my students. Thanks for the post!

    1. Hi Angela! So happy to hear your realization. Secret: I do the same thing. I build artists up all day (just like in this post) and then I go and tell myself my talents aren’t as good as theirs. Bull hockey! I’m creative and talented and thriving too. I deserve to value myself and my work. And you do too!

  6. Tara, thanks so much for bringing this up. With all the comments, it’s obviously something everyone encounters and thinks about. I know I do. I used to go back and forth – sometimes feeling less that I’m “just” a creative type, and sometimes being proud that I have talents or imagination that the average person might not. In any case, the starving artist scenario does not set well with me. I simply won’t believe it.

    Surprisingly, it wasn’t until my kids started getting older and showing genuine amazement at the things I would create, that I began to feel a real sense of value in myself and what I did. It gave me confidence that the people I cared about the most appreciated my creative self. I started thinking differently after that. They are still my biggest source of encouragement. Even their friends write me from college, saying they miss my creative, artsy house :) Our talents are part of who we are, and we should never undervalue ourselves or the things we can do.

    I really appreciate your positive take on not just this topic, but on Scoutie Girl in general. It has such an optimistic influence on me… it’s really a joy to come here and feel validated and inspired.

  7. Ah thanks for that! Some people do look at me and go ‘oh..thats a nice hobby, well done you’ I mean thats nice of them but kinda patronising??? I want to make a living out of making things, its my thing, its what i do.

    Thanks soo much for the burst of positive energy, I really needed it today! “I am a thriving artist” ;)))

  8. Lovely post!
    And the artist’s work featured is so sweet!
    Already oe of my favs on etsy ^^
    What a nice place just discovered! I’m gonna have a look around and definitely start following You!
    Greetings from Italy ^^

  9. I like that saying!

    I’m a firm believer that we tend to manifest what we think and believe, so thinking in the perspective of thriving is a much more positive outlook!

  10. Thank goodness there are people out there trusting fellow artist’s common sense and dedication when it comes to pursuing our passion!
    I’m just starting on the road to starting a creative venture, and have noticed how quick people are to offer ‘helpful’ feedback in the form of deterrents when I mention what I’m doing.
    If we are truly in love with what we do, the potential spills and mistakes and financial minimalism that being creative (sometimes) entail are beside the point.

    1. Hey Phoebe! Thanks for your comment. I’m wondering if those naysayers are from within our creative community or outside it. I think there’s a lot of negativity on both sides of the fence but I’ve found our community very supportive and empowering. I’ve also chosen to avoid a lot of the negativity 😉

      1. Usually outside it! It does make negativity so much easier to avoid with access to such a supportive community. I’m also very lucky to have the benefit of a very supportive sister :)
        I’ve only just started accessing creative blogs and there is just so much support out there that it does make it a lot easier to avoid the blerg 😛

  11. oh there’s so much i’d like to add here, and so much that the 32 other commenters have said that i say yay to!

    I guess the bit I’d like to add is that really, I don’t think we would be thriving nearly as much if it weren’t for the amazing support we get from sites and individuals like you tara. You really are a vital part of helping artists crafters (and zines!!) get out there and feel that people believe in us.

    that’s priceless really… you genuinely feed us like water to plants to help us thrive.

    warm and very grateful, in awe, thanks to your loveliness!!


    (Spoonful zine)

  12. What a nice and lovely article. There are so many people in my life that would just say – Oh, so you make things? How nice. And that is it.
    Yes, thriving artists we are!! Because we looooove what we do no matter of what.
    Thank you so much.

    1. Hi tara, although I am late in responding to your beautiful blog, I must start by saying “I love it!!”– Although I am quite new to etsy, and have not yet sold one single item; I AM an artist… and thank you for reminding me that there is worth to what I do… Thank you again, and now I will stay tunned!

  13. I like that we shouldn’t let people make or think that they can make us and our creations and work is less than what we know it is or let it make us feel that we can’t do it full time because we won’t be able to pay our bills and have the good things if life. This was very inspiring thank you.

  14. This is a great boost!
    If there is one thing I have learnt being an artist is that no one can tell you what works or doesnt, the magic comes from within, your own passion and vision, thats what makes you thrive!

  15. This was just what I needed to read! I am so grateful for all the wonderful information and artists involved with Etsy, I am just starting to scratch the surface.

  16. Thanks so much. I find so often that I have the competition/scarcity mindset — there are already plenty of painters in the world not making money — there isn’t room for me and my work. But there IS room, and if I’ve made it this far, there must be something else waiting down the road, if I just put one foot in front of the other….

    Abundance…. a good word to remember.

  17. Tara – Just adding my thanks for posting this. Just the inspiration and encouragement lots of us need! You are an excellent motivator! Thanks!

  18. I am a thriving artist! It’s hard, being the only one among family & friends. Though they mean well, they’re “support” often comes across more negative than positive, this often blurs my own self image… it makes me sad… until…

    Thank you so much for this post! This just gave me a confidence boost & most of all, clarity!

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