If you’ve ever posted your work online and felt like no one cares, but you’re holding on to the dream of being a full-time artist, it is possible!

A big reason why most artists will fail to build an audience for their work is that they won’t make a living off their art: in fact, they’ll waste years of their lives posting their work online and no one seems to care.

The reason most artists struggle to make a living is because they fail to build an audience for their work.

Are you a romantic or a realist? What do we mean by that? I’m not talking about romanticism or realism. Obviously.

What is reality? Is it that slippery thing that will adapt to the way you see it, or is it that concrete thing that doesn’t change no matter how much you believe in it? What is romanticism?

Romantic artists see love like you see in the movies and then they try to emulate that in their lives which is unrealistic, so let’s define these two terms so you can determine which artist you are and what changes you need to make.

Romantics dream of having an audience for their work, but they can never really seem to build one. Realists figure out what they need to do to build that audience and then slowly but surely take the right steps to make it happen.

An artist who only dreams of having an audience is a romantic. An artist who figures out what they need to do to build that audience is a realist.

The romantic often imagines what it would be like to have a wide audience. The realist figures out what steps to take to build that audience, and then takes those steps.

The romantic thinks about all the things they would like to do and asks themselves “How can I make this happen?” The realist asks themselves “Why is it not happening already? How can I make this happen?” and then actively works towards their goal.

If you want to be a full-time artist, you must be a realist. The things that the realist does right are: (1) They have a dream; (2) They have long-term goals;

I wasn’t having much luck with my finances. I was stuck doing manual labor jobs that I hated, and they were making me miserable each day. However, when I started writing down my dreams, I started envisioning what my art career would look.

To achieve your goals, you need to know where they are and how to get there. Like a map in a mall, you need to know where you’re at (your current state) and where you need to go (your goals).

It’s good to have a concrete image of what success looks like, because if you never know what you’re aiming for, then you can hardly hope to achieve it.

In other words, you have to examine the opportunities and challenges ahead of you so you can build a strategy for achieving your goals.

The romantic artist is the guy on the riverbank, scrolling through social media and playing video games. The realist is like General Patton, still making time for social media but also making time for work.

People who are living their dreams have figured out how to self-discipline themselves. They know what their goals are and have identified the actions they need to do take in order to achieve them. What goals are you pursuing? What steps can you take.

If you want to make a comic, the biggest step in the right direction is to make a script and block out time to work on it. You’ve got to break your huge goal down into smaller tasks.

literally you only have so much life left, so go out and get it. Cross the river and take the island. Yes, you still have to make sure that you have work-life balance. Schedule your down time if you like playing video games.

It’s true that everyone needs to do their fair share of romantic things, but a realist knows that sometimes you need to ask for help to get those things done.

If you love drawing, why are you lettering your comic book? Letters start at like ten dollars a page. That’s like 40 bucks a month. If you’re doing one page a week, that’s so much more. Sometimes it’s okay to ask for help. Not only will you have more time to draw your comic, but you’ll get better colors that will make your work look 10 000 times better than if you were to do it yourself.

The romantic artist looks at their own work with rose-colored glasses on, but the realist looks at their own work through brutally honest eyes. When you’re trying to improve your art, it’s helpful to be able to look at your work with brutal honesty.

I want to encourage you to keep drawing, but what matters online is how you present yourself, not what you can do in the studio. Look at how other artists present themselves, and try to emulate them. An artist who has a large following consistently draws good work that shows what they’re capable of.

By being specific about what you want to improve on, you have a better chance of actually improving while avoiding wasting time and energy on things that wouldn’t give you much improvement. If you’re not sure what your art looks like, look at a few random drawings that you’ve made in the past and try to figure out what they all have in common. Can you pick out something that’s missing from each of them?

While it’s important to understand your audience, you also need to understand your strengths. If you want to improve your art, you need to understand what appeals to your audience.

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