Three Primary Reasons Why Artists Fail

You probably wonder why some people fail to pursue something they really want to do if they have the ability, time, and money. This is especially true when it comes to an artist. I can only assume the fear of failure is one of the main reasons, but along with this, there are others I…

You probably wonder why some people fail to pursue something they really want to do if they have the ability, time, and money. This is especially true when it comes to an artist. I can only assume the fear of failure is one of the main reasons, but along with this, there are others I wish to discuss. When you consider that all artists have failed paintings but fortunately found a way to get past their failures, you realize there would never have been the great works of Rembrandt van Rijn, Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso and thousands of others.

So, how do you take your lemons and turn them into lemonade? In other words, how do you use a bad painting to your benefit? First, do not get upset with the failed work and throw it away. Second, use it to contemplate and study so you will remember what you did wrong. Remember, it is a lesson you have taken so you'll know what to do the next time.

If you consider that every bad painting is a means to a good painting, then you are a mature artist and will more than likely succeed. However, if in frustration you say, “I'll never be able to paint!” You probably have some maturing to do. Consider, instead, “I'm getting better because I now know what not to do.” Always recognize that each painting you do, good or bad, takes you one step closer to mastery.

One of the most important thing to remember on your road to being a master artist is that if you paint the same successful picture repeated then then you will never be any better. Most all artist agree that painting never gets easier. A good artist must accept challenges, not be afraid to express new ideas, and willingly go where others have never gone before. You can do this, and you can do it with zeal.

Why does an artist have failed paintings? In many cases it comes down to the following three reasons:

  1. Composition: How you arrange your subject needs balance to be harmonious. You will want to include what is significant only and discard that which will be distracting. Many artists use nonessential details in their paintings which confuses the viewer. You need to simplify your subject matter wherever possible.
  2. Design: When you think of balance, conflict, dominance, gradation, harmony, repetition, unity, and rhythmic sequence, you are focusing on design. Many art works fail because the artist does not concentrate on these devices. This is what guides the viewer's eyes across a painting. This is what makes a painting work. Most important of all is successfully placing the emphasis on the focal point.
  3. Drawing: It seems so simple, yet it is so critical. If this does not come natural to you, learning to draw is worth the effort. In many cases, it is what makes the difference between a good painting and a total failure. Fortunately, this is a skill that can be learned. Once you've mastered it, your artwork will be confident, deliberate and concise in your expression of ideas.

In conclusion: You can have all the art talent in the world, but unless you are committed to being a good artist, you will never be one. Hardly any artist was born with the natural talent to draw, mix colors, and paint. These are skills that take dedicated study and years of practice. It also takes confidence, determination, imagination, vision and inspiration. Do not get hung up on whether you will ever be rich or famous as an artist. If this is only motivation, you are probably doomed for failure. Instead, paint with the passion to portrait beauty of the world as only you can interpret it. Do this, and the viewers will come to you in droves.