Keys to Success in Painting and Business

An image of the logo for the art instruction business Art Life with Kelli owned by Kelli Folsom

1. Challenge your perceptions 

Our perceptions can be formed by many things including our beliefs, environment, and models of behavior we’ve experienced before.  Our perceptions or misconceptions can really limit us both in painting and in business. I urge you to question things, don’t make assumptions and be open to explore new ideas or thoughts. We all tend to want to box things in, define and make concrete conclusions. This isn’t an open system, but a closed one. It will always limit what’s possible for you. Be like a scientist posing questions, postulating theories and doing experiments. You’re far more likely to both innovate and land on some truth and understanding, then challenge and question that again. 

2. Be Your Own Hero 

Any ounce of the victim mentality that you have will hold you back both in painting and in business. Blaming others or circumstances won’t get you anywhere in either case. The phrases, “I don’t know” or “I can’t” are completely unacceptable. Make a choice right now that you will take full responsibility for everything that’s happening to you. If you want to say, “I won’t” or “I don’t want to” that’s just fine. That’s accepting full responsibility that there is a solution and that something is learnable and achievable, but you just don’t want to put in the effort and that’s okay! Just don’t blame anyone else or event like the economy, your partner or your past. When you’re trapped in victim mind there can be no progress or acceptance. 

3. Get Real Clear

I’ve found it critical for me to get very clear on my personal needs, values, and ideals. These are my guides along my journey in painting and in business. This takes a lot of introspection and frankly a brutal honesty that most of us are uncomfortable with. If one of your values is status and racking up as many awards as you can – OWN IT. If it’s solitude and anonymity – OWN IT. Don’t try to fit in with what you see others doing. You’re here to be yourself and fulfill your purpose and the rest of us will be better off if you do. That’s not to say that what you need, and value won’t make others uncomfortable or that they won’t try to criticize or tear you down. There will be some that do, but you’re not here for them. You’re here to fulfill your own destiny and for those you’re here to serve.

4. Be of Service

Stop seeking what’s in it for you. Ask what’s in it for them?  I’ve learned that the more I am to be of service in my painting, my teaching and my business (guided by my values and ideals) I get everything I am seeking and then some. This can go back to the victim mentality as well. Stop seeking praise. Seek instead to engage with your audience. Listen to them. Serve them. I think you’ll find that when you do, they will be attracted to you and what you have to offer.  

5. Celebrate the Journey

Celebrate yourself (and others). I believe that we all should take the time to pat ourselves and others on the back. It can’t all be blood, sweat, and tears. We need victories, rest and celebration too. Give yourself credit. Lavish praise and special gifts upon yourself for your hard work and achievements. Don’t wait for someone else recognize you, you do it. I know this is hard to do (it still is for me too) but try not to look at one day or one painting or one thing in your painting out of relationship to the whole. If it’s true in painting, it’s true in life. Just the other day I found myself stumbling upon photographs of old paintings I’d done, and a wave of joy and gratitude came over me. I realized how lucky I am to have this opportunity, this gift and how grateful I am for how far I’ve come in the last twelve years as a painter and a person. Sometimes we can get too focused on wherever we’re stuck right now. We’re not always going to be at the top of our game. Sometimes our best is our best and sometimes it’s just the best we can do. So, celebrate and support others too in their victories and in the daily grind.

Join me at the Scottsdale Artists School in April this year! This is the ONLY available workshop on the 2020 calendar, and spaces are filling up fast! It is always such a wonderful experience being together with my students. Everyone learns so much while studying with me in person. It takes the painting experience to the next level. Students are able to reach the breakthroughs that they need in their paintings that are keeping them stuck. And the yummy margarita’s at lunch don’t hurt either! Click here for details!

Love in Light, Kelli

2 thoughts on “Keys to Success in Painting and Business

  1. Yes! I’d absolutley love for you to continue in the Art Life School Kimberly! There are various art business courses that will help set you up to sell more regularly and hit your goals. As a Vital member, you can upgrade to the Art Life School at anytime before July 31t.

  2. I want to continue in the art life program. I e sold a few pieces and want to see more and sell regularly

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