Importance of Artist Attitude

by Kathleen Huebener in Quote for the Day

Attitude in the dictionary is “a position or manner indicative of feeling, opinion, or intention toward a person or thing.” However, to an artist, there is a deeper meaning of the word attitude. Attitude actually presents life or death to an artist. How so, you may be thinking. What effect does my attitude have on my art?


To find the effect of one’s attitude, one must first recognize his/her current standing on the Attitude Scale. This is time to tell the truth to your inner self. It is the only way to improve your attitude rating.


“The Blame Game” is on one end of the Attitude Scale. This occurs when one blames another person or circumstances for one’s failures. Have you ever played that before? One does not like to admit it, but it is natural for a human being to have played the game a few times in one’s life, especially when one is a youngster. On the Attitude Scale, nevertheless, whining is top hindrance for a good rating in attitude.  


Examples would be:

“I never had an education in art for me to get any recognition.”

“I cannot paint because I don’t know what to paint.”

“My family thinks my artwork is stupid, so I don’t do it, at least when they are around.”
“I don’t sell my art because my art is awful.”

“I am not an artist because all I do fails!”

Do you recognize the negativity in these statements? To blame one’s lack of education, nothing to paint, family, oneself, or failures is definitely the negative side of the Attitude Scale.


The other end of the Attitude Scale is positive, Success. It is the best use of attitude to turn a mere inconvenience or minor irritation into a positive experience. There is no blame on this end. At this end, we take away the power from what is happening and make it positive. We know the limitations of what we have at that moment and we work with it. 

It is an “about-face” powerful means to turn the situation into good.


Examples could be:

“True, I never had an art education in art, but because I love art, I will get more art education, whether it is college, workshops, or with a private instructor.”


“Objects to paint are all around me. I just have to look or to collect and start painting”


“Who cares if my family isn’t supportive! My artwork is important to me, so I am doing it!”


“I will try to use other venues to sell my art, because I believe my art IS good!”


“I am not failing; by learning from my failures, I am getting progressively better!”


Do you see that attitude is how one looks at the whole picture and decides on how to react? To help us to remember the importance of attitude, think of a yellow lemon. The following is what to do if life hands you a lemon, something not planned or ever desired.


Jack White, the famous American artist, wrote,


“When you squeeze a lemon, you can either make lemonade or lemon juice.
One is sweet and the other is bitter.
You have the power and total choice
to make the decision on what you are going to do with the lemon.”


The bottom line is that our attitude can make us or break us as artists. Negative attitudes destroy; positive attitudes make us successful. Life gives every one lemons at one time or another. It is our choice; what will we do with them?


Any one interested in enjoying some cool fresh sweet lemonade with me? 
To learn more about Jack White, the artist.