Hard Work + Discipline = Successful Artist

Find out what I feel about the changes in the art industry

Does Hard Work + Discipline = Successful Artist?

Becoming a successful artist is no easy accomplishment – it takes grit, discipline and hard work. Throughout my 10-year journey in this business, I’ve had countless times when things weren’t going as planned – but rather than give up, I took these moments to switch things up and try something new! Through consistent effort and determination, guess what? It is working out!

The art licensing industry has long been a popular way for artists to monetise their work and reach a wider audience. However, in recent years, the industry has undergone significant changes that have made it increasingly challenging for artists to succeed. In this blog post, we will explore some of the ways in which the art licensing industry is changing and how it is becoming more challenging for artists.


1 – Increased Competition

The art licensing industry is more crowded and competitive than ever, making it difficult for individual artists to find success. With huge POD websites such as Spoonflower having taken the market by storm, there are countless talented creatives vying for attention. Despite this challenge, I still receive lots of licencing requests from companies of all sizes – further proof that demand remains strong! That said, nothing lasts forever; clients may come and go but ultimately, every creative should feel confident in their abilities knowing they can handle whatever comes next.

2 – Digital Disruption

The rise of digital technology has disrupted many industries, and the art licensing industry is no exception. With the increasing availability of digital art and online marketplaces, traditional licensing models are becoming less effective. This has made it more difficult for artists to secure licensing deals and has created new challenges around protecting intellectual property.  You also have the introduction of AI (Artificial Intelligence).  Art has been an integral part of human culture for centuries, with artists creating masterpieces that inspire and provoke thought. However, with the rise of technology, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), there has been a growing concern about the theft of art from the web.

AI-generated art is created using algorithms that analyze existing art to understand patterns and styles, which are then used to generate new pieces. These algorithms can create art that is almost identical to that created by humans, making it difficult to determine whether a particular piece is genuine or not. This has led to a rise in the number of counterfeit art pieces on the market, which can be sold for much less than the original.

AI-generated art raises ethical questions about ownership and authorship. If an algorithm creates a piece of art, who owns the copyright? Is it the person who programmed the algorithm or the AI itself? These questions are yet to be fully answered, and until they are, there will always be a risk of legal disputes and confusion surrounding ownership.

I believe good decent companies who want to licence art from artists do actually care about copyright (and protecting their IP).  Currently, AI art can’t be copyrighted according to the latest US copyright laws.   It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.  I see so many AI-generated patterns on Spoonflower for instance, even in their weekly challenges.  I can see that Spoonflower are struggling to stay ahead of the game on this, but eventually, they will and my hope is AI-generated art will stay away from Spoonflower challenges

As the use of AI in art continues to grow, it is important that we consider these risks and take steps to protect the integrity of the art world. This could include increased regulation and oversight, as well as education and awareness-raising campaigns to help people understand the importance of original works and the value of creativity and originality.


3. Teaching online

With so many artists offering online classes, it’s understandable to experience some skepticism. There is a lot of hustling going on, after all!

But from my own perspective as an experienced artist who has built up their career over the years through dedication and hard work – I can assure you that teaching isn’t always about profiting off vulnerable doodlers in desperate pursuit of 6-figure income success stories.  Teaching is just one part of my diverse sources of income.  One month it may bring in 50% of my income, the next only 10%.  Just like the amount I receive for Licenses and royalties fluctuate greatly each month.  

Teaching, for me, is something enjoyable and meaningful. It allows people to learn more about what I’m passionate about and provides people with the knowledge they need while allowing them an opportunity to learn straight from someone who knows first-hand, even though it may not always provide big bucks right away.

In conclusion

In conclusion, navigating the art licensing industry as an artist requires dedication and hard work. The landscape has changed significantly over the last ten years and is only becoming more difficult with increased competition in the space and digital technology disrupting traditional models.

With AI-generated art raising unique questions about authorship and copyright laws, regulators are now tasked with addressing these issues through education and awareness campaigns.

Online teaching also brings both opportunities for success and potential exploitation of those searching for it. For experienced artists, teaching can be a meaningful experience even outside of earning a consistent paycheck or being financially successful.

All in all, becoming a successful artist is no easy feat but one that is worth striving towards if you passionately have something to share with the world.

How do you feel about all this? I’d love to hear your opinion in the comments!