Can we talk about dirt for a minute?
No seriously. Think about soil. The stuff that becomes mud on our boots on a rainy day and gets tracked across the kitchen floor by every human and animal that comes through the door forcing us to clean up again and again.
But soil is also the very thing from which all life springs. Without this living, breathing entity, the earth would be a barren rock. Soil gives life to plants and holds them up so they don’t tip over. Those plants are the source of everything we eat, the clothing we wear, the houses we live in, the medicines that keep us healthy, everything. We literally wouldn’t be here without soil. It is the foundation of life on earth.
And soil is way more complex than we give it credit for. It’s made up of all sorts of living and non-living components and it’s full of nutrients and energy. Rather than being an inert pile of dirt, it’s very much a complex organism of sorts.
But what does this have to do with being an artist? Well, a lot.
As a working artist, you need a foundation just like the plants. Your art is the reason you do what you do but in order to support that you must lay the groundwork. Think of the minutiae of your life as the components of your soil. In order for the bigger things to thrive, the little pieces must all be in place first.
- Every gardener knows that sometimes growing things is more complicated than just plopping some seeds in the ground and crossing your fingers. The soil needs to be just right and the crops need tending.
- Your artistic life needs good conditions and tending, too. Put in the time on a regular basis to make sure your foundations are strong.
- Keep in touch with your audience through social media and newsletters. Let them know what you’re up to and that you are thinking about them. Encourage them to keep coming back for more.
- Make sure that your business practices are solid. Don’t leave things to chance when you can take control and be sure your financial and business picture is in order.
- Keep track of your time and be sure you are allowing space for everything you need to get done.
Thinking about your whole picture as a garden is just one way to visualize things. Starting with the soil, make sure every layer is carefully tended. If you need support (because even the most expert gardener needs a little help sometimes) Praxis Center offers a full suite of courses for the serious artist ready to take things to the next level.
How does your garden grow?