Isn't it wonderful that there are so many people out there who are so altruistic that all they want to do is help?
Since beginning my art adventure in earnest, I've found a common theme amongst so many helpers out there who have the sure-fire formula to instant success. Buy this book, purchase this service, invest more in advertising, invest less in advertising, raise your prices, put your art on my site for a small fee, blog, post daily on instagram, join the art league, and hire me to give you advice.
It never ends, and the common theme is paying someone money for the service (???) they are providing. Recently, I've found a new one, that quite honestly, I find offensive and disgusting. That is shaming the artist into working with a consultant. Good grief what a distraction these parasites can be. But come on, shaming an artist into buying someone's supposed advice, talent and connections. That is a new low, and quite honesty feels like becoming someone's puppy to be praised when doing it their way and chastised when not.
I think the one thing people tend to forget is that shortcuts to success are extremely rare. Maybe these 'consultants' have a few gems of knowledge that can shorten the path to success. Maybe not. But in the end, it is my work that makes their livelihood possible - not the other way around. It is my work that generates the smiles I see on peoples' faces when they see 'Fred and Ginger'. It is my work that results in the many awards I have received for the effort. Consultants can do absolutely NOTHING to influence a jury to pick my work out of hundreds of pieces submitted for a show.
The one thing I have not seen though is a consultant or other service provider who is willing to put money down to work with me......in other words, a partner and not a leech. They all go away pretty quickly when the tables are turned and I propose they share some of the risk up-front with their reward happening only when they sell something for me. That is a good litmus test proposal to determine of a consultant really believes they are bringing any real value to the artist.
I hope some young, aspiring artist who is producing good, original work reads this. Keep in mind that YOU are responsible for your success...not anyone who takes money from you promising exposure or increase sales. It is your art and talents that make it happen, not the person criticizing what you have or have not done in the business end of your work. Stay focused...don't let the scum parasites side track you into playing the 'if only I did this' game. They are looking out for their #1 interest which is not me or you. Believe in yourself. Invest in yourself. But be wary of others who call giving them money to help you an 'investment in yourself'. The reality is that most times it is you who is investing in them.