STORIES

The text used in the assessment tools are great descriptors, but its stories that bring this work to life. 

Below is a growing portfolio of stories from artists and advocates from across the country that can be filtered on the assessment tools, spectrum, and categories.  You can turn on and off these filters by clicking on the buttons. 

Use these examples to help locate yourself on the assessment tool and see how to move up on the spectrum. Read our Guidebook for more suggestions on how you can use Artists Thrive, putting the tools to practice, and sparking conversations with Artists Thrive.

Have a story of your own to add?   Click here to submit it.

Valuing What Matters to You

Artist Matthew Deleget explains how he sets goals that reflect his values as opposed to only looking at the traditional markers for an artist’s success, i.e. money and fame.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Thrive Planning and Capacity

The Power of Goal-Setting

One of the major issues I see with my peers as artists is this need for external validation. There are gatekeepers to the art world, regardless of what art practice you are in, and, as artists, we can feel at the mercy of a small and hard-to-penetrate community of decision-makers. And because we don’t necessarily receive steady and consistent financial support for our practice, I think it can make us crave this validation even more and pursue it, sometimes, without the most strategic plan for why we are doing it. The best tool I’ve found for becoming less focused on these external validation opportunities is to engage in my own goal setting for how I want to build my art practice and setting my own financial goals. It is both empowering and also increases self-sufficiency while making you less driven by this need for external validation. There is definitely something powerful in that mind shift to say, “I don’t need to get into six new shows this year for people to recognize my art career is meaningful and making progress.” If I set my own set of goals that I know that I’m moving towards, I can see that my goals may not require any new shows in the next six months and stay focused on more relevant tasks. It’s okay to be in a period of reflection, of planning, rather than chasing after projects and short-term validation at the expense of really building capacity, thinking long term, and putting the foundation in place for your art practice to be successful over a lifetime. There is definitely empowerment that comes with trying to move yourself into that mindset, which is challenging because we’re always driven by the short term. Especially as artists: whatever you’re making at the moment feels like the most important thing in the world – and it should be. So, the trick is to have that drive alongside the longer-term goal setting. Most artists are incredible goal setters and goal achievers when it comes to our creative practice. If you can harness that natural skillset in areas outside the studio or onstage or wherever, you become very powerful.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Survive Planning and Capacity

The Snowball Effect of Sharing

Ali Groves describes how small acts of generosity can snowball into more significant shifts in the ways artists work together, share opportunities, and enable each other to overcome obstacles.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Survive Planning and Capacity

Springboard for the Arts' Work of Art Series (Time Management)

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Survive Planning and Capacity

Springboard for the Arts' Work of Art Series (Career Planning)

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Survive Planning and Capacity

Springboard for the Arts' Work of Art Series (Portfolio Kit)

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Survive Planning and Capacity

Springboard for the Arts' Work of Art Series (Recordkeeping)

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Survive Planning and Capacity

Springboard for the Arts' Work of Art Series (Legal Considerations)

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Survive Planning and Capacity

Springboard for the Arts' Work of Art Series (Grant Writing)

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Survive Planning and Capacity

Springboard for the Arts' Work of Art Series (Business Plan Essentials)

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Survive Planning and Capacity

Springboard for the Arts' Work of Art Series (Artist Statements)

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Survive Planning and Capacity

Springboard for the Arts' Work of Art Series (Jumpstart)

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Survive Planning and Capacity

Sometimes Saying No Is the Right Thing to Do

Artist Robert Yoder describes when and why he’s said no to opportunities and what he’s learned from negative experiences.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Survive Planning and Capacity

An Annual Tradition of Goal Setting

Artist Andre Lucero describes the power of getting goals down on a piece of paper and revisiting them weekly, monthly, and yearly to see how much has been accomplished.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Survive Planning and Capacity

Knowing What a Life as an Artist Can Look Like

Artist Diane Scott shares her first-hand experience with the importance of showing artists real examples of what making a life as an artist can actually look like to inspire them to imagine their own futures.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Struggle Planning and Capacity