I have noticed that being a successful, working artist requires more than just good work, it requires personality. There are many artist better than the well know names but their personality just out shined the others. Some of the worlds most incredible artist worked in the shadows, only finding financial success by having their work stumbled upon by an influential personality or never finding an audience until after death. Being outgoing, confident and personable can matter just as much, if not more, than the work itself. So where does that leave the artist in the shadows?
As someone who is diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder & Major Depressive Disorder, success for those in the shadows can be something dreamed about but extremely hard to attain. The work is there, the passion is there, the personality isn't. Selling your work is usually more about selling yourself, the networking, the relationship building. When you work from the shadows, you avoid the human aspect part of success. I'm sure there are a lot of artist out there who would rather just create but without the personality, success will be always just out of reach. So how can we bring light to the shadows?
It starts with a support group. Not mom and dad, but artist, and it doesn't have to be artist from your discipline. A creative support group if you will. Maybe to help with questions, to encourage, to 'network', or just to review work. The key though is to have a 'personality' be a part of that group. Someone who's attained some success, someone who has that personality to sell themselves, someone who has walked the road and lived to tell the tale. Some artist in the shadows are people like me, without confidence or self esteem. There is a fear of rejection a fear of the unknown. Having that successful personality in the group to provide comfort and guidance gives hope and can help push artist out of their comfort zone to become that next success.
And hopefully when they attain that success, they'll make themselves available to help shine a light on other artist in the shadows.