The Introverted Artist

November 30, 2018  •  1 Comment

How does the introverted artist survive and thrive in a noise filled world?


Ask an introvert what career they see themselves excelling in and many of them will say they are most comfortable in a solitary job,  the arts come up frequently:
A Writer

A Painter
A Photographer


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 Why do you think this is?  All of these jobs require the minimum interaction with the outside world.  From this description, (unless you know an introvert or are one) you may come away with the assumption that the introvert is conceited, that they don’t like people.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.  Introverts crave attention, just not superficial attention.  Introverts are uncomfortable doing small talk.  They need a true connection with someone.  When they have filled up on superficial conversation, they will find a safe place to run to.  


Introverts recharge by being alone.
Introverts are not comfortable in large gatherings.

Introverts will be on the outskirts of a social gathering.


So how do you get an introvert to open up.  How does an introvert excel at the other aspects of her art career?  If she doesn’t like social gatherings how does she succeed?  Easy.  Remember when I said earlier that introverts crave a true connection?  That they crave attention?  Get them to discuss what moves them and you will be the person that wants to run away.  This works to their advantage.  When they have an audience that wants to engage with them about their latest project, (whether it be a piece of art, whether it be a photography trip they are planning, whether it be a story they are working on,) you’ll see a completely different side of the introvert then you are used to.  They will leap into life.  This type of social interaction is where they are most at home, where they are need to be.


So how does the introverted artist succeed?
When you have exhibits, find out if you can have an opening.  Get people to gather with the artist.  That way these guests will be captive and you will know they are there to see your art.  Your guests will want to engage with you and you will love talking about what moves you.  You can quickly dispel the fiction that introverts don’t like to talk.


When an artist is out with her easel, she will most likely see others.  This is the time to greet people.  Say hello.  Don’t wait for someone to reach out first.  In this place you will want to engage because most likely that hello will lead you to the kind of conversation you, as an introvert craves.  Your passerby will likely want to know what you are painting.  Then you can fully engage.  The same can be said for photographers:

More than likely when you’re out with your camera you will run into people.  When you do, be sure to engage with them.  And I HOPE you have business cards.  Would be even better if you were wearing logo wear.  Here’s a PERFECT example of where logo wear helped convert someone I met:
I use LandsEnd for all of my logowear.  I can cite a perfect example where having my logo jacket brought in business.  When I traveled to Wareham, Massachusetts for the Cranberry Festival  a couple years ago, I wore my coat and as we were walking into the festival someone tapped me on the shoulder and asked about my business.  We struck up a conversation, I handed him a business card and about a week later this person emailed me and bought several images from my Cranberry Festival gallery.  Now this person has become a repeat customer.


So being a social introvert with your business has its advantages.  If you’re an introverted artist as I am, I believe if you take some of these suggestions you will find the right engagement to grow your business.  Good luck!



In the meantime:
Focus on what's ahead of you.






Roy A. Ackerman, PhD, EA(non-registered)
Great advice. I even know a lawyer introvert... He could use some of these tips, too.
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