Leslie Kavanaugh Explains Things To Give Up To Become a Successful Artist


We are often told as artists that we should grab every opportunity that comes our way.

You never know who might attend the next gallery opening, what connections you might make, or what might lead to future opportunities.

But, sometimes, it’s more about knowing when to say “no” than it is about saying “yes.”

As you’re probably aware, habits can be challenging to break if you’ve ever bitten your nails. Our invisible mental habits can be even more challenging to overcome, but they are also more critical.

Give yourself permission to stop doing these things. Allow yourself enough patience and time to break the habits.

Here are things Leslie Kavanaugh believes you should give up to become a successful artist.

Leslie Kavanaugh and the Art of Becoming Successful: Things to Give Up!

Not Enough Mentality

Successful artists do not frame their work as “not enough.” There is never enough time, money, confidence, or whatever it is that you need at the time to make or do what you must to be a successful artist.

“They all point to an overwhelming fear of not being enough,” says Crista Cloutier, art mentor and creator of The Working Artist. “Once you have managed that overwhelming fear, the other issues will evaporate.”


The thing about comparisons is that you will always be better at certain things than other people and worse at others, and dwelling on either will not get you anywhere.

Comparing yourself to individuals twenty years into their career can suppress your creativity as an emerging artist, and comparing your work to someone who is just beginning out can stunt your growth.

Instead of fixing how you compare to others, put your energy into comparing your latest projects to work you did six months, a year, and five years ago. Have you matured? And what do you want to accomplish six months, a year, and five years from now?

Compare yourself only to yourself.

Making Excuses

You must show up if you wish to be a successful artist. You must put in the effort.

If you’re like any other artist, you’ve probably told yourself at some point, “I can’t go to the studio today because I’m too busy/ too drained/ my family needs me too much.”

And guess what? That feels good to do, and it feels justified and reasonable as if you are making the best decision for yourself.

Working all the Time

Sure, you have to come to the studio even if you don’t want to work. However, you must also know when to leave and care for your body, health, and emotional and social well-being.

You can only produce your best work if you invest in your body and mind.

We’ve seen artists give up both in the name of their craft. However, you require your body to create your work on the most fundamental level. Successful artists understand that success is a tiring marathon, not a quick sprint and that you must maintain your health to stay in the game.

Schedule time to stretch, work out, go for walks, cook healthy meals, and converse with your colleagues, family, and friends.

Final Word

These things, explained by Leslie Kavanaugh, will help you become more successful in your art. Give up the things listed above and see the difference for yourself.