Failure Is Part of Your Job

I often tell artists that failure is part of the job. That even Beethoven took piano lessons. That failure is an integral part of the job and can be an artist’s best friend.


Because our egos get in the way, and we often forget that being an artist is a practice, a journey. It’s not a destination. And like any journey, particularly a difficult one such as art, the road is a minefield.

It’s full of risks.

But don’t look at failure as “failure,” look at it as a wise teacher.

No one is born with the talent and knowledge and understanding that it takes to succeed as a working artist. Be patient with yourself. You’ve got to work through the bad to get to the good. Whether it’s technique or marketing, there’s no such thing as genius.

There’s only work.

Artist Vik Muniz ( once said to me that he’d failed so much in his career that failure has become his workplace and he now stands on failure itself. “When I succeed, it’s because that time I failed to fail.”

Wise words from a photographer who’s just been listed as one of the most important artists of our time.

Take these words to heart and go out there and fail! Fail again! Fail bigger!

Never stop striving to do better. Never stop failing.

Actively involved in the contemporary art world throughout her career, Crista Cloutier is the founder of The Working Artist, an online business program for artists. Honored as an “Influencer in the Contemporary Art World” by LinkedIn, Crista’s work has reached artists in over 45 different countries. Visit to join Crista’s mailing list.

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