Maria Partsevsky


Prof. Schmerler



Inquiry/Research on Difficulties that Artists face.


Art is everywhere around us. And if you ask people around “Who is the greatest Artist?” probably, everyone would answer – “Nature.” People from the ancient times were interested in painting and drawing, sculpting and crafting. They were trying to preserve in times their emotions, their memories, and significant events. Since the beginning of times, people wanted to express themselves and did it in dancing, music, fine art, and other genres. Now, people do art as their hobbies, stress relief, as a need to express their feelings, to deal with depression, and to make a profit of it.


People who chose Art as their profession stepped on a challenging path. Most likely, almost everyone’s artist’s parents told them not to do that. It is very easy to explain – parents are afraid that their kids will have many difficulties in finding jobs and making a stable amount of money. Plus, the Art market is a very, very competitive place. To be in high demand, artists always must learn new and grow in their knowledge. The technologies are not staying in one place, and we have to keep the pace. That’s why to be a good and demanded artist people need to educate themselves. Most of the art and design schools are extremely expensive and whoever wants to make art as their profession must keep in mind that bachelor and especially master programs require to be able to pay an enormous amount of money, so first thing people must do is to think really hard – is that what they want to do for their life? How they will be paying for their tuition? Is this profession will “feed” them and pay off their bills and student loans?


While I was researching for this topic, I remembered what kind of obstacles and issues I personally faced in my life and what my artist family members have shared with me. We are our own biggest critics. We, artists, are never happy with our work. We always feel that we could do better and our art is not good enough. Enough for what? – I am always asking myself. Or for who? Self-doubt is the Number-One-Enemy, but we learn how to live with such a “neighbor.” The artists have to learn how to not to let anyone tell that what you are creating is not valid. We spent years of practice and education to shape ourselves, to know the value of our knowledge and to know that our art will be remarkable for the future generations, it will leave a mark in the Art history. The success will be always judged by other people, most of the times who are irrelevant, incompetent in that field.


The other problem is what to do with your art? How to present it? How to sell it? How to find your clients? The artists are having difficulties when they are looking for display space, galleries or collectors. To be able to produce and present art in a marketable way can be way too expensive. The galleries, shipping fees, printing copies, etc. – there are many things that will be trying to take their portion, their piece on your work. Artists need to market themselves. And here everything depends on networking and how good your communicational skills and social media usage are. Inability to find a job in the art field pushes many artists to find other work for income and leave art as a hobby.


The one fear that I personally face every single time I try to do anything, either it is related to drawing, painting, writing, cooking, reading or even traveling is – how to start? And here comes the fear of the white paper. I feel my hands are not mine, they are not obeying me, in my mind I know how to do it, I see it is coming, but when I try to start, when I do the first couple of strokes I feel like someone else is doing it and my mind is screaming: “Nooo! Not like this!” I don’t like what I see and I erase it and try over and over again. Without everyday practice, you lose your skills. The same way with languages – if you don’t use them daily – you forget them. But once started artists have to learn how to stop. In pursuit of the ideal masterpiece, we can lose the great work we have done. It will never be ideal. My Master in fine arts college used to say “Don’t make it ‘soapy’, know when to stop, the Best is the enemy of the Good, your painting has to ‘breathe’, has to be fresh and crispy.” He called this technique “Alla Prima”, wet-on-wet. I think it is good advice for life in general. To know when to stop. Whatever you do – make it fresh, crispy. And remember it will never be ideal.


There will be always challenges on your way to your growth. These challenges will shape you as an artist, as a person. You will not face them just once and never meet again. You will be going through them over and over again if you really want to grow and to conquer new heights. And the last but not least advice – grow a very thick shell instead of your skin, it will protect your inner You and your priceless inner Art against rejections, and never give up, keep walking!




“The Five Challenges of an Artist.” The Torch Theatre, 10 Feb. 2012,

“What Are the Challenges Facing Young Artists Today?” Apollo Magazine, 7 July 2015,


Baranovsky, Yuri. “Contact Protocol.”, 16 May 2012,


“What Are the Challenges Facing Young Artists Today?” Apollo Magazine, 7 July 2015,




Contributor, Quora. “What’s the Biggest Challenge Artists Face?” Slate Magazine, Slate, 6 Nov. 2015,