Disproving the “Flaky Artist” Stereo-Type

Like a lot of creative types in the business of selling their wares, I have a hard time saying no. Someone asks me if I will design their business cards for them, or take a look at their web site to offer a quick critique, I commit instantly. If a potential customer asks for a special custom order, I immediately agree. Lately I’ve had several of my Etsy teams ask me to take over the ropes of the team blog, since I seem to be the most frequent blogger. It’s just one of those things: once you become good at something, there will be lines of people asking you to do that something. So it goes.

Now the dilemma: with more and more favors and tasks building up, I have a lot of commitments to keep. Plus, there is only so much time in each day, on top of a full-time “regular” job. It could be this exact scenario that has causes what we know as the “flaky artist” stereo-type. This kind of artist is rumored to make a lot of promises on what he or she will do with his or her talent, only to not follow through in the end. I am determined to defy this classification for as long as I can help it.

Which means…

Saying NO.
Sometimes there simply isn’t enough time, enough starting capital, enough energy. Especially for those favors in which others are going to ask me to perform for free. I’m all for lending a helping hand, but I do have a business to run and I need to keep that in mind.

This also means turning down requests to become a team leader on every Etsy team that asks me to. Also refraining from accepting every Etsy team member invitation I receive. (In order to be an active, quality member, I can only handle so many at once.)

Following through.
If I have accepted a request, be it a volunteer position, paid position, or request for a custom order, then I need to realize the full gravity of that acceptance. If I have offered to do something, or make something, then it is absolutely my personal responsibility to follow through in a timely manner. The flaky-artist stereo-type is a result of too many creative-types shrugging off the hard stuff so they can work on what they feel like. Commitments need to come first, even if you aren’t feeling “inspired’ to work on them at the moment.

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11 thoughts on “Disproving the “Flaky Artist” Stereo-Type

  1. gmaellenscraftycorner April 26, 2012 at 8:50 am Reply

    Sage advise! Good luck with all, I know how hard it is to say no. And I know how easy it is to become overwhelmed.

  2. Janet Bocciardi April 26, 2012 at 10:09 am Reply

    Awesome advice… I definitely have the problem of wanting to say yes to everyone, because they’re honoring me with wanting me to do it! I started saying no a couple years ago though, and my life is more in my control. This is going to hit a lot of people I think!

    • MegansBeadedDesigns April 26, 2012 at 10:29 am Reply

      Exactly Janet! The “saying yes” part is a lot easier than the “following through” part!

  3. Heather April 26, 2012 at 11:05 am Reply

    Great advice Megan! Saying no is hard and having what feels like a billion commitments can be rather daunting!

  4. Paige @ Little Nostalgia April 26, 2012 at 2:15 pm Reply

    Excellent advice. I also have a problem with over-committing, and then having to back out later because there are only so many hours in a day. But I’m getting better!

    • MegansBeadedDesigns April 27, 2012 at 8:05 am Reply

      Exactly Paige. You may feel bad about having to say no, but you’ll feel even worse if you say yes but then can’t do it!

  5. UpcycleFever April 26, 2012 at 7:19 pm Reply

    I agree wholeheartedly! Don’t commit to anything you can’t give 100% to! Half assed work doesn’t cut it! I think that applies to any aspect in life.

    toodles ;)

  6. TinyTes April 27, 2012 at 3:53 am Reply

    Thank you, I needed that…and I’m sure I’m not the only one!

  7. Glassbydnr (@glassbydnr) April 28, 2012 at 5:31 am Reply

    I have found that many people, mostly friends that know I do this for a living and want a cheap present for someone special, want commissions that, plainly, with the right help they can achieve themselves. Quite often I end up referring them to my own lessons or another local artists lessons. It is just to time consuming to do them all…..however to add another body to a lesson that is already running isn’t a major issue.

  8. […] stressed in some of the other posts in this blog that you need to limit the number of requests you agree to. Especially the “will […]

  9. […] This post originally appeared in Megan’s Creative Blog on April 26, 2012. […]

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