10 Things Artists Should Be Thankful For

Screen Shot 2014-04-05 at 3.54.18 PM“Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind. ”  Lionel Hampton

By the time most artists come to see me, they are usually beaten down and depressed by the struggles of the artworld.  They have been abused by their galleries, taken for granted by their collectors, misunderstood by their families and exhausted from juggling real life with creative need. It is so easy to forget how special you are, when there is no one around to remind you, but you.  So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I give you my list of 10 Things Artists Should Be Thankful For.  Print this out, fold it up and put in your wallet.  Send it to your artist friends.  Read it whenever you feel all your work is for nothing and you are thinking maybe you should just stop making art and grow up.  Post it in your studio when you are wondering what the heck you are going to do with all this work?  But, most of all…believe it. Remember, it is impossible to feel thankful and be depressed at the same time.

1. I am thankful that I am not one of the majority of people in this world that wakes up every morning, goes to a job they hate, just to come home and do it all over again.

2.  I am thankful that when I am away from my studio, my ideas come with me, they keep me company everywhere I go.

3.  I am thankful for this passion that gives me so much joy (and angst) but mostly joy.

4.  I am thankful that when I have left this earth, I will leave something meaningful behind.

5.  I am thankful that I have a mind that can not sleep, I will never be bored.

6.  I am thankful that there is a part of my life that nobody can control, except me.

7.  I am thankful that no one in the world can ever take this gift from me.

8.  I am thankful that I am brave, it takes courage to pursue my gift.

9.  I am thankful that I am never satisfied, it forces me to move forward and grow.

10.  I am thankful I discovered this list!  Pass it on.


21 Responses to “10 Things Artists Should Be Thankful For”

  1. Fiona Pattinson said:

    Sep 22, 11 at 12:35 am

    Dear Sylvia – You just GET it and for me, your timing is always spot on!!!

  2. reuven dattner said:

    Sep 22, 11 at 1:46 am

    allways good to be reminded of the upside of being an artist.
    we are preparing for the new year-so its the right time to see the bright side of life
    shana tova

  3. aNna rybaT said:

    Sep 22, 11 at 8:24 am

    LovE tHis!!!! thank you for the reminder! (i needed that!)

  4. Naomi Schlinke said:

    Sep 22, 11 at 8:29 am

    I’m going to post this in my studio! Thank you. My Dad, who also painted, once said to me, “Oh, isn’t it wonderful to be so obsessed!”

  5. Brenda Mercado said:

    Sep 22, 11 at 8:35 am

    Thank you, Sylvia. Your words are much appreciated. I have a garage full of paintings and need to get out! Maybe, it is time to make an appointment with you soonish? Take care, Brenda

  6. Sherrie Phillips said:

    Sep 22, 11 at 8:43 am

    I was just giving myself this pep talk this morning. I have recently transitioned from a corporate job to painting at home. I have traveled all summer and am finally living the life of my dreams but something in my consciousness hasn’t quite caught up with all the changes. Sometimes I still wake up with that heavy feeling that I had before schlepping to the old job. But I was listing the things to be grateful for (most of them on your list) and saying that it is ok to be patient with myself as I transition. Thanks for the confirmation!

  7. Carlos Grasso said:

    Sep 22, 11 at 8:45 am

    And I am thankful that people like Sylvia roam the surface of this Earth with an unrelenting spirit of service to the Art Community at large.

    The best prescriptions for a healthy and inspiring attitude towards one’s creativity.

    Incredibly inspiring…

  8. Christa Frazee said:

    Sep 22, 11 at 8:56 am

    Thank you, Sylvia…this is a fantastic and positive approach for us crazy, (but beautiful) minded people! I most definitely will print this out and pass it along. :)

  9. Sandra Grotsky - Visions Photography said:

    Sep 22, 11 at 9:02 am

    Thank you for sharing your uplifting thoughts. My housemate asks of every photo I take – so what are you going to do with this? Can you sell it? Some people just don’t get it. I MUST create. Your words are a reminder that who I am is okay.

  10. Tiffanee Griffiths said:

    Sep 22, 11 at 9:06 am

    Thank you SO much Sylvia… i really needed that. Made me cry :)
    11. I am thankful for Sylvia and all her “advice”

  11. Carla Christina Contreras said:

    Sep 22, 11 at 9:23 am

    Tears……………. I do think about this all the time, thank you for putting it in black and white!

  12. Elise said:

    Sep 22, 11 at 10:02 am

    Talk about timing!

    This week I have been down. Yesterday I swear, I felt like I was shrinking instead of growing.

    Thank you for sharing your insight and wisdom. But mostly, thank you for the encouragement! :) It is time to get up and do some growing! ;)


  13. Erick Sanchez said:

    Sep 23, 11 at 9:29 am

    Love it! Thank you.

  14. Sarah bines said:

    Sep 23, 11 at 7:10 pm


  15. philippe jestin said:

    Oct 01, 11 at 10:17 pm

    thank you for this list and what you do, art, life with grace and joy , it is time to occupy….and fullfill

  16. philippe jestin said:

    Oct 01, 11 at 10:20 pm

    I also like the 10 principles to improve drawing and be a good artist by Robert Crumb

  17. Josie Taglienti said:

    Oct 01, 11 at 10:36 pm

    Thank you, Sylvia, for composing this thoughtful list for us.
    It is greatly appreciated, most uplifting and true.

  18. Ben Stroud said:

    Oct 01, 11 at 11:11 pm

    That was nice..Before reading this later in the day I had said a morning prayer in thanks for my Artist life- dissapointing though it may be at times..

  19. Jon Nelson said:

    Oct 02, 11 at 12:01 am

    Thank you so much for this. I was in this place where I gave up on my art recently. I believe that taking breaks on art is healthy. I have been inspired by you and John for all of your dedication to us artists. I started to draw and it drove me back to painting. I am excited to create again. Thank you.

    Jon Nelson

  20. Mike Absalom said:

    Oct 02, 11 at 4:02 am

    Too true!! I decided upon this in 1961…and have worked 16 hours a day seven days a week in order never to do a day’s work since!! Mike Absalom

  21. Jakki said:

    Oct 02, 11 at 4:31 am

    Perfect timing for me to read this, wonderful post. Thank you!