Should Artists be People Pleasers?

Many of us grow up attempting to be people pleasers. As artists we know that is necessary however, how far does one take that?

  • Seth Godin says that it is more important that you are the best in your category and that the category should be specific.
  • People that share your vision will be gravitate to it.
  • The artist’s job is to lead it.
  • Pleasing everyone is impossible, if not undesirable.

As an artist, the questions you ask yourself should be:

  • What makes you unique?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What are you trying to say – not necessarily just what you think, but what do you feel?
  • Why is it important that you communicate it?
  • Why does it matter?

In looking at these questions I have been attempting to distill exactly why I paint. I am often accused of being all in my head – a thinker.

  • Thinking is important to me – but thoughts are empty and without context unless connected to something larger, something that reaches much deeper.
  • Success is not in its description but in the attempt, the exploration – The journey is what others relate to.

We admire uncompromising people – people that pursue a vision or a purpose with unwavering commitment. We call these people heroes and role models. In their very nature they attract some and offend others, but their belief in themselves, their vision, does not allow them to be concerned with that. They are true artists!

Art is about sharing the human experience and imagination.

Are  you a people pleaser?

“Window Seat” by Michelle Basic Hendry


Guest artist/author: Michelle Basic Hendry Michelle Basic Hendry SCA is an award winning artist and landscape painter. She has been elected by her peers to become a member of the Society of Canadian Artists and the Landscape Artists International. She currently resides in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada. Michelle works primarily in acrylic due to its flexibility as a medium. 

  Thank you Michelle! Lori


  1. Sweattshop December 29, 2009 at 9:09 am

    I have been asking myself this for a few weeks. For some reason.
    This article cam well timed.

    Thank you

  2. Marcel January 11, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Hi Lori,

    I love artisans that can sell themselves! I’m not saying that to please you:-).
    I would be very honoured if you would consider to publish some of your articles (we will do this for you) on our new Blog. Blog articles are featured with individual listings by matching keywords. Your articles will be presented with your lovely image and a link back to your blog.

    Read more :
    To see what the effect is scroll down this page on our partner site (there are more blogs published, this site works in exact the same way, I would like to show you the principle):

    I would also like to offer you a free for life account in Krazart. No bills ever, no commissions. Free is free.

    Looking forward hearing from you,

    Marcel – Krazart

    • Lori McNee January 11, 2010 at 1:08 pm

      Wow, thanks Marcel! I appreciate the offer. Give me a few days to check it all out and I will get back to you. Thanks for visiting my site and I am glad you like my articles. I am honored, Lori 🙂

  3. Carolyn Barcomb May 5, 2010 at 6:57 am

    I love all your tips. You are brilliant!

    • Lori McNee May 5, 2010 at 11:46 am

      Wow Carolyn…that is such nice feedback! Thanks. This is a lot of work and I am so glad people are finding it useful. Always feel free to submit an tip or article and I will link back to you.
      Hope to see you here again-
      Lori 🙂

  4. OneArtistHand December 11, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Heck No. None of the great masters like Carravaggio and Rembrandt did what the commission wanted.
    They simply painted exactly what they saw, the pain and suffering of people which was not always glamorous or beautiful. It was realistic and forced you to look at man with one eye in it’s true nature.

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