What's Your Excuse for not Succeeding as an Artist?
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More About This Title What's Your Excuse for not Succeeding as an Artist?


Written for artists at all stages of their career, from people who enjoy being creative who wish they could take their art to the next level to professionals who are proud of their art but don’t feel that they are capitalising on their potential.
Creative coach Deborah Henry-Pollard takes a look at why artists might feel stuck or unable to progress to the next level and offers simple, practical advice and inspiring ideas to help them move forward, build on their talent, enjoy more success and thrive.


Deborah Henry-Pollard works with a wide range of artists and is well-known for her inspiring workshops. As a member of ArtCan she actively supports artists with profile-raising activities and practical support.


How this book will help you
What is success?
The benefits of pursuing success
How to use this book
I’m frightened
I don’t have the confidence
I probably won’t be any good at it
I don’t want to fail
I might be successful
I’m overwhelmed - my idea is too big
I don’t have the motivation
I want it to be perfect
I get distracted
It’s self-indulgent
I am too old
People like me don’t do creative things
I’ll never be as good as….
I have too many ideas
I don’t have any ideas
Other People
My teachers never encouraged me
People wouldn’t like what I’d create
I can’t do it on my own
I don’t know the right people
I don’t know how
I’m creative, not business minded
I just can’t get started
Nowhere near me does what I want to do
I don’t have the space
I can’t afford to leave my job
I can’t afford the equipment
I don’t have the time
I don’t know how to manage my time
I have too many other things to do
It would take me too long
I have a full-time job
I need to be concentrating on my other career
I’ll get around to it someday


“Deborah’s writing is straightforward and pragmatic, with her years of accumulated knowledge hitting the nail on the head time and time again. It’s as if she knows exactly what the reader is thinking and addresses internal dialogue with practical solutions that are applicable to creative folks at all stages of their career. Take my word for it: once you start reading, you won’t want to stop”
Susan J Mumford, entrepreneur, speaker and author, founder of Be Smart About Art and the Association of Women Art Dealers

“I am completely blown away by Deborah’s book! It has a really concise, engaging and understandable writing style. It is really refreshing. All chapters are valid and helpful: the exercises are great and point the reader in the right direction. I really enjoyed reading it and have already started with a few of the exercises. Knowing Deborah, I could hear her reading it: it reflects who she is and her style”
Christine Manderla, artist

“Let’s be honest... it’s pretty scary to become a professional artist. You need to be vulnerable and confident, determined and very motivated as well as a listener and observer. And you need to be a multi-tasker doing very different jobs – not just in terms of developing your creative skills, but also in pricing your work and getting the word out. Plenty of opportunities for your worries to take over and play less than big.
I love Deborah’s approach as it covers soooo many of the worries that we might have as creatives. Some will be bigger than others, and some you might not even have realised that you have! She gets you thinking. She gets you smiling at yourself. She gets you to take action. And throughout this book she shows her deep understanding and love for art and artists”
Patricia van den Akker, director of The Design Trust

“Deborah demystifes jargon and holds your hand while you face individual fears, and lets you know that you are not alone in taking that first step on your creative journey.
It is irrelevant whether you have taken the perceived first step before. You can’t change the past but can make ‘right now’ the start of something new and exciting and Deborah’s book gives you the tools to step out with confidence on any creative path you choose.
She gives great examples – it’s reassuring to know that historical ‘successful’ figures also had struggles and used personal tips and tricks to help them develop their creative passions and visions. A great reminder that the creative process is a journey and not a ‘one hit wonder’.
The power you get from knowing you are not alone in your apprehension in starting something new is amazing. Insecurities and perceived barriers swiftly start to feel a bit silly, which means the challenge of taking a ‘first step’ becomes absolutely manageable”
Kate Enters, artist, founder and director of ArtCan

"This book is very well written, with wise and useful advice, illustrated with great examples, exercises and personal experience. I am a coach and an artist, and this book is spot on”
Sharon Baker, artist and executive coach

“This book is very comprehensive. Often backed up by the author's own experiences, ideas as to how to move forward are clearly stated, as are subsequent exercises and tips. Exercises are presented in both a reader-friendly and user-friendly manner, making it easy to follow a process step by step.
I've taken a number of suggestions and motivational quotes from throughout the book, assigned each one to a single piece of paper and bound them together in a booklet which is set to hang above my desk. The suggestions as to how to create and maintain a vision were ones that really struck a positive chord. I shall be using these! Love the kick starting exercise too - such fun!
Very useful and inspirational content”
Sarah Hartley-Edwards, artist