Why Emotional Intelligence is the Most Important Trait an Artist Can Have

The development of the internet has vastly impacted the entire world of art. While certain technologies has created entirely new mediums of art, such as filmmaking and web design, the internet has provided a platform for artists that has created an entirely new art market. This quickly developing online art market is not only changing how artists and art collectors interact, but redefining the definition of artist. In this age of the creative entrepreneur, even traditional galleries and auction houses will have to develop new skill sets in order to sell art in the rapidly changing market. The artist of today will need to be able to build a strong network of people who will both showcase and purchase their work. And one of the most important skills that an artist needs to establish these connections is emotional intelligence.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence (EQ) has been cited as one of the most important traits that leads to success for just about any profession. It includes the emotional monitoring of the self and of those around you. Essentially, it can be broken down into four categories: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. Self-awareness if the ability to correctly perceive and understand your own emotions and what has caused them, while self-management is the ability to apply this knowledge to healthy responses to these emotions. Social awareness is the ability to accurately sense the emotions of other people, and relationship management is using your self- and social awareness to build meaningful and strong connections with others, and through these connections inspire others.

Why is Emotional Intelligence Important to Artists?

Emotional intelligence is one of the most valuable skills an artist can have. On the business end of being an artist, you need emotional intelligence to interact with art buyers, collaborators, and art sellers. The more emotionally intelligent you are in these interactions, the more people will be drawn to buy and sell your art. Creating a strong network is crucial for an artist’s success, and having a higher EQ leads to more success with networking.

Even further, higher emotional intelligence has been linked to better creative performance. Creatives with a higher EQ are better at mediating frustrations that come with creative failure and therefore are able to navigate their own emotions during the creative process better, ultimately reaching a better creative result than their lower-EQ counterparts. Therefore, emotional intelligence not only helps with the business side of art, but the actual creative side as well.

Do I Have Emotional Intelligence? How Do I Gain EQ?

When thinking about your own level of emotional intelligence, try to evaluate things like how you deal with distressing emotions or whether you can sense the emotions of the people around you. Daniel Goleman, author of the book Emotional Intelligence, posted a survey on LinkedIn that gives you an idea of your own emotional intelligence. If you are looking to increase your emotional intelligence, a good place to start is being aware of your own emotions and the emotions of others. You do not have to act on this awareness, just simply note how you are feeling. Once you master self and social awareness, you will be able to work on your self-management and eventually relationship management, which is the most important quality when it comes to your professional success.

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