More Articles

The Value of Art In Situ

The Pain and Power of Tough Criticism

How to Build Profitable Relationships with Galleries

New Technologies for the Studio Artist

A Distinctive Body of Work

How I Got My Art Placed on TV and Movie Sets

Video Marketing & Artists: A Match Made in Heaven

Tips for Promoting Your Art on Instagram

Selling Art in the Wholesale Marketplace

What Do You Want as an Artist?

Is Your Art Priced Correctly?

Boost Your Art Marketing with Printed Materials

Collection Strategies for Artists

Problems Getting Paid? How to Never Get Stiffed Again

What’s Going Right with Your Art Business?

How Artists are Using 3D Printing

Goals Matter: Pointers for a Productive Year

How to Create Successful Art Events

Social Media Tips from Lori McNee

Why You Fail to Sell Your Art at Festivals and Fairs

My Studio Mascot

Move Towards Your Destination

What Your Customers Can Teach You

Collaborating on Art? Why You Need a Contract

Connecting with a Niche Market

Increase Your Art Sales by Making an Emotional Connection

Will Your Great Idea Translate into a Great Business?

How to Balance Art & Life

Give Yourself a Promotion

4 Ways Booth Signage can Draw a Crowd

Secrets of a Successful Open Studio

The Thrills of Networking Within A Local Artist Community

Partner with Your Galleries to Sell More Art

The Artist Doesn’t Always Know Best

Protect Yourself from Art Scams

Put Your Business Cards Away

How to Deal with those Dreaded Shipping Costs

Luck vs. Opportunity

How to Get Accepted by the Press

Artists are Entrepreneurs

How to Promote and Sell Art on Instagram

Playing Up

Is Fear Running Your Art Business?

What I Learned by being a Gallery Owner

How to Get Rejected by the Press

Art with a Healing Touch

Art and the Struggle with Depression

Are You at a Loss for Words?

Avoid these 7 Mistakes when Photographing Art

How a Hard Look at Business Changed an Artist's Life

7 Reasons Why Your Art Marketing Isn’t Working

What to Do when your Show is Slow

Working Smarter to Sell Your Art

Top Tips for a Successful Open Studio

What's the Back Story on Your Art?

10 Free Ways Artists Can Get Publicity

Selling Art with Confidence

The Power of Repeat Sales

6 Ways to Sabotage Your Art Business

5 Steps to Gaining Referral Business

It's Not All About the Money

Consistency is Key to Making Art Sales

Should You Quit Your Day Job?

6 Display Tips to Increase Your Art Sales

Making a Profit with Your Art

What Blue-Chip Galleries Can Teach Us About Social Media Networking

Artists Need A Business Plan

Your Greatest Asset in Finding Gallery Representation

Hiding Away


The Personal Touch

Sell Your Art into the Corporate Market

Tell Your Story, Sell More Art

The Price is Right

Confessions of a Professional Art Gallery Closer

How to Create Raving Fans by Telling the Story of Your Art

Burnout & Its (Sometimes Surprising) Consequences

How to Get Into A Gallery, and Succeed With A Gallery

The Power of Persistence

Build a Budget for Success: How I Tripled My Income in 2 Weeks

Learning to Sell Art: Investing in Yourself

Top Traits of Successful Artists

What Makes Art Remarkable?

Working for Free

The Evolution (and Re-Evolution) of An Art Business

Ann Rea: Artist, Entrepreneur, Instant Success

How Do You Know When It’s Time To Become An Artist?

8 Ways to Improve Your Online Portfolio

Artists, Do You Need an Agent?

The Power of Consultative Selling

How to Make Your Customers Fall in Love with You

Artist Housing Projects

The Pinterest Guide to Selling Art Online

Artists Who Sell: How to Write a Killer Sales Page (and why)

The 5 Biggest Mistakes that Artists Make on Their Blogs and How You Can Avoid Them

Business Plans for Artists: Here, I Did It for You!

How to Write An Artist's Statement That Doesn't Suck

How to Make Your Art Stand Out Online?

10 Strategies to Improve Your Art Sales

Social Sharing on Artist Websites & Online Galleries

Why Artists Should Avoid Gallery Representation

5 Art Pricing Lessons I Learned the Hard Way

How to Research Your Online Art Market

The Crowdfunding Guide for Artists: Part 1

12 Things all Starving Artists Believe

Personal Branding for Artists

How Paula Manning Lewis Has Sold More Than 30,000 Pieces of Art

How to Build An Art Business While Working a Day Job

Painting Terms

Mixing Colors

The Benefits of Buying Art Online

Beginning Your Journey as an Artist

Art for Art's Sake

Art and the Struggle with Depression


Swedish artist David Sandum has a compelling story to tell about overcoming depression through his creative work as an artist. I interviewed him about his journey and his newly published book.


Into the City
“Into the City” Oil on canvas, 65 x 81cm


AS: Your new book I’ll Run Till The Sun Goes Down tells your own story, but what is your experience in speaking with other artists about the prevalence of depression in creative people?

DS: That's a good question. Of course, not all artists are depressed, though most of those I’ve encountered have strong personalities. I once met an artist who said there is no such thing as inspiration, just hard work. He saw his job as a trade like any other and resented the idea that artists are often stereotyped as mad recluses, like Van Gogh. I can see his point, but I have always identified with Van Gogh, who painted his emotions. I definitely believe in cathartic expression and, yes, in inspiration.

Having said that, most artists are emotional people, and many have experienced some sort of emotional battle. Rejection issues, financial trouble, and relationship struggles usually lead to such feelings. To survive as an artist, you must have stubborn determination, focus, and an inner drive—as well as the awareness that it takes a long time to develop artistic skills. Today we have the mindset that everything should happen quickly. That is incompatible with creating quality art.


I'll Run Till The Sun Goes Down by David Sandum


AS: During the time you were suffering from chronic depression, what led you to start painting? How did this make a difference?

DS: When I was at my lowest point, I felt drawn to art in an indescribable way. I would say I felt true empathy in art. I saw what I felt. Everything around me was chaos, but I saw exactly what I felt in one painting by Munch, Derain, or the mentioned Vincent. For a moment my agony was put on hold, or I felt an ability to fight— the cathartic dimension.


Spirit of New York City
“Spirit of New York City” Aquatint etching, 2014


Many a time, I have entered my studio full of anxiety and hopelessness, only to leave five or ten hours later with a form of control. The hardest times are when self-hate and perfectionism strike, or when I am too ill to paint. Those days are nearly unbearable.

AS: Has your creative work changed your relationships with your family and friends?

DS: Being an artist is a lonely profession. Only you create. How do you share that with your loved ones? And creating takes place long before I put my brush to canvas. My wife often says, “You’re gone again. Where are you now?” Sometimes family members have seen my art as a threat, as though they will lose me to it. And in a way they have.


Day in the Mountains
“Day in the Mountains” 41 x 33 cm


Then there are of course the challenging financial aspects—you and everyone around you must sacrifice to make it work. That is why many artists end up alone. Trying to communicate what I experience is also difficult. I have often felt unable to describe to them what I feel, especially when I withdraw for long periods.

Writing my book has been an attempt to explain to my loved ones and others. If they want to know what my illness feels like, and how much my art means to me, they can open the book and read. That is why it has been of uttermost importance to write an honest account. It has taken me fifteen years.


Inspired by the Hudson
“Inspired by the Hudson” Oil on canvas, 2013-14, 125 x 95 cm


AS: Numerous artists have expressed that art has saved their lives, and it literally has made all the difference for you. How would you describe the way that your process of creating changes your perspective, or your experience of depression?

DS: I am in no doubt that art saved my life—because it is the only thing I could have done that was not entirely self-destructive. I once told a journalist, “I could have started on heroin, but I started to paint.” When you suffer, you must do something with that suffering.

That is why my goal is to always paint my emotions. A statement by Munch, who was inspired by the Bohemian writer Hans Jæger, is frequently on my mind. He said you should paint your life story, exclaiming, “No longer shall I paint interiors with men reading and women knitting. I will paint living people who breathe and feel and suffer and love.”

I try to do the same, no matter what the motif. Color is my main vehicle to do so. Sometimes color is more important to me than the motif. Here, studying expressionists like the Blue Rider movement (1911–1914), spearheaded by Kandinsky, has been crucial. His book, Concerning the Spiritual in Art (1912) is an art bible for me. Every artist should read it I want to express, not copy what I see.


David Sandum Sandra Jonas Publishing produced this memoir by artist David Sandum. Originally from Sweden, he currently lives and works in Moss, Norway.

Carolyn EdlundThis article is courtesy of
Carolyn Edlund, founder of Artsy Shark, is a business writer, speaker and consultant for artists. She is the Executive Director of the Arts Business Institute, presenting at art business workshops throughout the United States. Carolyn works with artists every day in strategy sessions designed to help them structure their businesses, set and reach their goals. Find out more about scheduling your own business consultation with Carolyn here: window