No one wants to be a starving artist, especially when everyone they know told them they would never make it, or it’s too competitive, or they won’t make any money. If you’ve made it to the top and are making bank while making art, congratulations! If you haven’t, you might want to stick around for these top 5 ways to fool your friends and family into thinking you’ve actually made it, when they may or may not have been right.

1) Have a website

If you have a website, you automatically seem like a professional. It’s an easy way for people to find and contact you and it’s a public online portfolio that allows you to brand yourself, make yourself known to potential employers, and show everyone you know how cool you are. It’s also a great way to sell your work or services without an agent or middleman.

2) Have a lot of work

You have a lot more work than you think. If you upload every small project or process to your portfolio, it quickly fills up. Taking pictures or videos while you work is a great example of this. Adding thoughts, opinions, and reviews from peers, employers, and critics is another great addition.

3) Don’t Have a Discipline

If you brand yourself as a painter but enjoy photography, sculpting, or any other type of art, be sure to include that! Don’t limit yourself to just one practice because you end up eliminating an abundant amount of showable work. Instead, try branding yourself as a general artist or creative thinker. When assembling your portfolio, make sure to categorize your work to show your wide range of talents.

4) Have a small art show

Having a small art show to display your work is a great way to make it seem like you’re more successful than you are. Lots of galleries and coffee shops are willing to rent out space for your show. Some even do group shows where several artists show their work together. Another idea is to have a street show which also helps you promote yourself to the public. Make sure to have plenty of business cards!

5) Host a workshop or class

Hosting a workshop or class shows how advanced your skills are, making you seem like a real professional. Going back to the street show idea, you could find a popular public sidewalk or park and offer your services. Make sure you check the local laws and regulations beforehand so you don’t get kicked out.

Following these 5 ways won’t just make you appear like a successful artist, but if you stick to them and turn them into habit, they’ll actually make you a successful artist. They’re also great ways to make some money off of your work and talents. So don’t stop creating and prove everyone who doubted you wrong!