Understanding Personality: Build an Effective Art Career

When you get in front of the mirror in the morning,

do you talk to yourself? (Don’t worry, we won’t tell anybody.) But for real, how well do you know yourself? When you take some time to really examine it, you may be surprised by how much of a mystery you are to yourself. Weird, right? The individual is the ultimate minority. We all have a beautifully unique personality.

Here at Rare Tempo, we believe it’s essential to know who you are so you can relate to other people and your art. How you work and create, how to best spend your time, how you can best market yourself, and understanding your inner tendencies all have an influence on the work that you create. They define the kind of artrepreneur you can be. Let’s look at some options for figuring this stuff out.

Personality Tests

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator & 16 Personalities

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is an extremely popular personality test. Developed by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers, MBTI is based upon the conceptual theory proposed by psychologist Carl Jung. Jung’s theories were rooted in four cognitive functions (thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition). This is where the four-letter acronyms come from.

Many people take this test so they can discuss their “type” with friends, and in doing so, continue to learn about your own tendencies. The official site of Myers-Briggs is a good place to start. Their website offers a more in-depth description of the theory behind the test. 16 Personalities was created as a simplified, more accessible version of MBTI. They have a little more user-friendly site and some updated materials in relation to the test itself.

Big Five Personality Traits

The Big Five Personality traits are another popular way to measure an individual’s personality make-up. Each of the five traits can be broken down into two additional aspects. The labels are as follows: Openness to Experience (Openness and Intellect), Conscientiousness (Industriousness and Orderliness), Extraversion (Enthusiasm and Assertiveness), Agreeableness (Compassion and Politeness), and Neuroticism (Volatility and Withdrawal). Ernest Tupes and Raymond Christal advanced this model in 1961.

Our favorite option in this category is going to run you ten dollarooskies. When you think about it, that’s actually extremely cheap for a version of the Big Five developed by three separate doctors of Psychology. The folks over at Truity have developed a free, basic version of the test that you can take. Their full report will run you $29.


You may hear fans of the enneagram assigning numbers to people (not on a scale of 1-10 and not based on physical attractiveness) based on how they act. There are 9 different personalities in this theory and some of its biggest promoters believe elements of it are based on ancient traditions. Most of the modern theory is based on work from the teachings of Oscar Ichazo and Claudio Naranjo, two South American teachers who began to teach their theory in the U.S. in the 1960s and 70s.

The Enneagram Institute has a test that costs $12 to take. If you’re starting to notice a pattern here, most of the legitimate personality tests are going to cost you something. The free versions are nice but can be a lot less in-depth and accurate. Here’s one of those if you don’t care about what we just said.

What’s in it For You?



Once we know ourselves, we can get to know others. Part of understanding someone else involves knowing yourself. Connecting with how people feel is a pretty substantial part of your art making an impact on people. It’s also key when meeting and networking with business people. They want to feel that connection. Most art purchases are made as a result of an emotional connection with the work.


People can usually tell when you’re not being completely honest with them. Authentic art has the power to make an impact. From song lyrics to self-portraits, authenticity is what makes the difference. Not to mention people will be drawn to work with, invest in, and otherwise help more authentic artists. Just be you. You are enough.

Strengths & Weaknesses

Identifying what you excel at versus what you could improve upon can be extremely helpful. Artists are pretty off-beat in general and often work differently than other people.  Understanding your strengths and where you struggle could help you determine where you need to focus in building your business.

At the end of the day, we’re not here to sell you any particular personality test or partnering with any certain company. We are here to help you be the best you. Unlock that “artrepreneurial” spirit and help you thrive. So even if you don’t take our advice on this one, we still got you.

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