It's easy to make lofty role models of famous dead artists. And though this practice serves to inspire us as artists they are far removed and can't be reached on their pedestels. It's imperative that we find proof of artistic success in people that are not so out of reach. Trust me when I say that this will help you kick your own butt as an artist. To see someone as they take steps towards their success will help you take your steps with less fear and trepidation.
These artists can be touchstones when your confidence wanes. Also, you might want to note that you may not find a perfect hero of an artist who you admire in every way. There will be attributes that you admire in each artist - their work ethic, productivity, conceptual approach, ability to market themselves! You may consider looking for role models in a variety of those areas.
"I received an email not too long ago from a fellow artist who had come across my website and felt compelled to write me asking me for advice on how to proceed in her journey as an artist. It was a strange email to get, because I remember sending out those exact same emails to artists that inspired me.
Sometimes I asked technical questions about features on their website, sometimes I was reaching out for a few esteem-boosting words of encouragement – but maybe in the end what I was seeking was evidence that there really was a person on the other end of what I was seeing as “successful” – proof that it could be done." - TheAbundantArtist.com
So make use of your artist role models. Remember that one day you may set an example for other artists, so don't be afraid to reach out to a few artists for some advice.