Friday, June 25, 2010

About Marketing the Self

There is a bridge to be crossed to get from the studio to the world of art business. The crossing is harrowing.

Isn’t there some part of yourself that is private? Not because it is secret but because that is how it is meant to be? Maybe there is a place within ourselves where we really abide. It would be the place that painting and poetry spring from and probably who we are as well. I imagine there are some among us who are sure they are without fault. Then there are those of us who have a few doubts. So writing or painting or producing anything that reveals the perceptions of the inner core may not be such a good idea.

The work is personal, not in the manner of skeletons in the closet or old love affairs, but of that place within. Last week’s question was: “Does anybody see what I see?” If I didn’t need to sell what I make, this would not be an issue. But it matters a lot. I want acceptance, praise and sales. Sometimes I get all of that, sometimes none.

I have become more adept at advertising myself — note that it is not my work I must advertise, but myself. There is performance anxiety when there is a show, and the recurrent discomfort of marketing: making the phone calls, writing the letters and press releases, sending out packets of images, managing the web site(s), sending emails and doing the research. The other side of the bridge.

I found in a web site about marketing art, first this comment: “You need to believe that your artwork is your special gift to the world.” and then these rules:
1.  Get good at making remarkable art.
2.  Ignore critics and people who try to bring you down. Is that all? Piece-a-cake!

Eric Maisel: Art and business may be strange bedfellows, but an artist must make room in her bed for both.

The image above is Trio One ©2010, Giclée Print, size varies. For information about any of the paintings on this site, please email Joan.

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