I’ve never been one to shout from the rooftops about my art and tell everyone how wonderful I am. I am somewhat shy and stumble around when someone asks me about what I do. I get bashful when someone else talks to strangers in front of me about my work and how much they like it. That is who I am…a shrinking violet who loves to create art yet shares it with the world.
For the past year I have been reading a lot of blogs, taking all kinds of business webinars and am currently in the first quarter of an marketing bootcamp…and you know what? All of these things have made me realize that I’ve been doing it right all along. If I follow someone else’s rootin’- tootin’ promotion formula, I will not be the artist I was born to be. So if there are others out there who feel like me, take heart. You can be successful by being yourself. The following is some of the insights I have discovered along the way.
- Let your art speak for itself. Create lots and lots of art. The more you do the better you get. You develop a style and a voice that automatically tells the world who you are. Without your art there is nothing for anyone to talk about and nothing for anyone to buy. The ART comes FIRST.
- GET IT OUT THERE! As artists we live in a wonderful time. Our culture craves art. It is everywhere you look. People have to see your art in order to buy your art. If art shows make your eyes roll back into your head, use the internet as your showcase. If setting up a website scrambles your brain, ask a computer savvy family member or friend to help you set up your web presence. I have a Facebook fan page posting all of my latest projects as I finish them. It is relatively easy to manage and provides a colorful and interesting timeline that my fans love. If you’d rather not manage a website yourself, then there are numerous art showcase websites out there to show and sell your work. The bigger your internet presence, the greater the demand will be for your artwork.
- Let your friends and clients toot your horn. For the past ten years I have been blessed with a wonderful client friend who believes in me and loves my work. She has been instrumental in getting me thousands of dollars worth of work and has shared her Jane Crick excitement with her entire community. If you have someone like this in your life, appreciate them. Send them thank you cards or take them to lunch. Send them flowers or remember them with a Christmas gift preferably something you’ve painted or made. Make sure you arm these promotion angels with business cards and any promotional materials you have as well. They are allies to your success.
- Be open to opportunities. In 1989 I created and painted numerous samples using a craft product to be displayed at a painting convention. This show board of samples caught the eye of a book publisher who contracted me for six instructional books. Painting those samples opened up a whole new chapter of my life. Watch for unusual opportunities to get your art in front of people.
- Think BIG. Study your art. Canvas and watercolor paper are only one tiny way your art can be shared. The more ways your art can be used or reproduced on products, magazine covers and more, the more money you will make.
As artists we simply need to be proactive. Seek and investigate ways to share your love of creation using the positive ways that are natural to you. We artists don’t need to starve.