Sunday, December 9, 2007

more on promoting yourself - advertising

Advertising in newspapers, magazines, etc. is very costly. I believe our lives are so complicated nowadays, there are so many events to go to, so much to do, see, and read about that paying for an ad is mostly a waste. Not many people actually read them. What people DO read however are short, to the point articles on a front page with a colored photo. So, great – how do you get that accomplished? It will probably be easier than you think.

Start with creating something newsworthy. What’s newsworthy? Well, this is where your brainstorming skills come in. Has anything new happened? Have you gotten into a National show? Are you having a local show and giving part of the profits to a good charity? Do you have a new business or a new website? Are you teaming up with another artist? Are you being featured in a local gallery, teaching a new class? Don’t be shy. What are you doing that people should know about?

What people don’t always realize is that newspapers are looking for ideas. When you present an idea to a reporter or editor they usually want to write about it. Or better yet – YOU write about it in a press release and send it to them. This takes pressure off of them but still fills the newspaper. The easiest way is to email it and this is really the preferred way nowadays. But because they are very busy and under daily deadlines they often overlook a press release so you have to remind them without being obnoxious. This can be tricky. You don’t want to get arrested on stalking charges. When I worked at my office job my boss taught me one important thing when we were calling companies and trying to find people. He said “make friends with the gatekeeper.” – meaning the secretary or whoever answers the phone. So, go ahead and call as a follow-up and it's usually appreciated.

I keep forgetting to mention in these blogs - go to my website to see my art - Thanks! ; )

Saturday, December 8, 2007

more on brochures

Just like any kind of brochure for a business, an artists brochure must include the same type of information. You want a little bit about anything important, but not too much. Make them want to see more. The main idea is to write something about yourself or your inspiration – perhaps your artists statement, some photos of your work, a small black and white head shot of yourself (a professional one is good unless you know someone who can do a professional job – my daughter took mine and I’m very happy with it), a website address, and of course your contact information. If you can design this yourself you might want to ‘google’ brochures or tri-fold brochures and find some samples done in Word that you can use as a template. If you can’t do this yourself, get some recommendations from a college or from other artists and see if you can find someone who is good and can do it for a price you can afford. In office supply stores you can find special paper now made for tri-fold brochures.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Promote yourself

This is for Bob (even though you once said being a freelance artist sounds like too much work : )

Promoting yourself is something often difficult for artists since it seems like your art should speak for itself – but if you don’t promote yourself – who will? I have my days where I would just like to sit in my studio and have the public come to me. Being in business is being in business, even if your business is art. The more you see it this way the easier it will get. Just don’t lose the creative side of yourself in promoting yourself. You must find the balance between the two.

Business cards are a very basic way to start. They are something small that you will keep with you at all times. When someone wants to know what you do, you can hand out a business card. It’s especially nice to have a website so that people can see your work.

Brochures are an extension of your business card. Brochures are for people who are serious about your work. They will be more expensive to print than business cards so you don’t want to just hand them out to everyone. Give them out to people who take the time to really look at your work and talk about it.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

You're good enough

Don’t waste time thinking you’re not good enough. If you feel passionate about what you’re doing I am willing to bet you are good enough. Good enough to make it in some area of art doing what you do best. Take a look around you. It’s not always the most talented, but it is often the artists who believe in themselves who get jobs. If you don’t believe you can do it than no one else will. I’ve learned a lot by trial and error. Most of all I ask you to please not let rejection or negative comments from people get in your way. I have faced many, many rejections and I always try to learn from it. Maybe the lesson is something I can change. Maybe the lesson is simply – this is not the show for me, so I won’t enter it again. Whatever it is, feel it and move on to the next thing. If art is your passion you should never give up. Just take it day by day and follow your dream. It may not manifest in exactly the way you imagined, but it will happen.

Friday, November 2, 2007

get motivated

If you feel you want to create, but haven’t in so long that you’re stuck in a rut or don’t know where to begin, what medium to try, or where to learn – don’t fear. There are many places to get inspiration. You could start by taking a class that sounds interesting. Colleges and community colleges have many classes for credit or non-credit, as do libraries, park districts, art supply stores, and art centers, to name a few. Classes are great because once you pay for the class you feel you’re wasting your money if you don’t go. Then you are not only exposed to different ideas, but you try things you wouldn’t try on your own. You also get to know people interested in the same things you’re interested in and get to see how different each person’s art is – even when you’re all working on the same assignment.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


I want to write about the business of art here every once in a while so that other artists can get some ideas of what has worked or not worked for me - it also keeps me thinking of new marketing ideas for myself.

One thing I’ve found in my many years of working as an artist is that most successful artists don’t get ‘discovered’. Being successful both financially and personally is usually something that builds up little by little by little. One good thing happens, a few rejections here and there, another good thing happens and pretty soon over a matter of months or years you find that you’re actually making money doing something you love. Listen to your instincts and trust that it will happen if you make it a priority. That doesn’t mean you should quit your day job immediately. It just means you can do small things every day that add up to much progress over time.