The internet is full of someone writing an e-book for you to download that promises the magic of marketing your art. Much of it is good, but most are one variation or another of the same seven to ten points of what to do.
Congratulation to all artists that stay in the game and are involved with it with regularity. This means that you are in the field DOING IT. It probably means you’re thick-skinned, and can take rejection without it destroying you. Succeeding at anything takes not only talent, hard work, and perseverance, but mental strength, as well. This comes from knowing you are great at what you do, and never doubting it no matter what anyone thinks. You recognize if ever you have a doubt, or a mental stumble, you can get it all back with a simple thought by asking yourself:
“How bad do I want it?”
Although, Vincent Van Gogh may or may not have sold a painting in his lifetime, it didn’t seem to keep him from continuing on with his work. This was especially true in the last year of his life when he became extremely prolific by painting (some say) 200 separate paintings. But I can imagine him saying, almost screaming each time he slapped paint on canvas, “How bad do I want it? To bad he didn’t hang around long enough to find that he really was the artist that he thought he was. Perhaps, his original intention when chopping off his ear was to get attention, not to go down that dark tunnel of which no one has yet to return. Yet here we are one hundred and twenty-six years later talking and writing about it.
Remember, whatever it is that people say about you, good or bad, you are successful if they are just talking about you.
I certainly hope that none of us cut off an ear, or ready to take such dire measures to succeed. However, it is important that we keep our passions high, never doubting our talent, never being afraid to take chances.
I remember it was back in the early seventies (may have been late sixties) in Houston, Texas, that I read an article about an artist that was suddenly the rage in town. It was the artist, Jim Rabby, who was painting colorful pallet knife oil abstracts. I went to visit his studio, and all I saw was a very colorful owl that he painted. The paint was so thick, and worked over with a pallet knife, that it looked almost like a bass relief. Although it was very colorful, it didn’t “grasp” me. Why? Because I was unable to comprehend his type of art at the time. In other words, I would not have been able to create his composition as an artist, because I was unable to think like he did.
However, he could do it, and he did do it. Yes, he did it, and not only did it, but did it in a big way. He marketed his work with zeal, and he did so in a big way; and his work sold, and his work sold in a big way. You can check the web, he’s been very successful with his style of art. In other words, he didn’t believe you had to die so that a hundred years later you might be somebody. He decided to be somebody while alive. I congratulate him. This was more than forty-five years ago, and he was kind enough to talk to me in the studio the day I visited, and I recognized in him a vivacity and self confidence I had not seen in many artists. He believed in his talent and himself. He knew he was doing something people liked. Mostly, they were willing to spend good money to have what he was offering them.
My suggestion for marketing your art (remember, I simplify all things):
- Do good work
- Believe in yourself
- Promote your art and yourself with ZEAL
- Do all of the above non-stop, and never ceasing
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