Thursday, December 13, 2007

Toooot-tootl-lee-toot! Marketing Yourself as an Artist

Toot- toooooot-toootl-le-toooooot!

That's the sound of me, blowing my own horn and being excited because I got my Glass Line December/January issue. . .and I'm in it! I wrote an article about distilling emotion and pouring it into glass, hoping it would give lots of people ideas for inspiration. Each and every creative soul is unique, so I did not write a follow-it-by-the-number, step-by-exact-step article. Instead, I listed ideas for finding inspiration at the torch.

*sigh of relief* See, that bit of marketing myself wasn't so hard to do. Now, those of you who've known me all my life will smirk and say with a smile, "When did you ever have a problem showing off?" The rest of you, well, your perceptions could vary widely, depending upon the day and where you run across me. Sometimes, I am practically shouting, "lookie, lookie, I'm so excited, look what I made!" Other times, you'll wonder why I waste good advertising space on rambling thoughts about art and life, instead of pimping my Etsy shop in hopes of making more sales.

Chances are, if you are an artist, you have the same quandaries about marketing yourself. Sometimes it's easy and fits naturally with a situation, but other times it feels forced or phony. Well, I'm here to tell you, it's okay! I'm also here to tell you, I don't have the answers or I'd be living off the royalties of a best-selling book with the title How to Make a Living as an Artist. You've been warned, so don't forget to take these ideas with a grain of salt. Take the ones you can use, make them work for you. No matter what the study of economics says, I happen to think there's room on this planet for as many artists as we can find :)

Here are some basic ideas for marketing yourself. Many of them might sound boring, but sometimes we all need reminders, huh?

****First off, don't forget that this isn't really so much about marketing as it is about having self-confidence ****
  • Wear your work if possible! If you make jewelry, make sure you are wearing a piece of it everywhere you go, and that includes out the door in your pajamas to get the newspaper out of the box ;)
  • If your work isn't the wearable kind, then take a picture of it and have it transferred onto a t-shirt that you can wear!
  • Give a piece of your work to someone who loves it. We're not really talking about just marketing here, we're talking about self-confidence. Just knowing how much someone else appreciates a piece of work made by your hand is going to be a boost to your confidence every single time you think about it. Giving of yourself is funny that way-- it multiplies joy exponentially because the recipient feels the joy and shares it with others and you feel incredible when you realize "they like me, they really do like me." You may be the giver, but in reality you are the recipient!
  • Display your artwork in your home. Display other artists' work in your home. Art is essential to the soul.
  • Each and every day, tell somebody about something you've made recently. If you don't tell them, how will they know? Plus, your enthusiasm for creating will probably inspire someone else along the way. . . and as far as the marketing part, well, the more times you do it, the more comfortable you'll be the next time :)
Okay, I know I oughtta give you some links to some printing sites and marketing discussions, but I'm supposed to be torching. . . and I have to admit that I'm not sure who has the best deals, who has the best advice, etc. So, adios for now, amigas.

And, hey, don't forget to carry your business card with you everywhere you go!


Sheila Morley - cyber sister said...

Love your thoughts! I can't wait to read that article. This is a star blog!

angelinabeadalina said...

Hey, Sheila, thank you :) I saw more entries in your blog plus the posts on LE, so I'm hoping your computer is back up. . .but I'm pretty sure you're also busy getting ready for the show in Detroit next week. It sounds like fun. Talk to ya soon :)