I’m a big chicken when it comes to marketing my work. If you came to me to market your work — help you identify what is special about it and it’s potential market influence, I’d be all over it. In fact, you would be bringing me a box of chocolate because then I could escape the excruciating work of turning that focus on myself.
I think it’s both more complex and more straight forward than fear alone. It’s personality and other annoying tendencies. For example, as an artist I like the freedom to explore various subject matter, form and technique. The idea of the traditional artist statement where I hot iron what type of artist I am makes me want to poke out my right eye. In a conversation with Ronnie Walter “License to Draw” she had an important insight. She said, you need to show them how to see your body of work. Packaging and demonstration is important to having the type of success you want. I agree. We are educating our marketers and business collaborators. And that’s an extension of the creative work.
Einstein said that a problem can’t be solved within the consciousness it was created. Maybe marketing can’t be solved by the mind that created the work of art. We are in a business culture where artists, writers, inventors, filmmakers are doing their own marketing and raising the money to get their products into the world. Bah, humbug… let the experts do what they do best. I still have the romantic idea I will find the perfect agent.
Perhaps it’s managing the anxiety of exposure, success, disappointment, vulnerability. The comforting thing is to keep creating. And I waddle my chicken butt up to the studio often for the comfort of color and good music.
However, since the 365 project — with books and new products coming out soon, it’s growth time. So I’ve taken out the word “marketing” in exchange for success partners. Agents, galleries, publishers don’t mind making money from my works, why should I mind chatting with them? And I am. And I’m even facing the word challenges of nailing the artist statement. Sometimes our minds make giant leaps into the task of marketing. It’s baby steps for this chicken. Baby steps…
Now where’s my chocolate?