Understanding who is drawn to your work, and why, is the single most important aspect of marketing what you do. Who is your audience? If you cannot clearly and concisely answer this question without hesitation, you have work to do. And even if you can answer this easily, you may still have work to do. Are your assumptions correct? Are there aspects of your market that you are overlooking? Has the game changed since you formulated your picture of your audience? Have you and your work changed since then? Understanding your audience is a continual process. The July 22nd edition of Outside the Lines features an article I wrote about identifying your tribe.
To understand your audience, first you need to understand yourself and what motivates you to do what you do. Here are some quotes that got me thinking about what drives me to make art and help other artists this past month:
"Art is not a skill contest, nor an innovation contest. Art is an honesty contest. If we can be precisely who we are, in the most intimate and candid and courageous way, we will start to connect to the universal. Our job as artists is to become powerfully personal in our work, and if we touch the source, the most central wound, the deepest of wells, then we actually touch the universal. In the compression of the intensely personal, heat is generated, and at a certain point it becomes expansive. The work goes from the intimately personal to what's personal to all of us." --Ran Ortner, http://budurl.com/RanOrtner, painter in a fabulous, thought-provoking interview with Ariane Conrad, The Sun magazine, June 2012
"I would like to beg you ... as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer." -- Poet Rainer Maria Rilke (1903)
"Our perception does not identify the outside world as it really is, but the way that we are allowed to recognize it, as a consequence of transformations performed by our senses; We experience electromagnetic waves, not as waves, but as images and colors. We experience vibrating objects, not as vibrations, but as sounds. We experience chemical compounds dissolved in air or water, not as chemicals, but as specific smells and tastes. Colors, sounds, smells and tastes are products of our minds, built from sensory experiences. They do not exist, as such, outside our brain. Actually, the universe is colorless, odorless, insipid and silent." --Dr. Jorge Martins de Oliveira via The Wizard of Ads Academy
If you want help understanding art marketing and prefer the community of a tribe of artists, please join the Artist career Training community.
A.C.T. membership programs are ideal for artists who are willing to put some elbow grease into building a sustainable art business. We know that you have a limited amount of time to invest in building a better art business and lifestyle. We gather the resources, create the checklists, and share the wisdom of the art world with you. You add regular action and watch your art business grow.
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