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« The Productive Artist: Do You Make a Difference to Your Community with Your Art? | Main | Money: 9 Inexpensive Ways to Expand Your Art Income »

Art to Feed Your Soul May Feed Your Bank Account

Make Art Make Money

Estimated Reading time: About 2 minutes

Art feeds your soul. No argument.

Art making, by itself, doesn’t feed your bank account.

You have to add marketing to the right people at the right time in the right place. Then the right people have to buy.

Again, no argument.

But what if you turned the idea that art feeds your artists soul on it’s head?

Instead of thinking about your soul, think about art that feeds the viewer’s soul.

Not only is that a smarter way to market, your art could feed your soul on a larger scale.

When art becomes a way to contribute to the daily lives of people who might not be able to buy art works, your art makes a bigger difference.

And when your art makes a bigger difference, you stand to make money in entirely different ways than by making straight sales.

And that will feed your bank account too.

San Francisco artist Joshua Coffy did random acts of kindness to combat depression.


Josh in the Gift Prolific Gallery at Burning Man 2012 - Photo by Lady Bee

Giving to others took me outside of my own struggle for a bit, and I felt more in charge of the depression. Even doing a small random act for five minutes made me feel more normal, and so I started looking at gifting as a way out.

One of the principles of the Burning Man gathering is gifting.  Giving to others with no strings attached.  That really resonated with me at the time.

So, as a way to bring Burning Man's ethos into my daily life I started giving gifts to people, every day.  I really liked the way it made me feel.  Then I came up with an idea to help me involve my artistic expression. I created the Gift Prolific.

What began as a way to boost his own spirits expanded into boosting the spirits of those who received his random acts of kindness and the paintings he made about those acts.

The project created community at home and created connections with people wherever his paintings went all over the world.

From that community, his reputation grew, as did his sales and requests for commissioned paintings.

You can improve your results by taking simple action.

  1. Ask three of your art buyers to describe a random act of kindness they’ve experienced.
  2. If they come up with one, ask them if they can think of a way you can help them pay that act of kindness forward.
  3. If they can’t come up with any, ask them what small act would make a big difference to them or someone they love.

Bottom line:
You are in charge of your art and marketing.
Your audience is in charge of your sales.

Let me know how I can help you get your new year off to a great start. The first 15 minutes is on me. 


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Reader Comments (1)

I love this article! This is what I do and teach my high school
vocational students!!! Thanks for posting!!!

January 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDiane Manzi

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