Now it's time to debunk three myths that artists sometimes buy into, about how to build an art career.
Myth #7: One Big Break Will Make an Art Career
Instant fame doesn't happen in any profession. All great feats are the result of many small acts. Art is no exception.
Don't believe the stories of unknown artists who catapult to celebrity style fame and fortune overnight. Behind the curtain of these "instant successes" you'll find astute business strategies and viral marketing strategies.
Those precocious child prodigies? Hard work, tenacity, perseverance, and preparedness by devoted parents create the illusion of children who came into the world as fully formed artists. These young artists may have talent, but few sustain their initial acclaim.
The Flip Side: You Build a Solid Foundation Brick by Brick to Create a Business That Lasts
Build a solid, successful and sustainable business one step at a time towards your future and you won't "crash and burn" at the first obstacle.
- Decide what you want to achieve in your art career.
- Write goals and action plans to make and market your art.
- Develop a strong body of signature work and a desire to make your mark against all odds - and there will be odds.
- Build an audience through exposure and nurture relationships until you achieve notoriety and sales.
What you want doesn't happen overnight, but you can make it happen brick by brick.
Myth #8: If You Just Do Your Art, Everything Else Will "Work Out"
Many artists would love to just be in the studio or outside creating. Art feeds your soul, but by itself won't feed your bank balance.
The belief that "everything else" will take care of itself is indeed a lovely fantasy. And it is only a fantasy.
The Flip Side: You are in Charge of Everything About Your Career
Your art is a "product." You make it, promote it, sell it, distribute it and handle customer service. You keep records, inventory, a mailing list, track income and expenses, manage cash flow, and pay your taxes.
In the beginning you do most everything. Later, you can hire people to handle the business side for you.
It's your money, your art career, and your business. You are still in charge.
Myth #9: Your Art Speaks for Itself
Artists who do not like to talk or write about their art insist that their work speaks for itself. If that were true, there would be no art critics, show catalogues, labels on museum walls, web sites, blogs or social media.
The Flip-side: You Speak for Your Art
It's true that you develop your own "visual language" through color, form, shapes and imagery. It's also true that viewers may well make their own interpretations of your work. Aside from your art, people are interested in knowing more about the person who created it and in this, you are the expert.
Marketing is a series of conversations designed to build a bridge that connects you and your art with your audience. You start with a lot of careful observation and active listening to understand your audience. Then, you choose words and media that "speak" to your audience and clearly communicate to them.
Think of marketing your art as the ultimate and actual reality show with you as the spokesperson.
I'll share and flip three more myths next week.