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September 14th, 2012 - 07:40 PM
Iíve talked about the importance of networking as you make your way in your career, and the importance of getting your artwork seen and your name recognized. But thereís another side of the networking coin thatís even more important. Itís called connecting.
Whatís the difference, you might ask? The focus of ďconnectingĒ is your audience. Who are you painting for? Do you paint only for yourself or do you have something to say? Who do you want to say it to? Itís all about finding your voice as an artist and connecting with your audience.
This takes networking, a critical step in marketing, to a whole new level. It means connecting with people in a new way, not just visually, but emotionally and intellectually. Itís about making your artwork memorable, recognizable, and desirable.
This last step may take years for an artist to develop. What is it about you and your perceptions and attitudes about life that make you unique and different? How can you incorporate this originality into your voice so that you may connect with like individuals or buyers? Do you want to make a statement or do you just want to paint pretty pictures?
Iíve asked myself that question many times. I watch what sells, and I know that a big part of it is painting pretty scenes with dynamic colors that catch a personís eye, whimsy, or the dťcor of their living room. Sadly, this may make a sale, but unless there is something else to grab the mind and heart of the viewer, it is quickly forgotten in the stream of other things in life and in art that grabs for our attention.
If we want to make our mark, our voice has to speak volumes about us as individual artists. Depth of soul, depth of character, and a unique perspective says as much about us on canvas as does the skill we use in applying paint, composition, and structure. Success and recognition come when we finally make that connection!