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October 7th, 2019 - 11:42 AM
So, you want to be an artist…Don’t just sit there…
Journal entry February 16, 2019
This week we were hammered by storm fronts one after another with very cold temperatures and lots of moisture creating very deep snow. The snow was so deep that we were snowed in for two days making it impossible for anyone to make it up to The Grand View Ranch for a campfire or even an evening around our cozy fireplace at the ranch house. I love to rest on my Craftsman couch in front of the fire and sip a cup of homemade cinnamon cocoa with whip cream and marshmallows. I often find myself in quiet thought reflecting on the conversations that I had with my students during the week and think about what I would like to write about to share with you.
The Fragmented Art World
Of all the ideas that came to me, it seemed like it would be most helpful to write about some of the steps that artists should know about before venturing out into the confusing and fragmented art world. Most artists have very little knowledge about how to approach galleries or produce social media, art shows, and art competitions. They may not know how to establish a collector base that they can count on to support them as they launch their art into the art marketplace. In the next few blogs, I will offer my own personal insights from my experiences being in the art world for 40 years and successfully launching my own PBS show. These conversations or Blogs that I’ll be sending have insights that I have shared with students who I coach weekly.
To be Successful Share With Others
I believe if you are serious about marketing your art, it is essential to have a coach who you can check in with every week. I hope that sharing my insights will inspire you experience the exciting journey into the professional art world. To be successful, artists should have the desire to share their art with others. It’s why people create art, after all. If a book is never read, does it even need to be written? Painting is a visual expression of the desire to share with others what you find beautiful, interesting, or of interest to you. Art is communication and in order to communicate, you must have an audience. Building this audience is in itself a business and requires some time to do. So, relax. The fear you are feeling at this moment is actually the feeling of excitement. The two emotions feel similar. Use that “excitement” feeling as you go through your journey. It will make a huge difference in how you market your art. Before we go over the steps that will transform you into a self-promoter of your art, there are some things we need to talk about.
WILL MY ART EVER BE GOOD ENOUGH?
I'm amazed how much fear most artists have when they venture out from the safety of their immediate families and studios with images of their work. Many artists are paralyzed with the thought of posting their art on social networks for the world to see. They are waiting until they create something that is “good enough,” and are constantly reinventing themselves to fit some ideals or invisible goals that they think they need to complete before they can move forward and get their art out of the studio.
These artists are stuck. They are not even making an effort to show their work because the invisible “Not Good Enough” message that screams in their heads gets louder with every improvement they make. And, every improvement they make just opens new conversations that they have so much to learn to be a great artist. GET USED TO IT! YOU WILL NEVER BE GOOD ENOUGH! There will always be someone better, brighter, or more talented than you. THE TRUTH IS…
The truth is even your worst efforts will be admired because as an artist, you do something of value when others are caught in the trap of quiet desperation, fearing that they are living their lives with little personal value except working and paying the bills. They are afraid to try to do something that might expose that they are frauds to the world. Sound familiar?
To make things worse, the Internet makes it more challenging when
the public is given instant power to like or dislike something – with Thumbs up, Likes. Emojis, and Comments! all out-there in the World Wide Web for the public to see. These instant reactions hit the heart of the artist, confirming what everyone has been saying to you since you where 4, “You're not good enough to be an artist”, “You’re going to starve… get a real job… do something of value.” After all, “Art is the class you take if you want an EZ “A”.” No wonder art instills fear in anyone wanting to succeed as an artist.
WHAT IF EVERYTHING YOU BELIEVE IS NOT TRUE?
It is the nature of being human that we all want to look good, and we fear looking incompetent or ignorant. From an early age we are constantly trying to do what is good and avoiding anything that might bring negative attention that makes you look bad. Posting your work for others to see or introducing your art to a gallery can be intimidating because of the old tapes in our heads that tell us that we may not be good enough. I am amazed that many of my students have no problem posting daily what they had for dinner or sharing photos of their cats. But, if they are asked to share their art pieces for others to see, they become paralyzed and afraid of what people might think or say. I have worked with students who almost pass out from fear before hitting the “share” button to post one of their paintings.
Lets Start NOW!!!
When students step out of their “fear of sharing” response about their work and start marketing their work to as many eyes as they can find, they are amazed that the response they experience is always positive. They may start first with family members and friends and then market to complete strangers who respond to their work positively. However, before an artist is ready to approach a gallery seriously, there are steps that must be in place before making the first contact, before showing your composition, before having your first show, or approaching a collector, a buyer, or the owner of a gallery. In the next blog I will discuss all the insights artists must have before you go into the public arena and present your art to galleries and collectors. Here are the first steps that you must take before we move on to the next blog.
Get a Web Domain or URL address
Open a Facebook account
Open a Twitter account
Open an Instagram account
Open an Linked in Account
The Must Have
You must have all of these social media accounts and they must all be linked together
Step by Step instructions on linking up these accounts are on YouTube
Next week, you will start stepping out of your comfort zone and begin experiencing the feeling the excitement when sharing your art with the world. It is going to be exhilarating. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I will try to respond as best as I can. email@example.com.
Information about coaching is located under the heading Coaching on my website www.StefanBaumann.com. If you are interested in coaching, give me a call at 415-606-9074 (my personal cell number) and we can talk more about how coaching will enhance your knowledge, capabilities, and growth as an artist.
"The eyes of the world are waiting to see what you have to say."
I have coached many students over the years. My goal as a coach is to help students discover their own style by instructing with a method that allows them to grow as they are. If you want increase your knowledge and skill to bring your art to the next level, I invite you to watch my YouTube videos, consider phone coaching with me, or attend a workshop in Mt. Shasta where we discuss art, passion and life with other artists around the campfire. All the information is on my website, www.stefanbaumann.com.