CONTINUING FROM LAST FRIDAY-
Strength in Numbers! If you think about it, one could say that the ability to be alone and self-motivate are prerequisites for being a working artist. In a sense, painting is a “solitary vice”. So, it may take some conscious effort, in planning the marketing of your work, to consider the multiplier effect of joining with others. This hit me two years ago when I was offered the opportunity to have a solo show at a financial management company. (I should note that where I live there are really no commercial galleries as the term is generally understood. Most spaces, some of which are very nice, are “piggybacked” on another business. However, the community is very supportive of its artists and finding a place to show art publicly is pretty easy. Sales are uncommon, but, boy, do we get fussed over.) I’ve had a few solo shows here and have always gotten a gratifying turnout. But it occurred to me that if I invited some of my animal/nature artist friends, it would not only be more fun, but that then their “fan base” would see my art, too.
I invited four colleagues and they all said “yes”. The reception was packed, I sold two giclees, another artist sold one and a good enough time was had by all that we decided to do it again. Last year we added a couple of new artists and moved to a different venue. We also invited the local wildlife care center folks to attend with a couple of their birds as an added attraction. Once again, a great turnout, both for the reception and during the month that the show was up.
The next show, Wild Visions 3, will be in October and we will have a nationally known wildlife artist as our Special Guest (more later). While, in a sense, it’s “my” show, we all pitch in with ideas (one of the other artists came up with the name) and work the reception. We’re exploring various ideas for “growing” the show.
Should you consider finding a small group to show with whose work is complementary to yours? With the right people it really is “the more, the merrier”.
What’s Your Story? There’s a lot of artists out there. Good ones, too. How do you make your work stand out? One way is your Story. What is it that sets you apart? If you’re going to successfully get local or national editorial coverage (back to last week’s “spend no money”), you have to have a hook to get the attention of a reporter or editor. Not to mention collectors. They are buying your story along with your art.
Now, you can’t just make something up out of whole canvas, so to speak. And you don’t need to. You’re an artist. That gives you a leg up already since people in general are really interested in what artists do and get a kick out of knowing one. Find something particular that you do and why, test drive it and see what the response is.
I like to travel and it’s a necessary part of creating my art. I happen to really like Mongolia, which has a certain cachet as a destination. So, for me, it’s kind of a no-brainer. My story is my travels to Mongolia and the paintings and drawings that are the result.
Filtering how you present yourself and your art this way can simplify your choices, too, since there’s never enough time to do everything you want/need to do.
To be continued…
NEW WORK IN PROGRESS!
I’ve been fighting off a sinus infection for the past three weeks and haven’t gotten in much easel time, but I have made progress on this new painting from reference that I shot year before last down near Cambria, California. There is a huge elephant seal colony right on the beach next to Highway 1 and they really put on a show. Lots of male posturing.
NEW CAT UPDATE!
Just for fun, here’s a few photos of Alexander, who’s doing great. He’s gotten nose to nose greetings now from two of the three other cats and one is now willing to play with him.