The more people who know and follow your Art the easier it will be to sell your Art.
I used to put a lot of pressure on myself to always make stronger and stronger Art so that this small but growing audience would continue to stay engaged. I thought that the only way to keep people interested in what I was doing was to be always churning out better and better Art. Every couple of weeks I would send out an email with a new painting.
The only problem was that sometimes my work wasn’t better. Sometimes I felt stuck and actually made things that I didn’t want to show anyone. As a result I would put off promoting my work, which led to losing touch with people.
I tried to appear consistent and highly creative but in actual fact I wasn’t. I needed chunks of time away from my studio. I needed vacations from my art practice. I needed to talk to other artists. I needed to look at other artists’ work to get re inspired. Sometimes I just wanted to doodle in my sketchbook with no particular plan at all. Sometimes I didn’t even feel like making Art and instead wanted to just go on a hike.
All this inconsistency used to bother me. I didn’t want to give the appearance to my audience that I wasn’t a serious, productive artist. It was a real problem for me and I grew tired of trying to appear different than I actually was.
And then I discovered something about my audience (and I am pretty certain yours too) that changed everything for me. It changed how I related to them. It made it much easier to remain motivated in promoting my work. It also prompted those who found out about my work to share it more, which has lead to a bigger and bigger audience for my work.
What I discovered about my audience was quite surprising. I found out that most people who are interested in my art are equally interested in the process of how my Art is made. Not just the actual painting part, but all the time in between as well. People want to know what I saw on that hike that translated into a painting, they want to know what you are talking about with other artists, they want to know how you feel when you are on vacation and then what happens in the studio when you come home. They want to know how you find your way back to your art and what it feels like when you get there again.
All the things you do, feel and experience that end up re energizing your Art are great content for those who are interested in your Art.
People will love and follow your Art not just because of the Art, but also because of the unfolding story around the process you go through to make it. Making art is a bid for connection with the outside world. If the artist can share more of what goes into the personal process of making the art it allows people peering into your world to connect better with you. And this connection is vitally important if someone is going to spend, not just their time, but also their money on your Art.
Just like your best Art, making your best promotion has a lot to do with letting the world truly see you. Your audience wants to see the breakthroughs but they are especially interested in the time in between. It is ok to show the challenges, the timid attempts at something new or even the dismal failures. It makes you human. It makes you more like them and as a result they will more easily connect with you and as a result, your Art.
How do you connect and engage with your audience? Please share your thoughts and comments below.
In gratitude, Nicholas