Years ago, I had this idea that when I started to sell my art, I would be confident. I would know I had arrived.
Uh huh. Yeah.
As soon as I hit my first dry spell of sales, I wobbled and hard. I wobbled like it was going out of style.
My inner critic told me I wasn’t good enough. People were only humouring me when they bought my art. I wasn’t making real art. And so on. Pick the worst shit you can say to yourself and then double it.
Of course that dry spell ended and things picked…
The above image came through not only on my Facebook feed but on my Twitter feed as well. It’s one of those feel good, keep going, type posts that really does no wrong.
But it misses the point. Let’s unpack this, shall we?
First off, there’s no dispute about how sometimes you throw things out into the world and you get crickets in response. Your art. Your writing. Your music. Whatever. It meant something to you and you wanted to share.
And so you think, maybe the thing I made wasn’t good enough. Maybe I just need to share more…
One of the most pervasive myths artists hold dear is that once they’re discovered, things will be awesome. Masses of people will flock to their work, appreciating their art and genius. Money will flow in and life will be perfect. Or mostly perfect.
It’s the time and space between venturing out as a professional artist and the discovery that will happen if you stick around long enough, that’s the problem. It could be one year or ten. Or, worse yet, more!
So you show up, make your art, feel the hope. Maybe make some connections but mostly just sign up…
This question breaks my heart and it’s one I encounter regularly in my clients and even in the artists I haven’t worked with that I see around on social media.
Maybe even you’ve wondered yourself if you were good enough to be an artist.
It’s so common we should just put it on an artist bingo card as the free space. Everyone gets to put a chip on it.
The reason it’s so prevalent is two fold and maybe you’ll guess one part of it: it’s because there’s no certification or exam or licensing needed to become an artist. None…
I ran into a former friend last week. He’s been job hunting for more than two years now with no success. I asked him what he’d been doing because it seemed odd that he’d had no bites up until now.
“I’ve applied to 45 jobs since Jan 1,” he told me.
It’s November now so doing the math shows that he’s applied to roughly 4 jobs per month this year. That’s it. You can imagine that he was surprised when I didn’t praise him for his job hunting prowess.
I imagine that his friends and family have been enabling…
What you think you’re saying and what your audience is getting, can be two completely different things.
I’ve been out of the dating market for most of my adult life and though I’m single for a while now, I’ve been slow to jump back in. But the odd time, when I’m missing having a partner, I’ll hop onto an online dating app.
Like I did this weekend.
I’m not really looking for anything serious. Been there, done that. But I am looking to see how men in roughly my age group define themselves. Seeing what’s out there. Testing the water.
A person connected with me on Facebook sent me a DM (direct message) last week. It was a video of a dog saying, in a squeaky voice, that her “mommy” had written a book and could I tell everyone about it.
Aside from the fact that I don’t really know this person so this is a DM out of the blue with no hello or introduction, I was given no reason to care or share. There was no book title, book info or even a link to read more. …
Remember the good old days of around two years ago when the time you posted anything determined how far that post went?
I remember that Instagram’s best post time was 4:55 pm to catch the people who were about to leave work but killing time before they could. Tumblr was between midnight and 2 am to catch the night owls. Facebook was evenings. LinkedIn was weekdays during business hours, but especially Mondays.
Yep, there were whole courses on how to game the system to come out on top.
None of that matters now.
We all know that social media algorithms…
Marketing is all about sifting and sorting. You want to sift through your audience to find the people who are going to love and buy your work.
Visual artists who put their art out in the world, often hesitate for fear of rejection. They want everyone to love their art and want to buy it. This isn’t, sadly, reality.
Just like everything else in the world, people will like what they like and dislike what they dislike. Take olives, for example. Do you like them or hate them? Anyone who has had them has an opinion about them.
I saw a Facebook post this week from an artist who was mocking another artist because she called her work a masterpiece.
“If I ever get that arrogant,” the poster wrote, “you’ll know I’ve lost it.”
And so many people jumped on the comments of the post to announce that they hate everything they make. That hating your own art is indeed a sign that you’re making great art.
All I saw there was the idea that artists love to struggle because why would you make something you hate? …