Clever Announcements

I’ve been thinking a lot how we lure people out of their homes and into galleries, festivals, and museums. It isn’t easy these days, but it’s much easier than it used to be. Never before have we had such easy, inexpensive ways to communicate directly with art viewers and collectors. Still, we have a lot more competition. We have to provide solid, enticing evidence that piques imaginations and compels action.

Borsheim2Last December, I received one of the cleverest announcements I’ve ever seen. It was from longtime Art Marketing Action subscriber Kelly Borsheim. On the front: “It’s a Girl!” On the inside, the “birth” of her latest sculpture, Stargazer, is announced on a sheet of baby footprints. It reads, "After a long and loving labor, Stargazor was born on 3 November 2005 . . . to the proud parents of Artist Kelly Borsheim and Colorado Yule Marble." It goes on to say that she has "all of her fingers and toes" and was "born fully grown–like Venus."

When I asked Kelly if I could post it on my blog she said yes, “I always wonder if I will come across as hokey. So far, a good response.” I suppose it does have the potential as being seen as a gimmick, but it sure got my attention.

Self-Promotions Essentials for Serious Artists, the book that I’m working on, will have a number of the creative self-promotion ideas in it. I hope ideas such as Kelly’s keep coming across my desk. I am ever tired of the email blasts that say only, “Please come to my new show.” Zzzzzzzzzz. (More about this in Monday’s newsletter!)

What does it take to get you interested in something these days?

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Image: Kelly Borsheim announcement for new sculpture, Stargazer.

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6 comments to Clever Announcements

  • What a great Idea! I am inspired Thanks!

  • Elaine

    With all due respect to the artist — I would never respond to an invitation like that. It’s too cute. I think if your book is indeed aimed toward SERIOUS artists — reconsider including gimmicks like this. I understand that many people might think it’s “adorable.” Not me. But I’m glad she’s gotten a good response.

  • Thanks, Elaine. That’s just the kind of dialogue I want to see on here! We’re marketing differently these days. We MUST. But what is too far? Where to draw the line? By the way, lest it go unsaid, Kelly is a VERY serious and studious artist.

  • It is “cutesy,” but different. Different is what makes you stand out. Kelly did just that.

  • Thanks all. In my own defense, I should point out that this birth announcement went to those who have signed up on my opt-in arts list, as well as my family members — so the majority of these people are already familiar with my work and my personality. Most of my mailouts are not cutesy, so I hope that anyone who was not amused or charmed by this announcement won’t give up on me because in truth, it was only one piece of marketing among others. (That said, I have gotten a lot of great feedback and notice from this particular mailout – more than many others in the past.) And on a side note, I am thrilled that I carved that stone – it was a major deal to me. If I had produced an “ugly” baby, I would not have become so potentially obnoxious about spreading the word — ha ha. My hope was to share the excitement I feel and to create something that some of my audience might actually hold on to. Besides, I get bored producing similar marketing materials, so once in a while it is good to try something different. Life is short after all, and in the end, the artwork speaks the loudest.

  • Kelly, I should have mentioned who your announcement went to. I think it makes a difference that you have a prior relationship with people on that list. I still think it’s a grand idea–executed at the right time with the right mailing list.