In today’s Art Marketing Action newsletter, I discuss the ways in which some people approach (or don’t approach, fear, are perplexed by) art. I’d like to offer some ideas for what to do after you’ve armed yourself with this knowledge.
- First, put people at ease with you. Open up, be approachable. Listen to them and where they are coming from. Leave your agenda at home and learn to understand what other people are seeing in your work and how it relates to their lives. Having a genuine interest in people will trump any “sales speak” you can learn.
- If you are an artist whose work is primarily abstract, make sure you are using easy-to-understand language. Don’t ever say “my work speaks for itself.” That’s a cop out and just plain lazy. The most famous names in abstract art of the mid-twentieth century had dissertations to speak and write about their art.
- Know your craft, its tradition, and your materials. Figure out a way to explain it in the simplest, yet most colorful, language. Understand how your work is different from other artists. What, exactly, sets you apart?
- Learn to be proud of your artistic career and, especially, learn to share that pride with others. If you constantly apologize for poor marketing materials, an outdated website, or bad framing, you have set your audience up to respond unfavorably. (My husband recently told me I do this with my cooking by apologizing for its imperfections before anyone has tasted it. Doctor, heal thyself!)