Is your art marketing a never-ending search for a magic pill? Are you looking for the one thing that will propel you to fame and success?
Where do you think this magic pill hiding? Is it a piece of technology? A new social media tip? Another class?
I don’t like turning away clients, but every so often, I ask an artist: “Are you still in research mode? You keep taking my classes, but when are you going to stop reading and start doing?”
Is this you? Are you guilty of gathering information without every acting on it?
Here’s a recurring email in my inbox that drives me nuts.
I’ve read all of the books, but nothing is working.
Perhaps the authors of these messages don’t intend for me to take them literally, but all I have to go on is what’s in front of me. This says nothing about taking action. It says only that some reading has taken place. “I’ve read all the books” is not the same as “I’ve written three blog posts a week, sent out a monthly newsletter, had three solo shows in the last two years, and mailed quarterly postcards.”
The bottom line is that it doesn’t help you to read unless you do something with what you’ve learned.
I would even argue that you haven’t learned much if you haven’t done the work. If you’re just reading and reading, you’re not using your other senses. You’re not touching, applying, failing, and readjusting.
It’s easy these days to get sucked in to the bottomless well of tips and advice. It’s harder to say to yourself, “I’ve got to stop gathering information. It’s time to get to work!”