Esteemed curator John Elderfield tells us that Willem de Kooning assigned himself challenges throughout his life so that he wouldn’t become complacent in his work.
- De Kooning drew with his left hand from time to time. (He was right-handed.)
- He’d start to make a mark on the canvas and then, at the last second, forced his brush to jog to the right or left.
- He felt the bite of many critics when he returned to the figure after receiving critical acclaim for his painting, Excavation.
De Kooning was trying something different – anything to throw himself out of his comfort zone in order to advance his art.
Jaime Howard recently posted on Facebook that “in the interest of combating a raging case of perfectionism,” she painted the work pictured here with her “wrong” hand.
What do you do to challenge yourself with your art? What kinds of problems do you set up to solve?
Are you doing the same to challenge yourself in your marketing?
Have you become complacent with your marketing? Do you find yourself doing the same things over and over again to promote your art with few results?
When is the last time you promoted your art without relying solely on email and social media?
Apply a similar mindset to your marketing that you use in the studio when you’re trying to work through a problem. Try something new. Anything!
You could promote a summer exhibit using a hand-delivered invitation along with a wildflower or sprig of mint from your garden.
You might schedule an artist talk even though it scares the pants off of you to imagine talking to a group of people.
Or, you could give your art away like David Castle did. Read about it here.
Fight complacency in the studio and in your business office. You’re creative!
In what ways are you as courageous with your marketing as you are with your art?