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An Art Marketing Lesson From Your First Painting

by Clint Watson on 2/19/2010 8:45:56 AM

Do you remember your very first painting?

If you could view it now, with your more experienced, more seasoned'd probably chuckle at the pathetic little mess.  How far you've come!  So many mistakes, bad color mixing, the perspective is all wrong.....

A waste of time, money and art supplies, right?  Of course not.

The thing is, that first painting taught you something.  And the next painting taught you something else.  And one-by-one, each painting taught you a little bit.  You invested your time and money and purchased yourself an art "education" painting-by-painting, stroke-by-stroke.  And today you're a much more accomplished artist because of that.   

Here's the lesson:  Art marketing is the same way.

You can read this blog, subscribe to FineArtViews, buy Alyson Stanfield's book, I'd Rather Be in the Studio!, and spend years digesting and learning art marketing "secrets."  But to truly learn, you have to do it.

Yes, your first explorations into art marketing are likely, to your future self, going to look like pathetic little messes.  That's OK.  Each little foray will teach you something, and, someday, before you know it, marketing will be second-nature to you and you'll be a "master."


Clint Watson
Software Craftsman and Art Fanatic

PS - This post was inspired by Alyson's recent post Take Action!.  Obviously, I agree with her.


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Esther J. Williams
Clint, this is so true. I have kept some of my pathetic little messes just to remind me that I have come a long way baby!

Tuva Stephens
Yes, I still have those early paintings tucked away from sight. Recently I found one that at the time I thought was pretty good. I have to admit I threw it away. A friend recently commented on how much that I had improved just looking at early portraits hanging in the same room and making comparisons. Experience is the best teacher and yes, at first marketing is overwhelming and you gradually start learning more and more. "I'D RATHER BE IN THE STUDIO" is a great reference book anytime I have a question about anything pertaining to marketing. Every artist should own a copy!

There are so many artists that I come in contact that just still will not get a website and embrace technology or get left behind!

Karen Winters
Good advice. I remember my first art marketing/PR efforts - about 5 years ago - but if I hadn't taken those baby steps then, I would have regretted it today. All education is cumulative. I've found that my background in advertising and marketing has been quite helpful, too.

Donald Smith
My wife loves my early work, and has it hanging on the walls. I would paint over it if she would let me. They are funny to look at, but a good reminder of how much I've improved since my first attempts.

I'm just getting started with marketing my art. I'll have to check out, "I would Rather Be in the Studio."

What about Jack White's books? Can anyone recommend them as well?


lenora monahan
I do remember my first painting, a large vase of flowers. I am so sorry I sold it. Have tried to paint it again, just not the same.


Bryan Mark Taylor
To answer Donald's comment.

Yes. Jack White's books have some great info. although in my opinion some of the "tactics" are a bit on the "dishonest" side. Still you can learn a lot from him.


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