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Sometimes the Best Art Marketing is None

by Clint Watson on 9/3/2008 2:56:00 PM

Here at FineArtViews, my favorite discussions involve art, marketing, inspiration and fine living.  In practice, however, most of the discussions center around the specifics of marketing art.  There's a reason for that:  You, dear artists, know how to produce your art and since I'm not an artist, I can't really help you in the technique department anyway.

However, with my gallery background, I do know how to market art.  And that marketing knowledge is what I try to share with you.

Sometimes, however, the best art marketing strategy, in the short term, is to simply do nothing and forget art marketing altogether.

Let me explain.

Creative work takes energy...lots of it.  Your primary job is to produce great art.  Once you get into "the zone" or the state known as "flow", you will produce your best work.  At that point, you, you must go with it: take advantage of that higher level of creativity and productivity, to the exclusion of other activities, including marketing.

That's actually what I've been doing for the last couple of months.

I consider myself a creative "code artist" who works in program code to produce web applications for artists . . . specifically our sister site, FineArtStudioOnline.  As I shared with you in early August, we've been revamping all of our systems and as we've been in the "programming zone," there hasn't been time or energy to continue a lot of our regular marketing activities.....including this newsletter.

Now some "marketing gurus" would take me to task for letting these marketing activities slide.  After all, you've been promised a free almost daily newsletter, but haven't seen one for several weeks.  I haven't even updated my blog! Oh no! But I think we've made the right choice, because now we have an even better product to offer you, our artist customers.  (By the way, you can click here to read about the improvements we've made to FineArtStudioOnline).

The good news is that we have now completed and tested all of our changes and are officially now restarting the FineArtViews newsletter, although I am considering lowering the frequency from daily to 2 or 3 times a week.  So, for now, let's just say it will be "almost" daily.

The bottom line is that we all have an extremely limited amount of productive time.  Since it will not always be possible for you to do everything you want, there will be times that you must sacrifice something for the greater good, at least in the short term.

I suggest  that when faced with limited time, make sure your art ALWAYS comes first.  Sacrifice your marketing, your chores, or just about anything else but don't let your art suffer, after all, if you don't produce your very best artwork, you won't really have anything worth marketing anyway!


Clint Watson
Software Craftsman and Art Fanatic

PS - Your artistic talent is one of your unique gifts.  You have a responsibility to art collectors (like me), art lovers and the world to make the most of that ability.  I shudder to think of a masterpiece being lost because an artist ignored a moment of inspiration and instead took care of "other responsibilities."


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Topics: art marketing | Clint Watson | inspiration 

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Nancy Leigh Hillis
via web
I agree wholeheartedly with you. The most important thing for an artist is to get into the studio and make art. Master painters say: "cover yards and yards of canvas".

The way to make contact with "the zone" of creativity is to get into the studio every day as well as to carry a drawing pad with you everywhere, so that when inspiration strikes, you can write it, draw it, think about it, and not lose the idea.

Lori Woodward Simons
via web
Thanks Clint for taking the time out to improve your "work of art". Seriously - I do know that programming is just as creative as making artwork.

I like the line that states that we have a responsibility to art collectors to make our best work. I'll post that on my studio wall.

Jennylynne Gragg
via web
I agree that sometimes "life" interferes with the creative side of the brain. For most artists it is a constant struggle between our creative life and our everyday life. In the end we can try and create a balance of both and hopefully neither suffers too much. PS:Currently the dishes and laundry threaten to take over the kitchen-oh well-the studio is tidy.

Diann Haist
via web
Happy to have your valuable insights back in my inbox! This advice is poignant and oh so true.


L.K. Johansen
via web
Was wondering where you were, missed your frequent e-mails. Currently hitting a brick wall on marketing. Thanks for the encouraging words. Am about to create a website. Keep up the good work.

mary spellings
I guess that's why I have so many paintings stacked up and in flat files. I do not spend nearly enough time marketing my work. It seems that at periods in our life,we do well to make time to create. We do not have or make time to promote. I am one artist who just wishes people who do appreciate my work were more inclined to purchase it.There seems to be a wide gap between"Oh I love that, you are sooo talented" and " How much do you want for it?"

This is the first time I've accessed this website. Your exortation or suggestion("I suggest that when faced with limited time, make sure your art ALWAYS comes first")makes my heart bleed. For I truly wish I knew how to make it a priority as it always goes to the bottom of the list when anything exerts it's priority in my house or life. I feel terribly guilty for spending time on art, yet, I've won prizes and awards for the ones I've submitted to contests since 2004. Currently, I took on a task for a loved one who cannot fulfill the task. It will take about a year to complete which means I have to put my art on hold for the next year. While no one is promised tomorrow, I wonder why I deny myself "my love" and because I am a responsible person, how can I dare put myself first and leave the task(s) which would be very unacceptable by all of my family. I do value the precious time left to paint as I plainly see the signs of just how limited my time is (and unknown to my family).

Yo Clintavo.
I read your post about this before and it makes the marketing aspect crystal clear.Making art and storytelling about it is what connects to the buyer because he buys a little bit of you along with the artwork!KUDOS!!!


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