Every entrepreneur must wear more than one
hat. Most entrepreneurs are not skilled in all facets of their
business. When you enter the marketplace with your artwork, you'll
need to have all your psychological artillery ready for action.
This artillery will become important to take you through the
pitfalls of your business.
All of us have been raised with many attitudes
that undermine our higher possibilities. Throughout our life
we all must attempt to overcome those old barriers and attitudes
and begin to think for ourselves our better selves. As an entrepreneur
and that is what you become when you decide to start your art
business you will be, as defined by Webster's, "a person
who organizes and manages a business undertaking, assuming the
risk for the sake of profit."
Assuming risk? Yes! You will need to become
aware of your psychological blocks in order to take a risk and
succeed at this business. Study your negative attitudes toward
success within your own psyche; find out what is holding you
back. Follow only those attitudes that assist you in succeeding
in your aims. That sounds simple, yet we all know it's not simple
to change an ingrained attitude. It is, however, an axiom you
must develop towards your art business.
Don't use any excuses! If you have them, keep
them to yourself. Don't voice them. Excuses become more of a
reality if they are voiced. Understand that they are only excuses.
In case you are having difficulty seeing your excuses, here are
some I hear all the time:
- I work full-time. I don't have the time
- I have never marketed anything before.
- I am shy.
- I live in an uncultured town.
- There is too much competition.
- I don't know how to price my work.
- I don't want to part with my work.
- Financial success will poison my artwork.
- The art market is saturated.
- I can't use the left side of my brain.
- I don't have any business abilities.
- A true artist should just be discovered.
- I would feel guilty about making money
at what I love to do.
If you continue to believe
any of these excuses, you will get nowhere. To make a living
as an artist, you will have to have the courage and take the
risk to break through any of your personal roadblocks. If you
truly desire to accomplish the task of marketing and selling
your art, you must have the courage to conquer these barriers.
There is no alternative! You have broken through barriers in
other areas of your life. Break through these, too.
By the way, you have already begun the process.
You purchased this book because you want your career as a fine
artist to flourish.
The Myth of the Struggling Artist
Artists and non-artists alike are familiar
with this ubiquitous myth - artists never make much money and
don't care about money. This is just one of the many myths that
have been heaved upon the creative people of the world. Don't
believe it! Rubens, for example, didn't believe it. He was a
politician and a very good businessman.
I know many artists across the U.S. who don't
believe this myth, and for that reason they have prospered in
the art business. They are not "famous", perhaps never
will be "famous" among the masses, but this isn't their
aim. Their aim is to make a living as a fine artist.
You do not have to feel guilty about making
money from your talents. You are fortunate enough to have a talent
that can become an occupation. People want and need art. Get
on with what you like to do! Have an attitude change toward the
business of art. Put an end to those lies society programmed
into you. Conquer the myth of the struggling artist. Get on with
becoming a surviving artist in the new millennium.
Fear of rejection
Another myth artists are taught is that they
are supposed to be rejected by society, by galleries, by clients,
by the business world. "Artists are eccentrics. They are
rejects." Let's not advocate rejection any longer. Let's
think anew. Believing this myth attracts rejection.
You will need to learn to distance yourself
from but take heed of criticism. You are educating yourself for
intelligent marketing. Listen to what people say when they comment
on your work. They can give you important clues for future planning.
Are they rejecting your portfolio? Did you catch them in the
middle of a hectic day? Were you late to your appointment? Did
you choose an inappropriate gallery?
As an artist you donit have to take a criticism
personally. If you feel your work is truly inspiring, surely
there will be other people who feel the same. If you consider
your artwork of a top standardoand you should if you intend to
market itowhy is the opinion of someone you donit know so distressing
to you? Perhaps you don't really feel that your work is so good?
Without the fortitude you gain from these inevitable
critiques that hurt, you wonit be ready for the psychological
strength you need to be a success. Once you start marketing your
artwork on a regular basis, this gut-level fear of criticism
and rejection will begin to diminish.
The author, Constance Smith, has
devoted the last eighteen years to publishing art marketing information
researching and networking with art world professionals nationwide.
Previous to that she represented fine artists in the San Francisco
area. "Art Marketing 101" is available at bookstores
nationwide or you can order directly from the publisher. 336
pages, $24.95 + $4 shipping, ISBN: 0-940899-32-9. ArtNetwork,
PO Box 1360, Nevada City, 95959 Tel. 800/383-0677 530/470-0862
Fax: 530/470-0256 http://www.artmarketing.com