After lots of research including multiple Q&A on Facebook groups I have come to the conclusion: I must Blog. Not because I have some pressing ideas to share or agenda and definitely not for online fame or attention. Turns out blogging is a real viable way to increase an online presence and build your "brand".
Brand- that's a concept I'm still working through. I've worked out calling myself an Artist, but now I'm also a Brand? Or is my work the Brand? If this is truly a blog about Tips and tricks then I won't be coy or modest... as the artist you are the Brand. Art sells because buyers like the artist. Read any advice column and they will say to Tell your story. This effort in Blogging increases my online presence, it also increases the connection with my audience. And the end result is to sell more art.
So tip #1. Make friends with your audience. I'm a situational extrovert. Basically I would rather be at home in my studio arting than I would be in a crowd. But I can do it.. I can talk in front of an audience. I can make my voice heard but its not my favorite. I've adapted as I've grown older because well I have always had to work. Waiting tables helped my fear of talking to people, teaching aerobic classes helped me talk to crowds which lead to me talking to large groups about health and fitness and later about art. That's a long way of saying now at 36 I'm more comfortable with my own art audience. In my 20s it terrified me to promote myself or to even introduce myself. Now I probably share a little too much.
I don't consider myself super successful but I do sell regularly. I went through a long spell of not really painting and I was known around town as the fitness girl (I managed a gym). A friend asked me to paint a pet portrait for her husband and she posted the video of him opening his present a couple of days after Christmas. That one tagged post on Facebook jumpstarted the past 5 years and lead to my current job as an elementary art teacher, art advocate, and artist.
Tip #2 Start with Family and Friends. I gift so many portraits and other work. And it is all worth it. Their pictures and shares on social media extends my reach more than any paid advertisement. I've seen other artist complain about family and friends asking for discounts or handouts.. that is different. Gifts are a personal choice from the heart... I give because I enjoy doing it. But I'm not rich and art is a legitimate business for me. It's my car payment and hopefully new kitchen floors after the Christmas season. Its how I continue my education and buy more equipment. Boundaries have to be set and I still struggle with being a people pleaser too.
Tip #3 Learn to say no.. it has taken me years of over scheduling myself and losing money and I still struggle! Its so hard!! And I'm still making the same mistakes but well I'm a work in progress so..... there's that
Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk! Hopefully these will get better!