As a child, I was docile. I wasn’t one to misbehave in school, I was too afraid of my teachers to challenge them on anything. The most trouble I ever got into was when an observant substitute teacher in 6th grade noticed me making snide remarks about her to another kid. First time I’d ever been caught! Everyone stared in amazement because I never had gotten called out on anything before! I was always the quiet one.
I’ve pretty well outgrown my docility, but I still spend a lot of time doing my homework when it comes to new projects. I’m cautious. I don’t want to get into trouble. This has certainly been the case with this blog, as I look carefully at other artists’ blogs and follow along with the successful artists who advise others about promoting their art.
There are a few do’s and don’t’s out there, like the ten commandments for successful artists. Don’t worry, I won’t repeat them here. Just a few comments, though, about blogging.
The first one for artists is not to have a stand-alone blog, but to put your blog on your website. If I loved computer work, I’d probably go ahead and build a website, but I don’t. I love this WP blog, and it’s more my speed. I think a website might be in the distant future, because websites have some options I’d probably use, like a shopping cart. But that is a low priority for me now that I’ve got the blog up and running.
Another one is to remember that your audience is made up of Art Buyers, Art Collectors, and Gallery Owners.
Hmm…maybe my audience is made up of those people. Mostly it seems to be personal friends and people who want to show me how to make money online (not by selling art.) Certainly a few of my readers are also my buyers. But I prefer to think of my readers as my friends, whether I have met you in person or not and whether you have bought anything or not. I don’t want to write in a certain way just in case some wealthy collector is going to be bored if I occasionally say something about my granddaughter or my cat.
Make sure your posts relate to your art. Sort of related to the previous instruction. You can talk about your personal life, the causes you embrace, the events you attend, and the new techniques you’re learning, but make sure you tie all this into your artistic life.
But just because I am an artist, that doesn’t mean my life revolves around my art. I wish it did more, and someday it might, but I’m not there yet. Besides being a gel-pen artist, I am also a library employee twice over, a traveler, a photographer, a reader, a grandmother, a cat owner, a Reiki master. I don’t want to be told that if I write about these other things on my blog, that I won’t be successful as an artist. When I was three, my mother used to call me “Little One-track.” I am still Little One-Track because I think I can do things my own way and get what I want. Maybe it doesn’t always work the way I plan, but I do tend to run things into the ground before I decide what the next track will be.
I just read another blog today entitled “Go Commercial or Go Home.” This from a “successful” artist. There are plenty of ways to invest money making art into a reproduction process to generate more sales. There are plenty of ways I could be more involved in the art world. I could take course work to learn skills that would get me an art-related job. I could go the art show route. Those are great pointers and might really help someone become a “successful” (wealthy) artist. What’s also implied is that you can’t make money by doing things the way I want to do them.
But those implications that I need to do more, and do it all differently, just make me more determined to break free from the traditions. Maybe that puts me in the category of “outsider art.” If so, that’s fine. If I’m an outsider artist, my goal would be: not to be “discovered” only after my death when all my drawings come to light from the files of the insane asylum. I prefer to spread a little joy around the world right now. What I want is to tell right now what makes me tick, and experience some give and take with the ease of internet communications. Maybe outsider artists aren’t always financially successful, but they seem to have a lot of fun doing things their own way. I can do that, too. I’d even bet I can get ahead financially, too.
So I’m looking forward to sharing some of my other interests with you while I keep showing you the drawings I’ve been working on recently.
Here’s a “group photo” of some items that are in progress. Working two jobs again means that I make progress in small increments. These may not look like much, but sandwiched in with the other things I have scheduled, it seems like a lot to me:
What about you? I have some artists following here…do you feel like breaking the rules has brought you to a place of “success” or did it turn out to be a dead end? That’s one subject I haven’t seen addressed in art-related blogs.