Saturday, December 6, 2008

Stop Marketing!

That's what I'm doing! Last Christmas season kicked in full tilt around this time of the month, and I accepted every commission. I was exhausted, didn't enjoy things I usually enjoy like baking, was stressed, etc. I had marketed a lot in the previous weeks and the chickens came in to roost about this time.

This year, I'm taking a break. I haven't been a marketing fool, of course, if any come my way, I'll take them...or SOME of them.

My feeling is that more than marketing, what I need to make a jump and not a hop is to improve my skills on every level. Not only in draftsmanship, but in creativity. I want to become a really good artist. Not just a selling artist, but a really good artist. That's my real goal, and I feel like I've been in a bit of a rut and haven't moved along as much as I would like.

The portrait inquiries really made me think about where I want to go. I not only want to be able to do portraits that laypeople say "looks just like him", but that other artists...my peers...like. Same with my prints.

To that end, I'm going to take more classes. I'm really really fortunate that I live here in the Philadelphia area because I have so many options for excellent community based classes. In the city and out, there's lots of offerings. We have a tradition for classical training here and I'm going to take advantage of it.

In fact, one of the locations where I can do life painting, you have to jury into. And that made me think...how good am I, really?

So...while I'd love to make the leap to a full time art career right now, I think that marketing more isn't the answer for me. I think I will improve my chances of really leaping if I first take the time to study.

And the art shows and contests are a component of this...Anything juried will teach me something...good or bad!

So the way I'm looking at this, I can either market more at what I already can do...or I can devote more time to growth. I think the "big picture" is to grow. What do you think?

6 comments:

José said...

I think that I'm going to report you to a therapist :-)

Kind regards,

José

Robin said...

Jose, why?

Corn Bread said...

Robin great post! I think I will follow your lead and strive to be not just a selling artist but a better artist too. I'm not going to stop trying to sell my original abstract graffiti pop art!

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Robin said...

Thanks for posting, CB!
I'm not going to stop trying to sell my original art, just not go crazy about it.

It's about balance and growth.

Cat-in-a-Box said...

Yet more words of wisdom!
When I started my current 'quest to an art career' I thought I'd just want to commissions (like you, I find the challenge of doing something I didn't choose really exciting and fulfilling). But what I've found is that although I do love that part, there is also part of me that wants to do more artsy art - still life, trompe l'oiel. I never expected that at all!
It's hard to turn down work (I mean - getting paid is such a validation!) but you will be able to offer (and receive) so much more if you expand your horizons!
Good luck, and keep us posted!

Robin said...

CIAB, it creeps up on you doesn't it? The "I want more!"