Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Gearing up

Hello fellow artists! I hope everyone's having a great summer. I'm still relaxing, doing my house stuff, walking Otto a lot, and doing more thinking about art than making it although I am making it.

I'm gearing up for what I hope is a big leap. I've been reading some books and thinking a lot...the most helpful of which was Seth Godin's "The Dip" to think about where I am and where I want to go.

Some things: He talks about being the best at what you do. Is that possible for me? Can I be the best pet portrait artist? The best printmaker? Better than everyone else?

Well...I doubt it. I am better than a lot of people. A lot of people are better than me. Do I have to be better than others or just ... better? Again, the quest to move ahead hitting me right between the eyes. I have to jump up in commitment and skill.

And not just in making the art. I've been really lax in learning how to photograph my art and present it online. For instance, I have a horse I painted on gallery wrapped canvas. I think the galley wrapped part is important, and if I showed the sides and showed it hanging up, it might help sell. But I don't really LIKE to take photos so have let myself slide with that.

Second: Why should someone in the market buy from me and not from the other 10 pages of pet portraitists in front of me in a google search? What makes mine unique? It's not price anymore. One thing is my backgrounds. Many of my "competitors" are afraid of them, and I love them. My past clients always mention it. What else is it about MY art? That I really love it counts. That I love working with clients counts. How do I convey that?

And my website..it's a mess. It is dated. Back when I created it, I had to convince people go buy online. In a few years, that has become commonplace especially with my target audience, so I don't have to be so folksy and comforting and wordy on my site. My other blog does that job. I've known it for a year at least that I have to update but haven't. So...time to do that. Here it is so you know what I'm talking about, my pet portraits site: http://robinzebley.com

And fourth, even if I WERE the best in the world, who knows it? I'm going to invest MONEY in myself and my marketing and no longer rely strictly on free advertising and word of mouth. And have been kicking some ideas around about how to get the word out.

And finally, Seth says to write down what exactly it takes for you to take the leap you want to take. I've done that. I know what it is and when it is. I just have to do all the things I mention above and if they work, I'll know it's time. Wish me energy, luck and focus? Thanks!! Robin

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