Monday, March 15, 2010

And what are the 5 most significant actions you took to raise your profile in the art biz?


I just couldn't post that image of me as Ann Landers again. Here's a chicken skull instead.


I was also asked by the same reader;

And what are the 5 most significant actions you took to raise your profile in the art biz?

I will begin with the usual disclaimer that my profile in the art biz could use a fair bit of raising yet. I have had some success by these means (bullets please!)
  • The blog, has been a real good method of getting my name recognition up. It is a lot of work but it doesn't cost very much. I think it is real important to have other painters know who you are. In the long run that percolates out into the market, even though they are not your customer.I am not sure that this is useful for a lot of people but I do know other artists who do this well. I don't think you can do a good blog just about yourself and your own art. I think people want to be rewarded by learning something when they log on. You need to have something of value to say.
  • I think doing shows and being in members organizations is good too. I show at the Rockport Art Association, the Guild of Boston Artists and sometimes at Old Lyme. They are not really sales venues for me, but they get your work out in front of people. You should do some of those shows every year. Also jurying shows is a good thing to do that establishes the opinion that you are expert and theoretically know what you are talking about.
  • Being in magazines either as editorial content or in advertising is good too. I have a few of those every year and although it is not obvious what effect they have it does build name recognition. I seem to get into a bunch of smaller regional magazines, as they call me. I like them, and always am happy to provide them with jpegs and quotes.
  • The gallery in Rockport was a great thing for reputation, I no longer have my own gallery, but when I did, people would say "he has a gallery in Rockport" and that made me seem "real" It is about being "real", there are a zillion artists. It is good to separate yourself from the herd, something like having a gallery or being important in an art organization or whatever, that helps you to control the five word description that is out there on you. When I was young "he did a duck stamp" was the last word. There are lots of those descriptions today. Madonna collects her art. He has a painting in the white house. Or she did a mural in the airport. All of those are examples of a few word statement of the sort you want attached to your name. Some examples of what you don't want are: he's OK when he's sober. He used to be good when he was younger, or he paints them all the same. You have to try and control that five word description if you can.
  • Sometimes just hanging out for a long time and being known as someone who works hard and has stood the ground for years is the best thing you can get. You keep popping up, till people think "Oh yeah I've heard of him" You can be good, but new and young and you just have to hang around until they notice you. If you are good, eventually you will get recognized. But it can take a long time. There are a lot of people clamoring for their spot in the sun. It may seem a little unfair but just being around a long time is a good thing. There are artists who suddenly appear and then rapidly disappear. I won't name them here.

16 comments:

Carol Nelson said...

An excellent list. I do the first three (blog, shows/organizations, and magazine ads), but don't own my own gallery, and, by the time I've been around a long time, I'll be dead. Didn't start painting 'til I was in my 50's.
I agree that your blog has to be about more than just YOUR artwork. I like to give tips on various methods and materials since some of my work is experimental.
I feel dumb because all this time in reading your blog, I thought Rockport was in Maine. Hey, I've never lived east of the Mississippi.

Dot Courson said...

Great advice! Thanks. I've been reading a lot of blogs lately and EVERYBODY has one. (Blogs on Blogs are great too!) Have learned a lot and enjoyed seeing what folks are doing too...so please don't stop posting your own work!
Sorry but I'm gonna have to miss you in MS! I hate it, (Pat can tell you why). It would be a great workshop (and fun). But hope you listen to Knopfler's, "Back to Tupelo" and think about this part of the state - it's a different world- while you are in the land that is my muse..."the MS delta"!
Last thing: Chicken head- Darth Vader's mask: Look at it again...Is it just me that sees it?

Philip Koch said...

I ask you all, where else can you go to see an image of a chicken skull? It made my morning.

Briana M. Corr Scott said...

Chicken Skull made my morning too. Love this blog. I wouldn't have minded the Ann Landers either, I don't get sick of that one. This is a Great blog, and great wisdom and wit as usual.

billspaintingmn said...

Stape! Thanks for posting a picture
of me on your blog!!(chicken skull)
It's the best recognition I can get!
Sometimes,I think all this P.R. stuff is for the other guys, I prefer not to shine myself up for folks.
I'm not a shiny Robot, (ha) but that is the name of the studio I rent from.. Seriously I respect all the info you blog about, and I
do take it all to heart.
I look terrible in a suit & tie!
Maybe I just want to be a better artist, or do better art, I'm not so hungry for recognition.
I've had 15 minutes of fame.. whoopy-doo! I noticed my shoe lace was untied.

Jan Blencowe said...

Dot I will never be able to look at that chicken skull again without seeing Darth Vader's mask, thank you very much! LOL

I love the idea of the "5 word description" I've never really though of it in that way.

I usually hope that when people hear or read my name an image of one of my paintings or at least the style of work I do pops into their minds, but I bet that they have a little phrase or description in their mind too.

I wonder what people are saying about me? Yikes!

It's really a good idea to take control of that as much as you can, great advice here!

billspaintingmn said...

Well I really put my foot in my mouth this time.(I seem to do that a lot)
Sorry for my comment this morning,
to you Stape, and everyone reading it.
I mean well, but I'm befuddled on what to really do.
I'd like to lead the field in the area of gilding. I am very good at that.
I just finished up a blog on water gilding, I put it out there for anyone interested.
Some folks responded, but I feel I wore them out. Or there was a lack of interest.
I have a passion to gild. I have
showen people these trade secrets and I'm not sure if they give a hoot!
I paint for fun. I cull most of it, or give it away. Rarely does
anyone offer me money.
Learning to paint snow from you was so cool, I did a snow this and a snow that.
I just fall short of trying to be a proffesional painter I guess.
Do I need a kick in the butt?!?

Frank P. Ordaz said...

The Blog ... yes ... thats how I found you and related your ads in American Art Review to a personality on the Internet ....

Stapleton Kearns said...

Carol:
There is a Rockport, Maine, and Texas and who knows where else.I have never lived west of the Mississippi. Is Colorado in Wyoming?
...............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Dot;
Thank you. It does look like Darth Vader. There is one inside every chicken supposedly.
...................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Philip:
Nothing says good morning like a chicken skull. Their just so special!I would have been OK in the avant garde art school faculty I think.I could have held the Kurt Schwitters chair in the Dada department.
..................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Briana;
Thank you. You all are easy to iompress. It was a nice chicken skull, but no more.Do you know about the woman who gave birth to rabbits?
........Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Bill:
You can apply all of those ideas to gilding though. I don't mean to imply that painting is a race for fame, but self promotion helps sell the art. Selling art is how I survive. But that's not really about art, but art business. Many people just like to make art and make their income another way. I suppose most people.
...............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Jan;
I suppose I should write a post on the five word description.
...........Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Bill:
No I don't think you need a kick. Everyone paints to make art. Some people want to do it as a business, but that is only a small percentage of the people who paint.
..............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Frank;
Frank friended me,I believe first. I contacted him and asked what I was supposed to do with a friend. He a long running blog called On Being Frank. It is listed in my side bar and I read it all.
..................Stape