A reader asked me,
What are the 5 most significant actions you took that increased your income?
Now there is another great question. actually they asked me three of those name five questions. Last nights was the first and this is the second. I have just arrived in Rolling Fork, Mississippi. That's a long drive from New Hampshire. So this is going to be a short but hopefully useful post. Bullets please!
- Opening and running my own gallery was a big thing. It gave me my own one man show, running full time that had to be there and had to be constantly updated. I had to learn so many things and develop so many skills. It was a forced grad school for me.
- Because I had my own gallery showing only my own work, I got to interact with thousands of visitors, observing them taught me a lot about how people who knew less than I did about art, thought about painting. It is a good thing to know your market, not because you will paint for them, but you WILL market to them.
- Not having a job, a backup or any savings helped. I was deadly serious, If I didn't sell, I starved. That puts your mind on your work, for sure. Having to paint to survive was the greatest teacher I could have had and has made all the difference. I don't recommend it for the faint hearted though.
- For a period of years I advertised a lot. I advertised in the American Art Review, a great magazine, It cost a lot but it really did build my reputation. I don't have my own gallery so I do less of that now. I think I will start again though, I miss it. If you are not a pro, this is not useful.
- Doing demos, workshops, being president of the Rockport Association, writing blogs. All of these outreach things build your reputation. Sometimes I think you are paid for your reputation not your art! You need to get out into the world and do things for people. I really believe if you want more from the world you have to give more. Go out and give things away. Do things like these to build your reputation.