Thirteen Sure-Fire Rules to Create Success for the Emerging Artist – Part One

Don’t have any concerns whether galleries or collectors will have a clue as to what to expect from you when you jump from painting portraits to ponies. With your abundant talent, it doesn’t matter because it’s only time before the whole world is beckoning to it.

  1. Don’t paint or photograph with the preconceived view of becoming known for a look or style when you have so much to offer on a wide platform of personal interests.
  2. Don’t have any concerns whether galleries or collectors will have a clue as to what to expect from you when you jump from painting portraits to ponies. With your abundant talent, it doesn’t matter because it’s only time before the whole world is beckoning to it.
  3. Don’t submit to any of the multitude of regularly available columns, features, special sections and other FREE publicity opportunities. After all, why go for the filler copy when the cover stories are just around the corner?
  4. Don’t go out of your way to have any valuable contact with the media when you just know they will be courting you once you are rich and famous.
  5. Don’t ask any reps, whether they be advertising, tradeshow, framing, paper, printer or art reps, who call on you to tell you what is happening in the business; you wouldn’t want to benefit from someone who sees the business from 30,000 feet when you can stay grounded in your studio.
  6. Don’t bother investing extra money to get the best digital scan possible for your reproductions. If less than the best is acceptable for you, by golly it ought to be good enough for your collectors and would be collectors.
  7. Don’t ever access the wealth of great information so freely shared by Alyson Stanfield, Robert Genn, Paul Dorrell, Dan’s Empty Easel, Charley Parker, Katherine Tyrrell, Clint Watson, Dick Harrison and Barney Davey to name just a few because you suppose you can’t trust anyone who is not another starving artist. Surely, they are a bunch of self-serving types just angling to retire once they glom on to a huge chunk of your awesome marketing budget.
  8. Don’t go to art tradeshows such as ArtExpo or Decor Expo when you can’t afford to exhibit. Why would you waste your time seeing how your competitors are doing when none of it matches the masterpieces coming from your easel?
  9. Don’t waste your time reading a trade magazine like Art World News, Art Business News or Decor. You can’t afford to have your creativity be informed by what the most successful artists and publishers in the business are doing.
  10. Don’t participate in artist discussion boards such as Wet Canvas, Digital Painting Forum, Art Scuttlebutt and Online Visual Artists when you could be watching reruns of Desperate Housewives instead. What could you possibly learn there you don’t already know?
  11. Don’t use the Internet to market yourself and your business. Why would you spend your time with a Web site or one of those trendy Blog things? For heaven’s sake, don’t even think of whiling away precious hours starting a Squidoo lens or figuring out how the likes of Boing Boing might help jumpstart your career.
  12. Don’t succumb to the siren song of shameless self-promotion. Stay humble and know that hope alone will bring you all the sales, notice, fame and glory you surely deserve. Let the money grubbers have their time now, your lasting fame and legacy after you are long gone will be the best revenge.
  13. Don’t go to the extra expense of using a professional printer, or at least carefully follow all the procedures they employ to create lasting art, when you can bang out almost archival reproductions right on your desktop. After all, a giclee is a giclee is a giclee; right?.

BONUS POINTS

  1. Don’t take the snarky tongue-in-cheek comments personally and keep in mind that controversy sparks more interest than milquetoast commentary.
  2. Keep in mind the timeless advice to Wear Sunscreen, which is the common name of a column titled Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young written by Mary Schmich and published in the Chicago Tribune on June, 1 1997. The most popular and well-known form of the essay is the successful music single released in 1999, accredited to Baz Luhrmann.
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Barney Davey

I help artists and photographers find buyers, sell more art and operate profitably.

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