Where Are You Going and How Can You Get There?

You’re never too old to get going and make changes

Despite the turmoil brought upon us by Covid-19, or perhaps, at least in part, due to it, I’m going in a different direction. That is, I’m discovering new ways to be of service to the artists who follow me. In recent months, I’ve blogged about personal storytelling several times. In response to the Covid-19 crisis, I lowered the cost of the Personal Storytelling for Artists & Creatives course from $97 to $37.

There is a reason for the emphasis on personal storytelling. I’ve gotten smarter and more intuitive. I’ve also learned to let things go and change my beliefs. My former view of success for artists was narrow. I operated with a strong conviction that the best way for artists to succeed was to make compelling art others want to buy. And then to use all available tools and resources to get it seen and sold.

A Long-Held Misperception Gets Fixed

The concept of organizing to take action to sell art routinely sounds good. However, for many artists, when they realize what is involved, they step back. Doing all that marketing and business stuff is not how they want to spend their time—even with a tempting pay off. And while nearly all artists wish to sell their work, it’s often not their top priority. Instead, they might focus on getting into galleries, schools or universities, high-profile shows, or even a museum.

When it comes to where you are going with your art, there are more options than those listed above. The choice is like your art. That is that it’s personal and subjective. If you are happy with your decision, that is all that matters. You can listen and thank others for their opinions, but you are the decider in the matter.

The Guide to Art-related Careers
Learn about art-related Careers.

The Epiphany

I had an awakening. Although my marketing courses are loaded with useful information, they aren’t that helpful to artists whose agenda is not aggressively marketing their art. What I have also come to understand is that artists may not need or want to learn marketing. And I need to be okay with that. Honestly, it would be a boring place if everyone shared my worldview of how things ought to be.

I’m in-depth at how I can help artists. What I’ve realized is personal storytelling is the one skill I can help artists perfect. They gain a positive outcome no matter what their dreams and plans are. That’s because whatever artists want, personal storytelling skills will help them get it.

We Are All in This Together

Things in the art world don’t happen in a vacuum. Regardless of your desire to do something with your art, you need someone to open doors for you. Gallery owners, curators, educators, jurists, journalists, and others need to intersect and connect with you and your art before they work to help you. The reality is you can’t get into a gallery, a juried show, a fine art program, or a museum without the assistance of others.

I’ve also written recently about meritocracy. In the classic sense of meritocracy, your art stands on its own, speaks for itself, and opens doors without human interaction. But neither life nor getting art into the world work that way.

Connections Create Emotional Bonds between People

Connections are incredibly valuable. Your personal stories make connections on levels beyond the merit of your art. Personal stories create emotional and intellectual connections to others that coincide with how they perceive the value of your art. Stories are a primal form of communication. They appeal at the most basic level of human nature. When someone who can open doors for you knows your personal story, it boosts your chances of getting what you want.

The Guide to Art-related Careers
Learn about art-related Careers.

Personal stories are not sales talk about a specific piece of art. There is nothing wrong with that kind of conversation when used appropriately, but it’s not the emotional connective tissue that comes from storytelling.

Your Art Will Outlive You

Your art is a gift to the world and the future. So are your personal stories when woven into the narrative of your art. They are part of the same cloth and will always be viewed that way. There is undeniable magic and power in personal stories when told in the context of art that is well appreciated.

I coined this phrase, which I unabashedly will say is poignant and accurate.

Personal stories create conversations about you and your art when you aren’t there. – Barney Davey

Word of Mouth Marketing Is the Bomb!

There is no form of advertising or promotion more powerful than word of mouth marketing. The implied third-party endorsement is the key. If you give my art a glowing unsolicited review, listeners pay attention. And if your report also offers tidbits from my personal stories, it adds intrigue. Stories create human interest, which is virtually irresistible to others because inquiring minds need to know.

The Guide to Art-related Careers
Learn about art-related Careers.

If you are interested, you should join the Personal Storytelling for Artists & Creatives course now because significant changes and improvements are coming. The price is going back to $97 or higher as soon as new features and content are added.

When you join today, you will have lifetime access to all updates with no additional charge.

The Guide to Art-related Careers
Learn about art-related Careers.



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  1. Dear Barney, the article was very useful, I could connect with it very well. I have gone through a revolution, an 8-year war, and two times immigration. Sometimes I feel my life experience spills over my paintings without I want or even I notice it.

    I write on Medium too, mainly sharing my experience in business with startups and small business owners. Storytelling in critical in sales too. Just started writing on Medium about art, as I spend more time creating art now.

    Thanks again for your excellent article about the importance of storytelling in art.

    1. Hi, thanks for your comments and kind words. Your brief story here is remarkable. Of course, your life experiences influence your art. Through stories, we embrace and share our life trials and triumphs. Art shares visually and stories are forms of oral and written sharing. It’s all communication and rhythm and style. Power comes from weaving them together and the magic from presenting them with authenticity.

  2. Your article was dead on for me. My story and life experiences have definitely contributed to my passion for Fine Art Photography. I followed in my father’s footsteps because I looked up to him for so long and thought that was what you done. I had no college admiration, just wanted to do property maintenance like my father and his father before him until cancer struck with such a vengeance on my wife and My side of families. We lost 12 members to cancer in a 3 yr period and without realizing how depressed and how unmotivated to continue forward with life, I asked myself is it worth all the time missed with family working so hard like we were taught because in the end none of that matters. What matters and the question you will ask yourself when the end is approaching is how do my kids, my brothers, my uncles, my wife view me and was I a good dad, husband, brother, etc… My father always told me no matter what you do when you wake in the morning and you go to work you want to do something that to you isn’t work it is a passion or a love for that field and you will be paid spiritually as well as monetary. I have yet to make a single dollar from my photography but I feel so rich inside because it is a release that I never experienced before. I never snapped one shot until 2016 and when my father passed in September of 2016 I picked up my camera and it has poured out of me ever since. It is definitely what drives me today and beyond because I have no doubt I will be successful selling my passion, when that time comes.

    1. Thanks for sharing your remarkable, heartfelt, and sincere comments. Your story will resonate with others as it has with me. Keep working on your photography skills. And perhaps think of the visual story images need to tell and how your experiences add to or are the basis for it. There are so many things that have happened in your life that you are already experiencing in new ways due to your photography. I sense great things will come to you. All the best!

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