Creating a successful art career is an evolutionary process. It doesn’t just happen. Fanciful myths abound. I don’t know which is worse. The starving artist syndrome or the getting found fantasy. Both are incapacitating to anyone serious about having a successful art career.
Just as with learning to make art, it is the same with learning to market your art. That is, with both you progress and get better than before. With an informed and steady effort, you will improve at how you get your art to market. Done right, your art making, and your art marketing will evolve together hurtling you toward your epic career.
My multi-decade career helping artists has followed an evolutionary path. It led me to create the Art Marketing Mastery Workshop, which is itself a progressive program with ambitious plans to update and refine the information artists use to learn from it. My model is kaizen, the Japanese word for continual improvement.
Employing kaizen as a practice in your art career is central to making your career dreams come alive. Assuming you are making goals with realistic expectations there is nothing that can stop you from achieving them. Circumstances may cause you to move your timeframe, but getting there remains a genuine possibility.
The creation of your art is a holistic process. The same goes for me with my mission of helping artists succeed in the business of art. You get the whole enchilada from me. What you put into your art comes from every fiber within you, from every thought and every life experience you have. You may not be fully aware of this always, but your subconscious is informing your decisions all the time in life, and especially when you are making your art.
I’m in the business of helping artists succeed. I believe there is an art to how I do it. My work is as much an evolutionary process as is getting better at making art. When you make art, you include your whole experience, everything you know about life, business, and art. You get nothing less from me. My life experiences include decades of successful marketing in many different industries and nearly 30 years of direct involvement in improving the lives artists by helping them uplevel their businesses.
I bet you can trace your interest in art and how you developed that into making art and selling a long way back in your history. Even those who come late to making art can look back and find clues that led them to want to pick up a brush, a chisel or camera. It’s in your nature and you embrace it rather than deny it.
After decades of serving artists, I can see a pattern of development in what I do, even why I do it. I got the art bug early from my mother. She was an exceptional artist. I believe had she not been a widowed school teacher with six kids that she could have had a successful art career. Frequent trips to the St. Louis Art Museum and a home filled with books on the world’s best artists honed my interest at a young age. As a school teacher, my mother had the desire to help others learn. I’m sure that trait is part of my DNA.
Entrepreneurship and marketing are topics I began pursuing with passion as a teenager. I always knew one way or another I ultimately would be in business for myself. Between on and off stints operating my own businesses, I had interesting side trips working for others. During those times, I maintained a some kind of concurrent self-employed business.
I began helping artists in 1988 while working as a senior account executive for Decor magazine and the Decor Expo tradeshows. After the Internet crushed that business, in 2003, I started presenting art marketing workshops for artists. Then in 2005, I published my first book. It was based on the seminars I was doing to help artists learn how to earn a living in the art print market. The progression never ceases.
There is a path you have followed. You might have started drawing at an early age. You may have been charmed by shapes or reflections and just saw things in ways that others missed completely.
Perhaps you were far more interested in color than the average kid. You know what I mean if you ever felt like the 64-color Crayola box was just not enough.
Mauve is just pink trying to be purple ~James Abbott McNeill Whistler
Just as you can follow most of the steps that you have taken to get to where you are in you art career, I can see my path to where I am today. All these things I’ve mentioned have contributed to shaping me have come together in my current business:
I’ve gotten pretty good at imparting wisdom to artists, and yet I know in many ways, I have just begun and the best is yet to come. I’m on my way to fulfilling a mission to build a career as an adviser and advocate who makes a difference in the lives of artists. I’m in it for you. I don’t have a reason for being in business without you.
I know you have within you the ability to make your art career epic in every way. Very much like making art, marketing to create a successful art career requires wisdom, knowledge and skills. And, I recognize when you steadily work improving these things, you will create multiple opportunities to sell more of your art.
The only way to stay sharp is to work on improving what you are doing continuously.
Continous tweaking fuels your ability to take your skills higher. To keep them there, you have to stay on it. Success in sales and art creation is an iterative process. Like making art, your tweaks lead to little victories. In turn, they cumulatively create significant breakthroughs. Together, the tweaks and breakthroughs form the basis of a satisfying, profitable business model that will make your art and your career better and better.
A masterpiece is a work of outstanding artistry, skill, or workmanship. You may make many in your lifetime. They are the culmination of all your talents and training rolled into a grand, exquisite creation. It is something that makes you proud you are its creator.
The Art Marketing Mastery Workshop is my masterpiece. It is the pinnacle of my nearly 30 years serving artists. Like a pièce de résistance you create, I’ve thrown in everything I know about how to get art to market. And, just like you will leave the door open for creating even greater masterpieces, I have done so with the course. I see it as an evolving body of knowledge and experience that will improve over time. Each new enhancement will benefit your career.
How I came to create the Art Marketing Mastery Workshop is a study in the evolution of a career. In my years working for Decor magazine and the Decor Expo shows, I took every opportunity to learn from the best about how to sell and market art. I was curious for my knowledge, but I also wanted to teach others how to use what I knew to succeed, too. (Do you see a pattern here?)
When the growth of the Internet wrecked the trade magazine and tradeshow business, I was left without a job and this body of specialized knowledge that was highly useful to artists. To continue to use that knowledge, I began doing live workshops for artists on how to succeed in the art print market. Soon I realized with a book I could reach and help many more artists. So I wrote How to Profit from the Art Print Market.
I then started doing online webinars sponsored by Jason Horejs, owner of Xanadu Gallery. When he heard how much information I was providing that went well beyond the print market, he suggested I have another book in the making. That idea evolved into my Guerrilla Marketing for Artists: How 100 Collectors Can Bulletproof Your Career book.
Seeing too many readers need more help and motivation, I created the Art Marketing Mastery Workshop to fill the need. It’s designed to help you dig deep into the content. If you want to make serious changes in your career I encourage you to join.