Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Client of the Month: Jenn

No matter how long I've been making and selling art, the way people connect with my work forever mystifies me.  Just like every other artist, my art is very personal and yet someone will come along and feel like it is speaking directly to them. 
Jenn and her husband bought my painting, "At Least Say You'll Write", a mixed media work on paper, professionally framed.  I painted it the day I found out one of my favorite bands was splitting up.  They were a relatively new band, no one had really heard of them yet, so I was in touch with them directly via Facebook (anyone who knows me knows I WORSHIP music, so I tend to be a bit of a groupie).  When they told me they had decided to part ways, it honestly felt like someone had died.  I was so sad thinking of all the great music they'd never make and I'd never get to hear that I spent the rest of the day painting. 
Jenn loved the painting right away and had her husband buy it for her for Christmas. Here's what she has to say about having "At Least Say You'll Write" in her home.
"This painting adds personality to our bare walls with its bright, cheerful colors and makes our house a home.  The birds sitting and alighting on the wire remind me of our urban landscape that is full of life.  The mixed media, including vintage paper, and dynamic composition add interest and energy.  This original piece can't be mistaken for something mass-produced and cookie-cutter from the mall!  We love it and the conversations that it starts.  We can't wait to see what Anna creates next." 
Thanks, Jenn for sharing!  Hey, do you want to be a featured client?  I'd love to hear how your art has changed your world, space, life....
Simply email me with a photo/s of you and your art and an email with your thoughts.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Another Creative Component of Your Art Career-Marketing

Recently I was one of three guest speakers participating in an artist panel discussion. All of us on the panel were asked if we spend more time creating art or marketing ourselves.  It surprised me that I was the only one who answered, “Marketing”. 

Marketing your brand is just as much a part of your art career, if not more so, than the work itself.  Artistic ability is going to only get you so far.  If all we had to do was rely on our talent, most of the actors, fine artists, and musicians in the world would be out of work. On the other hand, there are many incredibly gifted people that the public will never hear of, simply because they don’t know how to market themselves.

Marketing, especially on a limited budget, is a creative endeavor, so being a creative person you will automatically have an edge.  These days there are unlimited marketing possibilities, most of which cost little or no money, though they all demand a consistent commitment on your part.  Today I’m going to talk about utilizing online tools as a means of marketing your small business.

For those of us who are not egomaniacs, social media feels awkward at first.  After all, we’ve spent our entire lives being taught it is rude to brag and demand too much attention.  And that is what social media is all about-building up a public image that to some extent is false.  Depending on your core values, it can feel compromising to intentionally do all you can to grab and keep the focus on you, especially when we must use inauthentic measures to do so.  But when it comes to marketing you have to play by society’s rules.  You have to ensure your brand remains relevant to the public.

Marketing is a weekly, if not daily, component of your small business.  Decide which ways make the most sense for your brand.  Knowing your audience-or your targeted audience-as thoroughly as possible is the key.  For example, if your audience is primarily of retirement age, it may be a waste of time for you to be pushing your brand on social media websites like Twitter and Facebook.  However, email blasts may be a very affective marketing tool and readily welcomed by your clientele. 

Use every marketing opportunity to hone your brand so that with even the mere flicker of your logo people will know exactly what you’re selling.  And when I say “selling” I don’t just mean your product.  I mean the experience people can rely on having by doing business with you.  In this world of hustle, bustle and flash-frame attention spans, people want to recognize instantly what they’re looking at and whether it’s worth their investment of time, money and energy. 

You’ve heard the adage; you have to fake it to make it.  It sounds pretentious.  Heck, it is pretentious.  But it’s also true.  Take your positive attributes and amplify them.  Dissolve what you’re offering into attention-grabbing bullet points that express your brand with dynamic simplicity.  Figure out what separates you from the pack and work it, baby!Use every means possible, again most are inexpensive if not free, to reach and remind your audience of who you are, what you’re about, and why they want to do business with you.