It’s not about who you know, it’s about who knows you!
I’m always gathering information’ on how the art world works. The gallery owner said, to get into a gallery, they need to know who you are. The curator said, to approach a museum or art center, they have to know who you are……
A friend, back from a vacation, called me in amazement.
“Debi!” he said excitedly. “I talked to the watercolor people up there and they know who you are! ”
He was more impressed by this than any of the awards I’ve won.
How do you get people to know who you are?
From Gallery Space in 717 magazine: “Although a devotee of representational watercolor, the Lancaster County artist is cultivating a more painterly quality in her work. Watson’s treatment of foliage combines traits of exactitude and impressionism that are blended with consummate skill. Some paintings, which appear tightly rendered at first glance, eventually reveal to the viewer indistinct and suggestive passages.”
News of an art award or article in a magazine reaches some people, but probably not the important people in your art circle. So send it to them. Share it with them. Put yourself in front of them again and again (without being obnoxious, of course.)
Were you mentioned in the paper or a magazine? Put it on a postcard with a great image and send it out. Won an award? Share it with as many people as possible, but especially the ones who can further your career. And always make a connection with a real person. When you pick out a gallery or group you want to target, find out who would review your images and address your cards specifically to that person.
It’s OKAY to brag!
When some people have heard of you and your art, you’ll start to get a “name.” If you do really well, you’ll become a “big name.” You have to learn to brag.
I still have a problem with it, that delicate balance between promoting yourself and being too forward.’ (I think it’s a woman thing.) My daughter helps and encourages me, pointing out when I’m downplaying myself.
(If you want to read more about women and marketing, check out her free website, just for women, One Woman Marketing.) I think it will always be easier to brag about my daughter than myself, but I’m learning.
There are thousands of good to great artists out there, but the ones that market are the ones that sell, so start marketing today!