My artistic focus right now is on exposure not sales. I want to get out there so when I am ready to focus on sales my works will be made with highest quality possible. I would like to have the experience with different techniques, and a finish that is professional.
With technology the great medium it is any artist would be severely limiting their market share by not exposing themselves online in some shape or form.
Here are my tops for How I Do It All
Blogging- for me is something that I have been very committed to in the last 6 months. It is a great way for me to use my writing skills and really I am enjoying it a lot. It also is a great way for me to work through whatever is going on that needs working through and a great inspiration for me. My blog is me……and what I am going through art wise or life wise. I use word press and have only had technical issues a few times which were resolved within 24 hours. With the I phone app I can access my blog while on the go which is a wonderful tool. Still learning the ins and outs of the app but it looks very promising.
Flickr- for me is a great site that I can showcase some of my artwork. I have two set up one is for professional work
and the other for clay experiments and things ..
With Flickr you can get photos of your art out there for all to see. There is no fee and this is a very popular way for you to see what people like and do not like from their comments.
Flickr also has an app for the I phone so you can stay connected while on the go. Another feature that is appealing is anywhere you are you can show some one your pictures on Flickr with a couple of touches.
Facebook is another great tool you can use. You can hook up with your real friends and your cyber ones. It is a great way to let others know what IS going on with you and your art. The one drawback is the games and all the silly notifications you get by playing them. It took me a while to realize that my friends were posting and I did not see what they were saying because of all the notifications from what ever ville game it was they were playing. I now have it set up so that when someone says something it comes directly to my phone and I can be a part of what I joined Facebook for in the first place. Keeping track of my friends and claymates and not the games they are playing.
Twitter is one of the great ways to keep track as well but I chose not to participate in this wonderful wave of life. I have enough to keep up with and I feel adding this would only hinder my creative abilities. I have been wrong a couple of times in life and this could be one of them.
Web Sales is something we need to consider and I have done that. I have established the same business name at several sales sites. Etsy, Ebay, and Artfire….. now the question is have I posted my items for sale? No not yet but hey I have started and established something so that is a step in the right direction I think. I just do not have the time to keep track of the things that can and will come from online sales. At this point in my career I also am not ready to commit to a website for sales. I did that years ago with general merchandise from our family business at the time and had intended to donate all the profits to an infertility charity. I now know the idea didn’t work and know that people were hesitant as to why anyone would want to donate 100% of their profits to any charity?? Those were my true intentions and why I do have a bad taste in my mouth when it comes to setting up a website. You don’t even want to know how much money was lost with not even a single sale.
Groups and guilds are very important I think. You have to have support somehow someway no matter what art is your medium. It is great to have support and the ability to reach out to someone who is going through or has already been through what you are dealing with. I found a great Yahoo group called City O Clay. It is an online clay group and I have formed friendships there and it feels like home. Since I do not have a lot of time to keep track of many groups I chose City O Clay as my clay home on the internet. It is amazing what topics of discussion come up sometimes. One of the latest OMG headlines was the topic of boiling Barbie dolls. *disclaimer no Barbies were hurt in the name of art they were merely boiled so they could hold their new pose more effectively. Find some type of online group and you will get so much out of it if you choose to participate. I guarantee it.
I recently joined the Central Ma Polymer Clay Guild and have been lucky enough to attend one meeting. It is a great way to be with people who share your same interest and can be a wonderful inspiration as well.
Volunteer opportunities are out there if you choose to find them. I am the swap mistress at City O Clay. It has been a wonderful experience for me and a wonderful motivational tool for me. I am so proud of the individuals of all skill sets that participate in the clay swaps. I truly believe that the open hand is the full hand. Translated you have to give and when you do be it time, money, or your talents you will get more than you give in return.
So those are the things that I have committed myself to for my art. Now I just need to find some time to actually sit down and create. One of the drawbacks of all the technology is the time that is required to maintain the connections you make. You must prioritize and then of course act on those priorities. Also you must consider the time your job and family take in everyday life. Many days it does not seem like there are ever enough hours, but I try to stay as motivated and focused as I can.
I hope this may have helped you some in your journey. We are all at different stages in our art, as well we all have different amounts of time we are able to dedicate to our art each and every day. Then there is the biggest demon of all to face. That inner voice that says I am not good enough, so why try. If that is the voice you are listening to in life you don’t have a chance. Sit down with yourself and have an honest conversation. Then the next time any negativity that is self-directed comes out turn it around and make it positive which will give you strength and motivation.
Whatever it is that helps you do it all please share I would love to know your strategy!
You can create a Facebook Fan page and this tutorial makes it super easy!