Sunday, February 14, 2010

When the Art Can't Speak for Itself

@ 2010 Cottonwood Study, 8x10 oil Private Collection

In my last post I listed a few of the things a solo-preneur must handle. Creator, bookkeeper and marketer come to mind. I'm adding videographer to the list.

My pal, Canadian artist Mavis Penney, and I were discussing the many aspects of what it means to be an artist. Among them is the dreaded M word. At least in my world it's dreaded.

Marketing brings to mind balding used car salesmen in polyester pants and plaid shirts screaming deals from the boob tube. I imagine a late-night infomercial, touting the virtues of a little plastic thingy I can't live without, which will cost less if I buy them by the gross. Then there's shipping and handling...

Mavis reminded me that authentic, honest marketing, the kind coach Molly Gordon supports, is really no different than having a conversation. No shouting. No pointing. No free shipping if you order now.

I don't have a storefront, or even a late-night infomercial at my disposal. I do have a video camera. And a blank wall. A tripod for the camera. A website. I even wrote a script so that I wouldn't have to pause and stammer while trying to remember that terrific ... whatever it was I was going to say.

Thirty or so takes into the project my voice is shot and so is my camera battery. I'm beginning to think that maybe this wasn't such a good idea. I feel like a complete idiot chatting away to myself in front of this unblinking eye. I feel even worse watching myself.

So this week I'll practice some more, refine my presentation and post it on my website. I'll share a conversation with my viewers about my One Square Mile project, how I start, what I've learned from limiting myself to a single tract of land. It'll be available to my newsletter readers only. Kind of a special gift to them. If you're interested, sign up here.

I'll squeeze it in between painting sessions, because after all, I am a painter.

When all is said and done, it's the artwork that speaks the loudest. That and a plaid shirt.


Kaylyn said...

If we were really into marketing, we probably wouldn't be painting!

However, the artist's business plan Sue Smith put together really puts the business of art into a language and perspective that keeps the art, and the plaid shirts, at the forefront. I recommend it highly. And her blogs are very thought provoking and interesting. Great artwork, as well. see the 'resources' on the right hand side of the page. It's a big document, I printed it two pages to a sheet of paper to minimize the printing!

Karine said...

Ooooo...a video!!! How exciting! You are much, much braver than I am. My hero.

Patricia said...

Kaylyn, thanks for the Sue Smith tip. The information is terrific - and so is she!
Karine, braver...nnnnnnno, I doubt it, you who paints gorgeous huge canvases. This was a leap before you look moment!

Fanboy Wife said...

I really like the loose brushstrokes in the painting; it gives it a nice texture.

Patricia said...

Thanks Fanboy Wife, I appreciate your kind comment.