Friday, October 22, 2010

Getting Your Work Out There - Part 2

Today, we wanted to talk about the importance of getting your work out there into the world. This is more about the business reasons why you need to get out there. Stay tuned for Monday's post which is part 3, which will cover some practical ways to actually have your work seen.

So why is it important to get your work out there? The most obvious answer is so that people can see it. While this can be scary, if you are serious about making it as an artist, it is a necessity. The big myth about being an artist is that you slave away at your craft, year after year, and then, someday, somehow, someone finds your art, falls in love with it, and buys all your paintings and promotes you to galleries and you explode out onto the art scene.

While this may be true for very, very, very, VERY few individuals, if you look at the careers of most artists, this is not the case. With the emergence of the internet, suddenly it's a lot easier to go and get your work seen by lots of people. While this is generally a great thing, it also means that there is a lot more competition. With everyone and their mothers and great-aunts, and nephews out there with their own flickr accounts, suddenly the art scene has become very saturated. It gets hard to weed through all the tons of art to find any single individual.

Thus, the era of the hustler was born. If you want to live off your art, it's no longer enough to be relevant, or funny, or thoughtful, or scary, or unique. Now, you also have to think like a business person. You have to hustle your art and make sure that people see your work. The people who are making a splash in the art world, I would say 50% of the time, are not necessarily the ones with the most skill or creativity, but the ones who know how to market themselves the best (however, the ones who are at the top of the game are those who are amazingly creative/talented AND have the marketing skills).

So, long story short, you need to get your work out there. So you just finished a comic book, or a new painting. Great, that's definitely an achievement in itself. But if you want to sell your new product, you have to get it out there. If no one sees your work, no one can buy your work. If no one buys your work, you can't make a living off of it. It's that simple.

So how are you going to get your work out there? Stay tuned for Monday's post to learn some easy (and inexpensive) ways how.

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