Your Story As An Artist, Is It Working?

Just the other day a fellow blogger gave some valuable feedback. He suggested I expand on the post, What You Need to Know to Keep Maturing as an Artist.

 I was grateful for the suggestion and promptly revisited what I wrote to jot down some key points that could be expanded on.

Following is a short rundown of what I came up with and how it will help professional artist develop in their field.

Figuring it Out

Famous or not, everyone has a story. CBS agrees.

Steve Hartman from CBS did a series on individual American’s and their story. He chose a location by aimlessly throwing a dart at an American map. Whichever city the dart landed on, Hartman then chose a person by randomly picking a name from the cities phone book.

Have you ever asked yourself what your professional story is? Would you know what to say if Hartman chose you?

The sooner you figure out your story the less likely someone else will make up one through guessing and presumption.  Asking yourself what your professional story is not an easy question to answer, but it is a question worth exploring.

Today, many options exist for connecting, exchanging and building a reputation. But before you can give, connect or exchange it’s important to know what you have to offer.

In business circles the vernacular used to describe your story and style would be branding.

How Bad do You Want it?

A friend on Facebook passed around a poster called Famous Failures. You can see it here on Pinterest.

It’s common to run into road blocks and obstacles along our professional journey; not only for geniuses, and celebrities but for everyone. Obstacles, triumphs and tragedies can be small or big, yet it is the one thing we all have in common. No one gets through this life unscathed.

The only difference between you and someone who is happy at the end of their journey is the belief that something valuable was given in exchange. When I hit a crisis or just a bad day, I remind myself of a quote that keeps things in perspective for me.

“Road blocks are in your life to show you how badly you want something”.

Your something requires tools to help you navigate your way. Without a rudder you’re lost at sea. Productivity tactics can be your best friend and guide, to help you manage a career. It doesn’t sound sexy… but I bet you’ll feel great when you check off those accomplishments and watch them grow.

Businesses Do It, Picasso Did It, You Can Do It Too

Do you want to know the secret to marketing effectively? Here it is, cultivate, affiliate and differentiate. These are terms commonly used in marketing.

In spite of the fact that business vernacular can leave one cold (unless graphs, statistics and bottom line lingo turns you on); marketing and business rely very much on relationships and mutually satisfying exchanges.

What this means is that your best ideas will come from inspirations experienced by day-to-day interactions with others, through collaborations and partnerships. This is Cultivation

These experiences will transform your work into something distinctive when you have a clear idea of what methods and subjects are important to you and how you want to express that in a way that is unique to you. In business circles this is differentiating.

Marketing is also about listening to what is important to others. This doesn’t mean changing what is important to you, but it does suggest that framing what you do and being clear about what you want determines how your information is received.

When you connect with others in a mutually supportive relationship, you are inspired and inspire others in a mutually beneficial way. This is affiliation.

The Secret of Sales

Isn’t it amazing that we live in a time when we can instantly connect with hundreds of people!

Isn’t it irritating that we are constantly connected, but no one cares!

This is the same coin, but different sides; a curse and a blessing. Welcome to the world of options.

There are so many revenue options available for artists today. There are traditional revenue options, such as commercial galleries, gallery shops, teaching, and direct studio sales, as well as options given by online sales and e-courses.

Here’s another decision for you, the venue where you sell your work is only one part of the equation, include the psychology of sales, as well. I’m not referring to underhanded methods, or ethical deficiencies, rather the devices you use and choices you make that produce consequences in the form of attracting or repelling buyers.

In business this is referred to as return on investment (ROI), which includes the investment of your efforts in marketing, pricing, networking, targeting as well as distribution.


Over the Next several months I’ll be writing in more detail on these subjects, with lots of links and references that you can refer to for further study.

If there is a particular area that I’ve not mentioned in this post and it is something you would like me to look into, please leave a comment or send an email.

Bye for now, Filio


5 thoughts on “Your Story As An Artist, Is It Working?

  1. Brilliant! Can’t wait for the next installments.
    Love the lines, “Isn’t it amazing that we live in a time when we can instantly connect with hundreds of people!
    Isn’t it irritating that we are constantly connected, but no one cares!”
    That is so true! It’s especially irritating when some days your best work is out there completely unnoticed on social networks, but on others the duff stuff gets all the interest, but like you say, that is the blessing and the curse of social networks.
    Great post!

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