Short post today. I’m working through Alyson Stanfield’s I’d rather be in the studio! The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion ISBN:9780974272580

A good companion to my dog-eared How to Survive & Prosper as an Artist by Caroll Michels ISBN:0805055045

I have Michels’ 4th edition 1997 and the Stanfield is 2008 so there is quite a bit more interweb data and ideas.

I know defining success for yourself is the only true success, but missed how important it actually is until reading Stanfield. Her first Action/assignment/task is Define Success for Yourself!



Here’s another artist that inspires me, he’s on the blogroll. Hugh MacLeod is a major marketing maven and cartooning monster who truly knows what creative is and what creativity is for. This cartoon for “” just nails what art does for the culture. More art = more inspiration, every every time I experience good art I’m inspired, inspired to create. Good art doesn’t just inspire “artists” it inspires everyone, inspires innovation. Hugh has recognized a cycle of productivity here that is self perpetuating, feed art in one end and more art comes out of the other. And having some profit in the middle isn’t bad either.

<tangental rant>The canonical example of creative, innovational, profit of course is Apple (full disclosure: I do not own any Apple stock or products). As overhyped as it sounds to deny it is simply not seeing reality. Like, dislike, agree, disagree Apple has revolutionized both music and telephone, period. Where did that come from? Good art! Jobs was an appreciator of artistic expression who savored elegance and nearly worshipped craftsmanship. As mentioned, though I’ve never personally owned an Apple product I have used them and been struck by their simple beauty. Try this; go to Fry’s and ask them to pop the hood on one of the computers and note the mess inside, the inside you don’t see. Now go to an Apple store and do the same, big difference.<end rant>

Now get your head out of the box and go make/do something.


Now I am not really into resolutions.

I rather like to plan. I think a good plan for this year is to just get good and serious about my art work. Yeah, I’m not going to accept any more exhibition rejections. 17 December 2010, that’s the last rejection I’m accepting from an exhibition jury.

So how am I doing this? By deciding to. I’m only submitting to exhibits with substantial awards. Like an investment, my art business investment. And the other thing is to do more self promotion. Maybe display somewhere locally. You know rent a hall or something, throw a big ME event.

Been reading Seth Godin, “Small is the New Big”, very perceptive guy. Quite funny at times also. What I’m taking away from him is, one is the captain of ones own ship. Things aren’t going the way you want? Change course! Pretty simple.

As the year progresses I’ll keep you up to date. Of course I’ll have to be more consistent posting here, and I’ve got some good ideas along that line.

Stay tuned.

Gatekeepers, critics, and invalidation.

Now I find recently even more “gatekeepering” and invalidation of integrity.

Financial Times in October 2010 did a piece about how the brilliant photographer Annie Leibovitz has no standing in the “art” photography market. Long short on it is because the gatekeepers don’t like the way she plays (who she is!).

As Jeffrey Boloten, a managing director of an art consultancy, puts it: “You do have to play by the art market rules.”  Apparently Leibovitz has failed this test, and therefore her credibility among the “movers, shakers and brokers” of the art world is low.

Well then isn’t it about time to dispense with the “movers and shakers”? I don’t suggest Annie follow the lead of Hazel Dooney an Australian artist of uncompromising personal integrity when it comes to her art and the relationship she has with the appreciators thereof. However, I would suggest a serious re-examination of how Annie wants to approach the marketing of her oeuvre.

I would consider the model of Jack Vettriano the painter/”postertier”. If only because Annie’s work falls into the multiply reproducable form and logically could (should) be marketed that way. To claim unexclusivity causes a lessening of the “art” of something as Mr. Boloten proposes “Rarity is essential and it is something that photography does not naturally have,” simply shows the gatekeepers don’t even know what art is. Vettriano’s work is not less impactful, or appealing, or interesting because you can get an example for $50, and more than a couple people have. Art is a communication from the artist to an audience.

And exclusivity, Ha! There are several hundreds of prints of various Ansel Adams photographs, and yet a single one, of over 1,000, “Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941” fetched $518,500 at auction.

Of course we’re not comparing apples to basketballs here as Adams is dead and the auction was secondary market, none the less 500k is not chump change.

The artist needs to be first true to their own vision, make their own statement, and bypass the gatekeepers. As the battle cry Ms. Dooney suggests “Art is war”.

Back into the fray.

The holidays were more disruptive than I thought they’d be, but it was OK. Quick flight to visit the kids – brother-in-law coming from out of town – cooking dinners – tree decorating. All fun but I’m glad there’s a whole year before we do it again.

Looking to expand our service offerings, so I’m researching software(any pointers to NLE), equipment, web hosting, and marketing. Because we’ll be needing a new campaign for the expanded offerings. Also have to brush up on my HTML. I’m looking at hosting that will do all the backend/CRM/shopping cart stuff, but I’ve no interest in their cookie cutter storefronts. I commented to someone at another blog about the KISS philosophy (Keep It Simply Stupid). That’s the way I’m going, something sleek and clean, but not minimalist, elegance without fru-fru. Much to be said for simplicity.

Lazy on Wednesday.

I’m so lazy I’m *almost* ashamed. I’m not though because I’ve been drawing and studying. Looky here

This Friday.

Today I point you at I think the posts from 1 Oct til yesterday, 4 Oct, relevant to this forum. I found this one and this one particularly of interest.

Another tidbit from an interview with Lee Child (whom I’ve not read,yet) but so refreshing and on point.

“… it’s absolutely not rational to look for validation from critics or insiders in the business. That’s another fatal mistake. You can sometimes tell people are writing to impress their friends or some kind of inner circle. That’s stupid. Your friends—how many are they? They’re going to buy, like, six books. What you need is to impress the audience out there.

So I don’t care what a critic says. Critics can say whatever they like, it makes no difference to me. It also doesn’t tell me anything. I’ve lived with the book for a year; I know whether it’s good or bad; I know where it’s weak or strong; I don’t need somebody else to tell me. So, it’s a matter of total indifference to me what anybody says. It sounds very cynical, but all that I care about is: How many copies does the book sell? And not because I’m greedy for the money, but because that’s the only true measure: Are real people actually reading this book?”