One of the biggest problems facing artists everywhere (and this includes musicians, actors, and all the art forms) is that all of your energy goes in to creating something beautiful for the world to see, hear, or touch etc. But the conundrum lies in that once it has been created, who will see it and how?
If all of your energy goes in to the creation of a project (as it should to truly create something special) then when will you get a chance to promote it? And, to be fair if your skills are not in marketing/PR how would you go about doing it even if you had the time?
There’s nothing to me more depressing than undiscovered art so here are some examples of how some artists have done it well and how you could perhaps do the same, or at least get some ideas so your next project gets the attention it deserves.
The basics of Internet marketing:
Email – If you have a list of contacts already then you can send them regular updates for only a small monthly fee with some of the bigger email providers. This is very effective if your list of contacts is of high quality (i.e. old customers).
Social Media – Facebook, MySpace and BeBo give you an opportunity to contact a lot of people in one go and promote your exhibitions and new artwork. This is relatively time consuming because you have to always be there chatting away to people but it is effective if you can get a lot of followers.
Blogging – If you start a blog or website you could let the whole world know about your latest activities. This does carry with it similar problems than the original one this post is about (i.e. how to get traffic to it), although if you are engaging in the above mentioned activities then it should help to do this for you.
Slightly more adventurous examples:
Merchandising – New York based artist Joshua Davis got his designs on a range of BlackBerry mobile phone cases which should give him international exposure. How exactly he did this is not 100% obvious but by approaching businesses in your area to have your designs included in their marketing, advertising, or merchandise projects could get you some great exposure. You are effectively giving away your designs to them for free but it will be seen by many more people this way.
Celebrity endorsements – If you are a fashion designer one of the best things you can do is get a celebrity to wear your clothing. But this principle works similarly well for artwork, or even music. The endorsement of a celebrity; who already gets a lot of exposure can get you in the press. Even if it is just the local paper and the celeb is your MP or small time TV actor, a hook is all you need to get a story printed and yourself some free exposure.
Shock and Awe – This is really typified by Damien Hirst who has managed to create a media thunderstorm around his work by being so controversial. Cutting animals in half to create shock and then covering human skulls in diamonds and creating awe. If you can come even close to replicating this kind of activity then you’re on easy street.
Mystic - A good example of this is Banksy; the street artist who’s socially controversial artwork in places of prominence around London and the rest of the UK has gained a lot of notoriety in the press. His excellent use reclusion and mystic has helped significantly in this area also. (Who is Banksy? They all ask...)
I really hope this has been of interest at least but helpful as well if you are looking to promote your artwork in the near future. This is not a how to guide but a thought provoking post which I hope does its intended job. I would really love to hear about your successes in this area so please comment below if you wish.