Creating a marketable body of work (part 4)

Notes on a talk by fine artists and art coaches Meagan and Michael Blessing, interviewed by art director Grant Roberts, 15.01. 2022 on the Art Work House Discord

Their socials:

https://www.meaganabrablessing.com/

https://www.michaelblessingart.com/

https://www.artstation.com/grantroberts

Disclaimer:

These notes are filtered through my perspective and interpretation, what I personally took away as a listener. I do not claim to cover the complete talk. Also, my views are not necessarily the views of the speakers.

(continuation of part 3)

Square Five

You have the permission to be as niche as you can, doing what you love and are strongest in. There is a market for everything, sometimes your market just needs a while to find you. If you are really as weird and outlandish as you think you are people should have no trouble remembering you.

Keeping an audience

By this point, you most likely have a fanbase to cater to. Do not just leave older collectors and fans behind when you switch styles or subjects. You are absolutely allowed to grow and change, but don’t just cut people off. Try to find connections between the new and the old in your work, bring your contradicting interests together even and integrate them into what you are already known for. This way you can keep your work fresh and interesting, while still being consistent. For some artists splitting up into two pen names can be necessary but it should rather be the exception. Most people are strongest when they can focus on one thing.

(to be continued in part 5)

Creating a marketable body of work (part 3)

Notes on a talk by fine artists and art coaches Meagan and Michael Blessing, interviewed by art director Grant Roberts, 15.01. 2022 on the Art Work House Discord

Their socials:

https://www.meaganabrablessing.com/

https://www.michaelblessingart.com/

https://www.artstation.com/grantroberts

Disclaimer:

These notes are filtered through my perspective and interpretation, what I personally took away as a listener. I do not claim to cover the complete talk. Also, my views are not necessarily the views of the speakers.

(continuation of part 2)

Square Four

You are your art. Questions about being authentic and convenient personas come up.

So, finally, you curate your pieces towards the story you want to share about yourself and why you are doing what you are doing.

A strong and fun to follow story has the power to completely outshine your actual craftsmanship and quality of your art. Make of this what you will.

How do you discover your story? Remember, it is there already, but maybe you haven’t looked at it in a way that you can put in words before. Some questions to get started: Why am I doing this? Where am I from? What shaped me? How do people see my art? What in my art reminds people of me?

Building an audience

Whatever you do, be consistent.

If you can only post once a week on social media, then you can only post once a week on social media, but do it. And mind the language and tags the culture(s) and communities you’re in are using.

Taking breaks is natural though, too, so if you do it, don’t apologize upon your return. Most likely, people will not even notice you were away in the first place.

It also becomes interesting to keep an audience engaged at this point. Note that people must see your art at least seven times before they actually start paying attention. That is a lot of repetition, so you absolutely are allowed to recycle and repeat your older content on social media to get those repetitions in. Also, not everyone sees every new piece of art the first time you posted it, so that is another use to it!

And remember the power of your personal story. Make it easy to learn about your story and fun and engaging to follow it. Your personal artist statement can help with that. Have a long version, but also a really short one of about 25 words for someone who has no time, but a spark of interest.

(to be continued in part 4)

Creating a marketable body of work (part 2)

Notes on a talk by fine artists and art coaches Meagan and Michael Blessing, interviewed by art director Grant Roberts, 15.01. 2022 on the Art Work House Discord

Their socials:

https://www.meaganabrablessing.com/

https://www.michaelblessingart.com/

https://www.artstation.com/grantroberts

Disclaimer:

These notes are filtered through my perspective and interpretation, what I personally took away as a listener. I do not claim to cover the complete talk. Also, my views are not necessarily the views of the speakers.

(continuation of part 1)

Square Two

Later, you start curating your work yourself, picking and choosing what you want to show to the world.

Don’t cut and engineer too much too early.

At first your only goal of curation is to choose the pieces that have the strongest aesthetic value to you. Also don’t just put them out there. Ask yourself: why do you like them, why do others like them? What can you learn for future pieces?

Keep creating!

Square Three

When your body of work has flourished further, you can afford a stricter curation: Now you are looking for consistency in themes and techniques in the works you want to show to the world.

The ultimate goal of all curation is that someone understands what you are doing within 3 seconds of looking at your works. This does NOT mean to dumb your works down or fit a pre-existing mold perfectly.

You are also allowed, even required to keep experimenting with art that doesn’t fit what you’re curating. Any of your training is research and development work for your main works though.

But this stage is not where and how the curation ends.

(to be continued in part 3)

Creating a marketable body of work (part 1)

Notes on a talk by fine artists and art coaches Meagan and Michael Blessing, interviewed by art director Grant Roberts, 15.01.2022 on the Art Work House Discord.

Their socials:

https://www.meaganabrablessing.com/

https://www.michaelblessingart.com/

https://www.artstation.com/grantroberts

Disclaimer:

These notes are filtered through my perspective and interpretation, what I personally took away as a listener. I do not claim to cover the complete talk. Also, my views are not necessarily the views of the speakers.

Square Zero

Start with this premise:

You have everything that you need already, a story, a personality, strengths, interests, anything else you might need. If it is invisible to you, it is still there, but in seed form and wants to be discovered. So if you run into problems later, know that you can’t fall to or below zero. There is something in you.

Square One

If you don’t have a body of work yet, this is the first thing that you do. Create create create.

At first, for the fun of it and for the exploration of you as an artist.

(To be continued in part 2)

Literature Notes #007

The time has come. I am ripe to write the first edition of my personal artist statement.

An artist statement provides a general overview of an artist’s work, the personality behind it as well as keys to understanding the art and what to look out for in it. As one changes over a lifetime, the artist statement is destined to change, too, so it’s a living document.

But I must spend a note or two preparing the arrival of mine.

For this note-

My notes as a reader on:

My artist influence Wassily Kandinsky

A great example for a strong artist statement is Wassily Kandinsky, who wasn’t content with just giving you a list. He wrote the great essay „Concerning the Spiritual in Art“, laying down how he kept trying to translate music and the progression of time onto canvas. Art cannot do that…or can it? Knowing this, you are looking at his works with different eyes and maybe even with a different intent. The artworks aren’t just visually pleasing anymore, you will look at them and wonder what sounds he tried to catch and how much of a song or symphony you are seeing there, translated, compressed, spoken out on a 2D plane. And you must not forget, you see it interpreted through him and how he is. Can you read the music and hear it in your head? Would you dare to try?

Also, do you see that Kandinsky’s statement is both grandiose but still simple to understand? Drawing music hard! So I guess if the statement is too complex, it is fake again, and you lose yourself. Also note that Kandinsky didn’t pour all of himself into it. The mission he gave his art surely took up a good chunk of his life and later years, yet we don’t hear about who Kandinksy is and how he is. The art and what it does is the focus of the statement, not him as a person. We can deduct some from what he is doing, yet he does not insist that he is his art and that there are no private spaces left for the private person Kandinsky as well as spaces that are only the work, not the artist.