Awesome call today! I’m Yvonne, the artist who was looking for a compelling reason to continue making art and market it. I could relate to a LOT of the things you coached the others in today. Especially the part about the negative thinking in regards to finding 6 retreatant attendees.
I have recurring negative thoughts about my art. It is definitely for a niche market, because it is sacred art in a classical, Medieval style. I have had many compliments on my work and lots of admiration for it, but few buyers. The people I thought were my market, have tended to be concerned with spending money and tend to prefer to get a print instead of an original. For the occasional person who commissions a piece or who buys one from my website or when they see my work displayed in real life, I get many more who say they can’t afford it, or that it’s too expensive (even though, in my opinion my prices are very reasonable; my teacher charges twice as much as I do).
When I show my work in a show or at an event, my BRAIN (the one that wants to hide under the covers) sees every person who is my target market who doesn’t buy, as evidence to support the negative thoughts (too small a niche; too much competition with other artists making similar work; people are too cheap and just want a $20 print), instead of remembering the person that does buy, or who expresses interest in commissioning something from me in the future.
In addition to this, I started collecting marketing information from many sources in 2016, which I just noticed in your new business podcast you say NOT to do because it causes confusion and overwhelm. Yep! In fact, the pile of papers that I avoided looking at for a long time but have started sorting through recently, were all notes about marketing stuff. I became a consumer of information instead of an applier of the information that I had. The consuming resulted in overwhelm. Then I ended up quitting making art, too!
So my question now is:
Is the goal I was setting for myself (to make 24 new paintings in 2017, e.g.) a good goal in terms of pushing through the discomfort? While I am making these pieces, if I am thinking about selling them later, then I will be confronting the negative beliefs about my target market. But if I am trying to remember why I fell in love with making art in the first place, and in this style of art, then I am just confronting the discomfort of “sucking at it” when I get back into practice, and whatever other discomfort giving up the buffering in order to make time for the art, produces. IS THAT ENOUGH. Or am I “hiding under the covers” by choosing to focus on making the art more than on marketing it?
A marketing model:
C: I show my work, and most people don’t act interesting in buying. One person buys.
T: Everyone just wants a print. Nobody wants to buy real art.
A: Procrastinate; don’t show my work at other opportunities. Don’t follow up with people who sign up for mailing list.
R: Not many people buy my art.
C: I send out email invitation to guest book signers to join my mailing list. Most people don’t respond.
T: They don’t remember me. They don’t want to get email. This will never work.
A: Don’t invite a second time, don’t send any newsletters to the list I do have, and stop blogging. (Quit)
R: Email newsletter nonexistent. Subscribers don’t remember me, since they haven’t heard from me in a year.