Friday, April 1, 2011

Letter from the President

Marketing has been on my mind lately. I've been running some numbers for my business and realizing it's time to shake off the winter doldrums and bump things up a bit. Marketing is a word I dislike, because I do not want to "market" my work, I just want the world to see how beautiful my pottery is and buy it without me having to shill. I think it's not unusual for artists to have an aversion to marketing because of its connotations and connection to the "marketplace" when we would rather float above the dirty business of commerce and focus on creating works of art. But let's get real: unless you plan to give away all of your work -- or store it in a massive warehouse for eternity-- if you are making art, you probably want to sell it if for no other reason than to get it out of your studio so you can make more. If you want to sell, you have to think about marketing. But how can we, as artists, pursue marketing in a way that makes us feel like it is reflecting our work, our values, and our creativity?

One of the things to think about is developing your "story" as an artist. It's the story of who you are and what your work represents in the world. I think we are all aware that traditional advertising and marketing is no longer what hooks us anymore, it's too boring, it doesn't stand out. What stands out is the personal, the authentic, the tale of how things came to be. This is the real meat of what interests buyers, what makes them want to make that move to spending actual money on a piece of your work. Your story is speaking to them and they want that tale told, over and over again, in the form of your artwork in their home.

Telling your story is an art in itself, and takes time, work, and refinement to get it just right. Have you thought about what your story is? Have you put it down an paper and read it over to see if it is a compelling story that really tells your customers about you? I'm sure most of us need a little help in this department, so I've posted some handy links to get you started and motivated:

Many of these posts have more helpful links, so put aside a few hours for some reading, writing and inspiration, and tell us your story!

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