The internet is a pretty crowded place. Lots of people blogging and vying for attention. There are direct marketers and others who compete for your business and interest. And yet, there is always room for a unique voice. Someone who has terrific artwork and content to share.
If you're an artist, it's likely you're struggling just to find quality time for your art. Most artists have day jobs and use their evenings, weekends and/or off time to devote to their creative efforts. For artists with websites and blogs, a bit of time must be carved out for creating meaningful posts and content. The question is, how do you generate interest in your work and what you have to say?
When I first started blogging I simply wrote what was on my mind. I put little thought into who my audience might be or what direction my blog posts would take. Over time I realized that it's beneficial to think about the audience and what content they would value. Early on I made the mistake of trying to craft blog posts that I thought readers would gravitate towards. I soon realized that it's darn hard to predict what people find interesting and valuable. I sensed that writing from the heart could help, but not unless I cultivated a sense of what my message and content should be.
I've read various blogs about content marketing and concluded that creative blog post titles combined with thoughtful writing are a wining formula. Sure, your underlying content has to be of value, but creative writing and an authentic voice can be a refreshing online offering. Think about it. So many posts are unimaginative meanderings and shallow commentary. Few bloggers want to take any risks, lest they offend someone. But the best posts are often controversial, combative or deeply moving. I'm particularly a sucker for those heartfelt, emotionally charged posts.
I'll get to the point. If you're including a blog in your art website, good for you. People want to learn more about your methods, approach and artistic vision. I think artists more than ever should be online and promoting their work. And I also think they should unapologetically share their unique voice. What does "unique voice" mean? Basically, it's your worldview and outlook on life. Maybe it's the way you approach art. Or the way you look at things. It's the way you write, paint and express yourself.
Every once in awhile we read about someone who has "gone viral" with their post or video. For the right reasons such a viral presence can bring valuable attention to an artist's work, vision or voice.
Artists must stay true to their voice and vision. They should not "sell out" just because they found a commercially successful format. I have great reverence for those painters and creatives who stay true to their art despite the vagaries of the art market. And I also admire those clever artists who are producing superior work and staying true to themselves.
I'll never forget cartoonist Bill Watterson of the "Calvin & Hobbes" comic strip fame. As his comic strip became immensely popular, his syndicate was proposing several lucrative licensing and merchandising ideas. Watterson couldn't imagine his creations being reduced to lunch boxes and coffee mugs. Courageously , he declined the offers and likely millions of dollars in revenue. The syndicate managers were in tears but fellow artists took note of Watterson's integrity and unique vision. Some things, like artistic integrity, are more important than a lucrative contract.
In the end, one can study effective copywriting and online marketing. Perhaps you can use such knowledge to make some sales and carve out more of a digital presence. But nothing beats the power of authenticity. Tapping into your own unique voice, which no one else has, and developing a memorable message and noteworthy content can be a powerful and effective way to grow a following. Building rapport with fellow creatives who appreciate your work and voice can lead to sales and referrals.
So, build a blog into your website if you can. Take pictures of works in progress, studio shots, materials used, plein air outings and more. Your collectors love to immerse themselves in your creative world. For many art fans ensconced in the corporate treadmill, your life of oil paint, pochade boxes, plein air trips, clay sculptures, intricate jewelry, complex quilts and more is a delightful escape.
riting in your own unique way about artistic exploits, discoveries and creative bliss is a magic elixir for those whose work lives prevent such artistically fulfilling experiences. They will connect with your universe, experience the pieces you create and want to purchase a slice of your inspiration.
The power of authenticity should not be underestimated and it's at your disposal. Use it to share your passion, promote your unique work and increase your sales, success and creative force!