Posted by: openairgallery on Aug 11, 2010
I read today that texting and instant messaging are superior to emailing because the first two are "in your face" connections. Makes sense to me: I write a text message, press send, and the intended's phone either vibrates or makes a noise indicating that somebody has something to say. I write an email however, and the message may sit in the "inbox" for hours, days, weeks, or maybe never if it gets lost in cyberspace. I suppose it could be said that emails are the "wallflowers" of the tech world.
I can relate to being like an email, since I was a wallflower at every dance I attended as a teenager. I entered the dance, stood next to my girlfriends, and waited for someone to approach to ask me to dance. No one ever did. If I could go back in time, I would definitely be more like a text message: here I am, let's dance!
Being in the art world is much like being at a highschool dance. There are a lot of us in attendance: some get to dance and others "hold up" the wall. What is so very frustrating for the wallflowers is that most are fabulous dancers but like e mail, have to wait to be noticed.
A while back I read somewhere that the difference between the successful artist and the starving artist is marketing. Twenty years ago, an artist's means of getting noticed required the leg work of the artist, or for the fortunate artist, an agent or gallery doing the promoting. The famous pop artist Wayne Theibaud (he painted all-American foods in thick luscious oil paints) did his own leg work. With paintings in tow, he walked all over New York City, entering gallery after gallery hearing rejection after rejection. The last gallery on his list however, liked his work and today you can "google" famous artist painting cakes and his name pops up on the search engine page. If your one of the lucky ones, like an artist acquaintance of mine who paints beautiful landscapes, you have that agent or in her case, mother-in-law, who like the text message, got her daughter- in- law gallery representation by making someone stop and take notice.
I've seen hundreds of works on the internet that are just as beautiful as my friend's paintings, created by artists who don't have mother -in -laws, agents , or galleries representing them. Like me, these artists have technology to help them get noticed. I'm amazed at the artist portals, like totalartsoul.com , available at no cost. There are portals that provide websites for artists and I even found a couple of free offers for those who don't mind having advertisements scrolling along side the artwork.
I've been retired from my "day job" for a year, spending a good portion of each day in my studio painting and finally several weeks ago, I built a website. In my research, I discovered that my website is much like an email: it serves no purpose if it can't be found or doesn't get opened. Everyday since uploading my website, I have NOT been in my studio painting but rather on my computer. For my website to get noticed, it needs to be "searchable", which means getting on the first page of the search engine when someone "googles" oil paintings on canvas, for example. I've got to "vibrate" the search engines by Twittering, Facebooking, and blogging. Thank goodness for on-line newsletters like emptyeasal.com which has provided me with "the much needed" tech information necessary to get my work out into cyberspace, on computer screens, and perhaps finally on a few walls.
If you would like to know exactly what I've been doing to promote my website, leave me a comment.