Don’t wait for anyone’s approval! – Skinny Artist

Don’t wait for anyone’s approval!

Just Do the Work

These are amazing times to be an artist!

Thanks to the world wide web, we now have a direct connection to a world wide audience.  We no longer need a booking agent, gallery owner, or editor to approve of our work before our customers/audience are able to see what we do.

For example, if you were a struggling writer ten years ago as I was, you basically had two choices.  You could either keep sending your unsolicited work out to any publisher or editor who was willing to look at it, or you could “self-publish” your work by paying for  a print run yourself, and then selling them out of the trunk of your car to any independent bookseller who didn’t want to see you go into fetal position after one more rejection.

It’s not all their fault, however, because the marketplace has changed.  We are increasingly becoming a niche oriented society and the big publishing house  can simply no longer afford to publish our books and records unless they have the potential for wide mainstream appeal. Trying to please everyone, however, is usually a recipe for mediocrity.  The best writers and artists have always managed to create a unique niche that allows them stand apart from the crowd. So unless your name is James Patterson or you are an American Idol finalist, chances are you’re going to have to break into the business through the backdoor.

So what are our options here?

Well if the big boys aren’t willing to do it, then we need to find a way to do it ourselves.  This means self-publishing, self-recording, self-marketing, self-promoting, and self-distribution.  In other words, in the eyes of the big publishing houses and record companies, you’re on your own.  But you’re not ALONE!  After all, this is exactly what Skinny Artist is all about: Empowering the individual artist to create, promote, and sell their work directly to the people who want to buy it!

Over the next several months, we’ll be talking a lot about what these different online tools and resources are, and how you can use them to get your work noticed by your future customers.  We’ll also be discussing some of the best ways to market your work depending on what you create, and who you want to reach.  Despite what you might seen elsewhere online, there is no one-size-fits-all marketing in a box system for artists (or anyone else for that matter).   Which is why if you’re really serious about making a living from your art, you are going to need to sit down and figure out who exactly you are trying to reach.

Take a minute and answer the following questions:

  • Who is your ideal customer?
  • Are they local, regional, or worldwide?
  • How exactly is your artistic product or service going to improve their life?
  • What are their alternatives to hiring or purchasing from you?
  • What do you think may be the best of connecting directly with this customer?
  • How can you set yourself apart from your competition?
  • What can you do today to build your online “brand” awareness with this customer?

Can you think of any other questions that we might want to know about our ideal customer/audience?

Please let us know in the comment section below.

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About the Author

Writer, teacher, and head custodian of the Skinny Artist community. His book "Getting Creative: Developing Creative Habits that Work" is all about finding the time (and energy) to live a more creative life.

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(6) comments

You guys seem great I could really use your help!((: plz and thankx! I draw alot but really where can I go from there.? TIPS? :)

Reply

    Thanks for stopping by Adryan! It’s really difficult to give a one-size-fits-all type of suggestion when it comes to something like being an artist, but it’s really about being willing to put in the practice and getting through that seemingly endless “apprentice” stage when it often seems like nothing is happening. While you are building your skills, be sure to find a way to connect with other artists either online or in your local community. One of the biggest reasons people end up quitting their art is because they felt alone and disconnected. Find a group and share your work with them. Get your artwork out there and then get busy creating more! If you’re interested, you can always check out some of the other articles here for some additional suggestions, and as always, feel free to jump in the conversation anytime :)

    Reply

Thank you!! Your insight and guidance is Amazing! Actualy, The BEST that I’ve seen anywhere!

Reply
sammi

i have graphite collections, phantom of the opera and, family moments, plus i do digital photography whats my next step, i put some of my pieces on Fine Art America, but i had to pull most of it off there cause my art was not safe from theft there, which happened, at least some of it was noticed though???

Reply
Heather

Hi! I was wondering. Does someone need copyright protection on their artwork if they choose to present photos of their work online?

Reply

    When you post an image online (whether it is of your artwork or anything else) it is always a good idea to be clear what rights you are claiming over this image. Because of the viral sharing nature of the internet, it is widely assumed that anything posted online is fair game unless it is specifically stated otherwise. This means that although legally your images and words should be fully copyrighted, I would suggest that you add some type of licensing notice to your website, or even better to the image itself. You may also want to consider watermarking your images and only uploading low-resolution scans (~72px) to reduce the potential amount of offline printing. Here’s a link to a related article we did where we talked about some of the other steps you can take to protect your images online.

    If you’re interested in learning more about some of the different types of licenses out there, we’ve created a short video and some resources to help sort it all out. You can check it out here: https://skinnyartist.com/what-is-creative-commons-license/

    Reply
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