Oh, my, such a lot to explore here, but I will try hard to stick to my major idea: For me the idea of being a Social Artist who Markets Her Work means attempting to be a living oxymoron. I just don’t resonate with it.
Or didn’t. Or I’m a work in progress, learning to live the BOTH/AND instead of the EITHER/OR. Nowadays I find it interesting to ‘put on my Big Girl Panties’ [my new favorite saying from this summer] and get myself out there, even if I concurrently break out in metaphorical hives.
This unnatural, learned behavior was hatched in October 2008 when I ran across Alyson Stanfield’s Art Biz Coach site and book, I’d Rather Be In the Studio! The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion.
Fast forward to the present, having collected Alyson’s wisdom through her book, artbizconnectionsalon, online classes, blog and website, phone sessions and even a couple of live workshops she happened to conduct in Northern CA (lucky me!) I – who couldn’t make an attachment to an e-mail back then – now find myself blogging, chatting, friending, following, tweeting, linking, posting, commenting, messaging, convo-ing, listing and re-listing IN ADDITION to making art and more art, entering exhibits, opening my studio, contacting galleries, joining art associations, attending receptions, and in general authentically livin’ the dream I dreamed my whole adult life. The mysterious other things that artists do out in the Art World have been revealed…they are just not exactly what I thought they would be and I am learning to pick and choose.
The Isolationist INTJ me still gets plenty of solace and creative communing one-on-one with my Muses, of that I make sure. But I have come of artistic age in a new time when the gallery walls are transparent, the artist’s rep looks a lot like me and I have the virtual means with which to share my artistic entirety – images, words and connections – in a way that strangely suits me.
There are no longer Gatekeepers: we know our fans and collectors and they know us. We expect it. Though I sit here and you there, you, dear Reader, are a real person! You can talk back to me, you can tell others, and so it goes virally along.
Being a Social Artist, even one who Markets (read: SHARES, and thanks, Alyson,) isn’t quite the oxymoronic existence I once felt it to be, and even if I have my reluctant moments, I have definitely learned how rewarding it is dive in the pool and play.