Self Discovery as an Online Artist
I have always been a visual artist. And although it took a back seat when I became a teacher and then a mom, changing my self-image eventually helped me get back
Over the past 5 years, I have turned myself into an online-entrepreneur-blogger and eco-advocate and my role as a visual artist has come full circle. I finally feel like I discovered a place to express myself and my story to the world and set it up as a home based business. But along with this came the importance of art marketing.
I now had the liberty to embrace my creativity and my passion and create a business around it.
One of my dreams is to be able to help the artist community learn to share their visions to the world, without ‘selling out’.
Why art marketing is a big deal
As artists, we create art works – marketing our art is the opposite of what art is for us, it can feel exploitive. For creative people, art is an innate thing, it comes naturally, but not the art marketing aspect of it, this is a challenge. Marketing for artists can be a challenge. Putting ourselves out there to share our visions to the world does not always come as easy as it seems. In the art world there is a Who’s Who list of up-and-comers and talented creators in their own right, looking to have their own perspectives seen. I tried that scene for a little while, and found that teaching better served my soul, I wanted to inspire young creative minds and not constantly be looking for recognition. I found that the proud career moments for me were little things like when a student shows their parents what they created and feels good about seeing a piece they made displayed on the walls of the school for all to see.
Being the artists that we are, have to keep our, creative channels open, we need to be able to always be creative in every aspect of our lives – to express ourselves, our emotions, our vision. Getting all bogged down by technical platforms and widgets can often feel constrictive and frustrating, but I discovered it is really not that hard at all. Upload an image here and add a little content there and you’ve got a blog.
As artists, we often present our creations in galleries or spaces, but we don’t necessarily know how to share it with the world. I have an excellent art education from Rhode Island School of Design (BFA) and San Jose State University (MFA), and an education on how to teach art, but I lacked the business know-how to sell myself confidently as an artist. No matter how talented I was told I was, or how much people liked my work, there was often the question, well what do I do with that talent now?
I was pretty discouraged seeing other artists biting the bullet just to put their artworks out there. It’s a common problem among artists. Even with massive talent, you’ll rely on luck or a good P.R. manager as to who sees or who buys your artwork or take a chance and give 50% to 60% to studio galleries. Talented artists everywhere are in competition with each other for attention in the art world. This is something I shied away from and thus went into teaching.
I turned put my art career on hold to be an ART MOM
Eventually I had to leave the teaching world behind for the domestic bliss of helping guide my own children’s hopes and dreams for their vision and support their art education. I was always the kind of parent who put my kids first, and made sure my kids attended one of the only public, arts-based curriculum, elementary schools in San Francisco, who utilized the parents as teachers. So for over a decade I had found a place within a community that fully embraced art education and was present in my children’s classes weekly. I felt that I had contributed greatly to the artistic interests of the students and the whole community by creating permanent works with students on the school campus and facilitating large scale class projects for the school’s Annual live auctions.
But then that also ended, my kids went on to Middle school and High school. No more Art Mom, no more art parent involvement. I was on my own, and I was definitely looking for a platform to glide my vision into. It was time to return to my center, my own creative spirit was begging to come out of hiding. But there came a point when I shifted. I was a super duper art mom, but I was not really following my true path as an artist. I started to feel a bit grumpy and sad, I lamented for time in a studio, for time exploring my own ideas and materials.
For years and years I had been funneling so much energy into the family and being the best parent to my kids that I had lost my artistic identity, and as a result I felt a deep, underlying unhappiness.
I focused all my creative energies into my home, my kids, cooking, cleaning, and organizing all aspects of our lives; financial, medical, travel and everything else. I was denying my true self, and felt tired and ready to tap back into my creative talents.
I was seeking a way to use my creativity for education and also to inspire others
I wanted my business and my brand to be an extension of me
I set to the task of learning a lot about marketing for artists, how to set up a blog, how to use social media, and even found personal development to be an amazing advantage in my new career. Seeking inner balance and outer balance at the same time. All of these things had led me to the realization that as an artist, I’m also an entrepreneur, and that I was my own product.
I hope to share the importance of art marketing along with the skills learned along the way; as an artist, an art teacher, an art parent, and now, an art blogger-entrepreneur.