Why Your Differences Are The Hidden Blessings That Can Help Your Art Stand Out

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Marisa D. Aceves. Distant Memory. digital photography http://acevesart.com/

article by Marisa D. Aceves

In a sea of artists producing similar work and selling it successfully, it is easy for artists that create work outside the accepted status quo to feel both bewildered and distressed about their future.

Many of us know there are few certainties in life and yet we crave stability; We often seek it out even if it means that we give up pursuing our latest innovations.

The fear of failure is alive today as it has been for centuries.

It’s not going away.

We have to battle it one piece of artwork at a time.

Despite the overwhelming feelings some of us face as we force ourselves to push forward into unchartered artistic territory, the very things that make us different are the important elements (if used correctly) that can help us stand out.

Here are some helpful tips for overcoming the perceived mental blocks that keep us from confidence in our creativity:

1) Research Your Niche 

Carefully study what other people in your niche are creating.  How are they marketing their work? Who is their target audience?  What works for them? What doesn’t? Add your own personal voice and style to differentiate yourself from artists producing similar work. We all would like to do our own thing. We should produce the artwork that holds the most interest for us, but sometimes when the general population have difficulty with accepting the type of work we are producing, we may also have to look at what does appeal to people and why? When you complete this exercise, you are able to get outside of yourself. You begin to get valuable insights into how others view things.

2) Create Your Brand Around Your Unique Vision

Branding is a necessity, because it helps others to both know and trust you.  If an audience doesn’t know you, than trust will be difficult if not impossible.  As you market your work across different social media platforms, make sure that you are consistent with your overall message. Generally people are more likely to respond to new and different art when you reach them through your message. If your message resonates with them, then your art business has a much better chance of survival. The art then is a symbol for that message. Each time people see your work, they will think about that message because you have given them something to relate to.

3) Network With Other Artists 

Make friends and business connections with other artists.  Some may have similar interests; others may not.  When you have similar interests with other artists you may share what works and what does not. If you are in contact with artists that may not have similar interests, sometimes they can help you to view your niche from a unique perspective. Connections are key to building a successful art business.  When you reach out to others for support and encouragement, don’t forget to provide it.

4) Become A Storyteller

People want to know the story behind your art.  Share both obstacles and inspiration, but be careful not to divulge inappropriate or personal information that could hurt you and your business. When writing about your story, consider these questions:

a) What are you trying to say with your work?

b) What is important to you and why?

c) How does your world view effect the type of work you produce?

5) Share Your Success Stories

When people like and trust you, they are more likely to buy from you and promote your work.  There is nothing wrong with letting people know about a sale that you have made, a contest you have won, your latest commission or a show that features your work as long as you do this appropriately and politely. Simply informing your audience about peoples’ appreciation of your products and services is acceptable. Constantly boasting about your abilities or how much money you make can eventually irritate your audience and keep them from visiting your website so practice discretion.

While researching or creating your niche is a challenge, remember this: No thing worth doing is ever easy. The healthiest approach to tackling difficult aspects of your art business is to view them as both learning opportunities and teaching moments. If you apply the same mixture of discovery and discipline to your marketing efforts, finding your niche will be more enjoyable and less intimidating.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me.  I’d love to hear from you.

When Life Bites: Overcoming your inner Resistance to Change So That You Can See Life’s Possibilities Part 1

When Life Bites: Overcoming your inner Resistance to Change So That You Can See Life's Possibilities Part 1

No matter what your profession is in life, there will come a time when you have to learn a new set of skills or you are forced to participate, kicking, screaming, pulling your hair out and gnashing you teeth in an entirely new situation that you can neither avoid nor put off for next week. When we realize procrastination is not an option, we must learn to be both flexible and sensible about the tasks ahead. However, if we change our point of view and look at the skills, the knowledge and new relationships we can gain from these experiences, we can begin to view sometimes difficult situations in a more positive light. As an artist, I find that I am always having to adjust to different situations in the market place. I have sold art in a gallery setting, and to private collectors, but I am still learning how to create my own unique presence online. The marketplace for selling art has changed. With the advent of social media, artists like other business professionals must learn to sell their work on various different platforms. At first, I was excited about learning about the world of internet marketing, because I strongly believe that we can reach out to more people who need encouragement and share our unique point of view and passion. Then, as soon as the sky had opened up and poured opportunities for learning upon my weary head, various doubts and worries began to fill it and I was trying everything that I could to focus on how grateful I was to receive the help that I needed at the time that I needed it. I literally had to sit myself down and think about the many different reasons why I created art. Had art found me or had I found art? Nevertheless, I remembered that I created art because I wanted others to see the extraordinary in what they perceived was ordinary, unimpressive, everyday life. If we learn to do this, we will always have a grateful, feasting heart, because we will recognize the extraordinary in others as well as ourselves. When I created this particular piece in enamels, I was initially disappointed in the size of the piece, because I was completely sold on the idea that unless a work is grandiose in size, it has no impact, but that is just not true. Sometimes, smaller paintings, photographs etc. that you can easily carry or hold in your hand have a sense or feeling of intimacy that larger paintings cannot always deliver. I have also noticed this same principle at work when observing life. It is not always those that shout the loudest that make the biggest impact over time, but those that plant their genuine seeds of wisdom, love, perseverance, and compassion.

As always, feel free to share your individual thoughts and experiences with this subject! I’d love to hear from you!