The Magic Formula For Success: Does It Exist?

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Marisa D. Aceves. Spectrum 3. Digital Photography

Everyone searches for that elusive ‘formula for success’.

At some point in our lives we all entertain the big ‘If ‘.

Many of us want to believe:

If we just read a certain book about marketing, we will understand the secret to selling our unique brand of art.

If we just take this SEO seminar on how to optimize our website, everyone looking to buy our work will suddenly find us on the internet.

If we just purchase this social media package for $99.99, we will become a ‘social media rockstar/artstar’.

If we just work hard to attract the attention of this one particular gallery, we will finally get that life-changeing/career-making show that we’ve always dreamed of.

If only…if…if …if

We cannot live our lives counting on the next ‘If ‘  to change what we don’t like about ourselves, or our art career.

Yes, hard work, discipline, proper planning and solid marketing will increase our chances of success, but they do not guarantee that it will occur.

Sadly, those of us looking for guarantees and magic formulas will find that there are none.

What we might ask ourselves if we happen to encounter anxiety about the relative uncertainty of our chosen profession is “Why am I creating art in the first place?” and “What do I consider success?”

 

 

 

 

Do you know yourself?

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Marisa D. Aceves. Object 180. Digital Photography.

Check out the rest of my series at http://www.acevesart.com/

Our success depends largely on how we define it.

How we define success is based on how well we know ourselves.

If what we are trying to say with our artwork fails to resonate with others, perhaps it is because we are holding back who we truly are……..

…or who we truly are has yet to be discovered.

 In any case, we shouldn’t let society determine our self-worth.  When we do this, we fall into the people pleasing game. Therefore, we please  no one.  We are never satisfied with what we say or what we do. Our whole identity is dependent on what others think or believe.  The tragic result is that we live our whole lives according to someone else’s flawed definition of excellence.  We hate every moment of it.  Soon we find we lose the joy we once had in connecting with others through our unique creative expression.  We would rather be the genius of others we admire.  Over time, we find we have unceremoniously given away the wonderful childlike trust we had in our natural ability to problem solve creatively. One thing that I have learned over the years is that if it doesn’t feel genuinely “YOU,” it probably isn’t.  Yes, we can and should respect and nurture the talents of others (as well as our own), but we should never try to be them. At the most it will backfire on us and everyone will discover we have been lying to ourselves and others; at the very least we will live our entire lives as the person we wished we were believing that others only want the “persona” we agreed to create.

You can hide behind and sell a “persona”.

Many have done this successfully, but at what cost.  Some say it can be done as easily as you can create a “pin name” and sell a different kind of work under that name.

It is possible to  sell a different type of work under a different name and not lose yourself, but only if you know yourself.  The challenge for many artists and creative marketers is to know who we “truly” are. Once we are comfortable with ourselves, then we will eventually find the audience that appreciates what we do and the services we offer.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOT IN MY INBOX! Warning: Not Every Opportunity is A Good Opportunity Part 1

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Everyone wants to be successful, right? As artists we like to dream big.  We have an extraordinary vision, a unique way of seeing things that we want to share with the world. Naturally, many of us seek out opportunities that will both help us to learn how to publicize our work and increase our income stream.  When we finally do stumble upon what appears to be a valuable website or blog with supposed insight into our industry we begin to believe we’ve finally “struck art market gold.”  “Our ship will come in” we calmly tell ourselves; we don’t have to be lost in that confusing sea of information we so affectionately call the “The net”.  All we have to do is read and apply the methods stated on the website or blog for artists and we will instantly begin to experience  increased sales and traffic to our site.

In some cases, this might indeed be true, depending on how much effort that you put into it and whether or not there is a market for your genre of work. After all, there are some blogs and websites out there that do offer helpful career advice, artist opportunities and coaching without extreme, unrealistic promises.  However, their are blogs and websites that also attach world views that we do not agree with, pushy sales tactics, mean-spirited bullying and “old fashioned guilt trips” to get us to buy this or that package or else we’ll be an obscure, abysmal failure forever.  These are websites and blogs that many artists are tempted to avoid.

While it may feel like an opportunity is right at first, if you experience any of these types of situations (marketing tactics) after you generously invite them into your inbox, you might want to ….yes….here it comes…..that dreaded word no blogger wants to hear…..UNSUBSCRIBE:

 RANT(ING):  You let them into your inbox because they have some great skill or valuable knowledge to share about marketing etc. and then the fun begins…Sure they’re entertaining, at least at first.  They write copy like nobody’s business, but there is one small problem.  They can’t stop whining and complaining!  They complain about the aches and pains of dealing with irritating, pesky people on different internet forums.  They complain about people that refuse to agree with them.  They complain about people that are offended by their constant complaining and name calling!  All this complaining has the average person asking, “Are they ever going to offer me anything valuable in my inbox” or in the words of the old lady in those 80s Wendy’s commercials, “Where’s the beef in this information burger!”  No beef folks, just two buns and some mustard!  The beef is just imaginary, it is a lure so that they can gain a captive audience.  At the end of the day, only you can decide if this is a proper use of your time!

 STORYTELL(ING) WITH FEW TIPS:  Let’s face it, many of us would love to become better writers, especially when it comes to writing about what we do and why we love to do it.  Our ability to communicate with others effects every aspect of our business.  It is a crucial part of our marketing plan. A great storyteller knows this and reels us in with their infectious tales of inspiration, support and encouragement. They make us hope that someday (perhaps in the near future), we too can be the next Seth Godin of the art world.  So we sit in anticipation waiting for those helpful writing tips that only an expert storyteller can give.  What do they give us?  What can we hope to receive for all of that reading?  They share their life story, accomplishments and charity, but they forget to give us the tips that they promised would help us to become better writers.  With each additional post in our inbox, they leave us feeling more and more frustrated, waiting for the tips that never come. Consider that there is a lesson for us as well. If you want to share some highlights of your story do so, just don’t forget to give us the tips that you have promised.

TO BE CONTINUED…

 Next week…. SCHOOL YARD BULLY(ING) AND PUSHY PEPPERMINT PATTY(ING)