The moment you chose to live your life and make your art with intention is the heart of everything you do, write, say.
(4 minute read)
Last week, I shared how introverts can shine in the world, thanks to email art marketing newsletters.
Today, I had a long article planned. But, lucky you! I realized it was about two different topics I had squished into one:
Your Most Important Story of All
Before we get to suggestions about this, let’s talk about the most important topic of all of this:
The Story of YOU.
Here’s the biggest obstacle when it comes to every aspect of marketing and selling our art:
Sooooo many people don’t know their own story!
Let’s back up a little. There are two powerful stories in every creative person.
The first is what I call the ‘creation story’.
The second is our artist statement, which I’ll tackle next week. Because it helps to know your creation story first.
What’s the difference?
Your creation story marks your first step, the moment you knew you were meant to be an artist. It’s that aha moment when we realized we had to be an artist. The moment where we completely embrace what we want, regardless of whether we even know how, or why. It’s the point in your life where your deepest intention occurred.
Dave Geada, FASO’s marketing guru, talks about this story in almost every webinar I’ve watched so far. He phrased it perfectly: After a near-death experience, he vowed to live his life with intent. With INTENTION. I’ve called it our “hero’s journey story” for years, and Dave calls it that, too. (Whew! I love it when the experts and I are on the same page!)
That’s what your first step was: Your intention to make your art. Here’s mine. It’s what made me take the leap, and it still resonates with me today.
Unlike your artist statement, it doesn’t have to be public (though there are ways to modify it so it can, so don’t rule that out.)
You DO have to know it. Because once you realize it, it will provide the foundation of everything you do, write, make, talk about, going forward with your artwork. It will ground you when you are lost. It will reassure you when you are discouraged. It will lift you up when life gets hard.
Knowing it will help you lift others, too. Because when we speak our truth, it not only resonates with others, it can inspire them to see theirs.
Years ago, I created a workshop designed to help people write their artist statement. It was powerful, and eye-opening. I got to hear how several dozen people got their start, and why. My favorite was the artist who started with, “I had a baby. I nearly died. Everything changed…” I exclaimed, “THAT’s your artist statement!” What I meant was, this was the foundation of her artist statement.
To frame this better: That may or may not be what she decides to use, publicly. But it was that point in time where “everything changed.” It would inspire her artist statement, however she chose to frame it. It was her creation story, it was powerful, and she knew it.
Another great creation story was one I’ve written about before, which illustrates that our creation story will evolve. It’s about long-time artist who lost their sight late in life—and everything changed. Did they stop making? Nope. But it’s different, now. Because everything changed. But it was compelling enough for me to go back to that ‘weird crappy’ piece of “art” hanging on the gallery wall, and find something beautiful in it. Courage. Perseverance. Letting go of what was, and embracing the new ‘what is’.
Your homework: What is your creation story? Write it out, if only for your private use.
If you enjoyed this article, and know someone else who might like it, too, feel free to pass it on. And if someone sent you this and you did like it, see more of my articles at FineArtViews.com, other art marketing topics at Fine Art Views art marketing newsletter, and my blog at LuannUdell.wordpress.com.