Marketing is about sharing—and KNOWING—our own unique story!
(3.5 minute read)
Yesterday a friend/fellow artist sent me a link to another artist’s “artist sentence/statement”.
It was slightly crushing, on so many levels.
The first is, they are highly-visible in their field, selling for famous mail-order art catalogs, featured on several platforms, etc. So, a little envy popped up. (Note to self: “Money/fame are not the only measure of our success.”) (See? I have to remind myself, too!)
Second, their “art sentences” was dismaying. Very, very similar to my own tag, which is “Ancient stories retold in modern artifacts.” (Let’s just say the identical word ratio was about 50%-75%.)
But what was really weird is, their work did not reflect this aesthetic.
I fumed, briefly. What should I do? Complain? To whom? Do I “own” these words? No. Do I know for sure they copied mine? No. Do I know who’s been using them longer? No.
I even subscribed to their newsletter, thinking I’d get a feel for who they really are, at heart.
And then it hit me:
Why should I care???
I can make assumptions. I can do research. I can fume all I want.
In the end, I have no control over this situation. Zip.
Even if I did, here’s what I finally realized:
Do I want to waste my precious time and energy taking this on? Do I really want to die on this hill?
The answer is, “Nope.”
Focusing on the negative leads to dark places, loss of energy, and distraction.
That artist can do “them”. I will do me.
My work has been, um, imitated, from time to time. I’m sure even more than I know! Because the ones I know about are often because the, um, imitator, actually shared that information with me. Polymer clay is a relatively new art medium, and techniques/palettes/projects get shared/copied/reposted constantly. (Oddly, the polymer people who are most protective of their “copyrights” are NOT the people who originally created those techniques/palettes/projects. Go figure.) For more insights on copying and the polymer/any art medium world, check out this article and this one by Ginger Davis Allman of The Blue Bottle Tree.)
I was going to say this is the first time my words have been borrowed. Except that’s not true, either. For a long time, some people would repost my blog posts and articles on their own platforms. Not good. Because invariably, their readers assume they wrote them! (FWIW, it’s more respectful to share a synopsis, or a personal take on how the article affected you, and share a link back the writer’s platform.)
I finally stopped that, too, unless it goes too far.
I am not saying you or anyone else has my permission to copy any of my work.
What I will say is this: People who do this? They yearn for what we have, but either haven’t developed their own skills, story, and personal vision, or have chosen not to.
There we have it. The power of our choices.
Today, I will unsubscribe from their newsletter. I will work on my stuff today, and let go of envy. I will scratch my head about an artist story that doesn’t really relate to that artist’s work, and didn’t encourage me to want to learn more.
And I will move on.
I will go to my studio and continue working on my new shrine series. (A customer followed up with me today, asking if I’d contacted the gallery they’d referred me to. Dang! They’re doing better follow-up than I am!)
I will focus on the work that brings me joy, and peace in my heart. I will find ways to share it today, in my social media marketing.
I will continue to only focus on what is under my control, and strive to let go of what isn’t.
And I hope with all my heart that today’s words will encourage you to do the same! (If you aren’t already, in which case, good on you!) (My husband asked me where this phrase came from, as opposed to “good FOR you”. I think it’s a New England thing.)
Your comments are always welcome, often insightful, and sometimes inspirational, too! Shares, the same. You can find more of my articles at Fine Art Views, and/or visit/subscribe to them through my blog.