My Art Marketing Story – Chapter 2- Getting Started
Welcome back to my progress report on my Art marketing efforts. Did you read the first chapter? The starting point was the purchase of a dvd called, Art Marketing Bootcamp, by B. Eric Rhoads. The man’s a genius. You do, however, have to listen carefully, and then actually DO something.
The first thing I learned was how to title a newsletter. To my astonishment I was doing it exactly wrong. I mean I had word for word the title Not to use. I do have a list, of course I do. Over four hundred people. But I never send out newsletters. Problem there. Could do better, much better.
One of the first things that really hit me, watching the dvd and following it’s prompting in thought, was a deeper realization that in general, I am really pretty happy with my career. No, I don’t have a lot of money any more since the crash. But I live exactly where I want to live for my main residence. It’s a quiet log house at the end of the road in the mountains. Sure, the apartment in Paris would be nice too. And USED TO DO exactly what I want to do; make art, all day, every day. I say, “Used to,” because that was before I started spending three to four hours a day on this marketing. I cannot say I prefer it to making art!
Eric Rhoads teaches about the importance of determining what you are UNwilling to do. I am unwilling to take a “Job” outside of art. And I don’t do that. Watching this dvd really makes a person think. I was surprised to learn things about myself. I am unwilling to do what is required to make massive millions artistically. I had been dancing around that conclusion, but listening to Eric really brought it home to me. Now I am certain. Maintaining self respect is crucial for me to really enjoying any success. So back to the concrete efforts.
Marketing. I started spending, without fail, every morning, three to four hours on the computer, marketing. A rare break from the computer was addressing post cards of my paintings. Most morning hours now spent slogging away on the computer. Tweeting till I’m blue in the face. Programing my tweets through Hootsuite, a genius of a little invention, and it’s free! Hootsuite enables me to program my tweets and facebook posts throughout the day. The result is that I appear to be a pathetic nerd with no life, who is constantly on the computer all throughout the day. Oh, well. Eric teaches that we need to post something four times for it really to be seen. I worry about becoming known as a product flogger, so I do about half my posts on general interest, with a higher percentage of those on facebook. In my case that is often on the general theme of my super cute dog. Get yourself a bulldog, folks and you’re set. You see, Eric advises to be, “Interesting.” Now I actually think my life has a lot of potential in that area. I lived and painted in France for 30+ years. I own the aforementioned really cute bulldog, and manage to take funny photos of him. Facebook fodder. I don’t mean to sound insincere. I’ve become really involved in bulldog rescue. (Cause marketing? A subject for another post.)
Meatball, the English Bulldog, has a personality. It is known and predictable. A good photo of him on facebook will be shared two or three times, be seen reportedly 250+ times and get upwards of thirty comments. Personality is powerful. In my twenties I was blessed to meet the owner of King Comics. He had seen my line drawing illustrations in a cook book. I had done some funny chickens diving into the chicken soup etc. He told me, “The only difference between your chicken and Snoopy is that Snoopy has a personality.” I was advised to develop a character that would act and react in a predictable way. Of course, I did nothing. That is an example of the biggest fault in my career. I meet top, really top, people and do nothing with the connections.
Not to mention that in 1990 I met Charles Schultz, himself. Snoopy was 40 years old in 1990, as was I. The Louvre planned an 800 sq. meter exposition to celebrate his birthday. I was commissioned to do a five foot high statue of Snoopy as the key piece for the entrance. Of course I did it, as well as hiring a team to do 600, yes, 600 smaller Snoopys which were sold in the gift shop of the Louvre.
Through that I met Charles Schultz, who was a delightful, elegantly simple down to earth man. The French/English translator the museum had hired was not even close to being adequate, and Charles, as he urged me to call him, literally grabbed me in front of the cameras. I was at his side as Jack Lang (who was also reported to speak English well. not) gave Mr. Schultz the Legion d”Honor. A fine time was had by all. Determined Productions stopped taking my calls. That was not Charles Schultz, it was ruthless corporate individuals. And I let it happen. Not pushy enough? Enough recriminations. Marketing Bootcamp dvd firmly under my arm I press on.