After doing all the research I thought I should do on art marketing it just comes back to the same thing over and over. Put what you have out there, be professional and treasure those who fall in love with the same things you do. When I draw a character I am involved in their stories, I love creating something that expresses a part of me. Sometimes it's an idea, sometimes it's something a little darker, sometimes it's really personal but each piece is a part of my story. I love the process of creating and sharing my work with others. I have always found giving these pieces away a bit of a wrench which is probably why I always battle with selling work but watching these characters become part of someone else's story has been a welcome collaboration. There is just an energy resonance between the time I create a piece and what collectors respond to. Sometimes collectors send me pictures of my work hanging up in their homes and I love feeling like a part of my life is now intertwined with theirs. I love feeling that something I love deeply is now hopefully shining a little light over them.
So it turns out there is no real “trick” to getting your art out there. It's a step by step process. It's person to person. Word of mouth. Yes you need all the gizmo's and gadgets. Of course you need a website, a blog, a mailing list, social media but these are just standard things today. More than that you need the tenacity to just keep going. Just paint a piece and once you're done, paint another and another and just keep at it. As I spoke about earlier this year I have intentionally given myself too much to do with so that I end up actually completing more. There are some areas of my life where that has really worked and others where it has fallen flat on it's arse. Thankfully I have also scheduled in small breaks to review my progress and next week is one of them. I need a review, some things just aren't working and some things just need a subtle shift. I suppose I would be feeling a lot more pressure around this if art was my day job and I can understand that for some the stakes are a lot higher. For that I would advise just being gentle with yourself. If you are sick of living hand to mouth then just be an adult about it, get a part time job whilst you build your client base. We're all adults here and it's just a fact of life that sometimes your art will support you and sometimes you have to support it.
At the end of the day I am never going to stop making art. It is just a part of the way I was built. Music, writing, painting, all of it has to be a part of my life, I just don't feel right without it. Using it as a way to make some extra cash has been wonderful but I'm finding the connections I am making priceless. Being in a position to become part of someone's artistic journey as a collector or as a collaborator is something I am rediscovering right now. I love what is unfolding and as always I will continue to share it with you.
Thank you for tuning in!
Ryan James x