Today I was at the ARTrepreneur event in Peterborough and it was great! It was a full day of workshops on the business side of art and I was a panelist this afternoon. I met some great people and made some good connections for my own art business, which was a bonus.
I was on the panel with a musician, a writer, a letterpress-man and an art gallery owner/painter. The questions were varied but there was quite a bit of interest in how to market your art. There was a lot of discussion about being online – should I be online and where? Social media? How do I do it? Should I do it myself or hire someone to do it for me?
There were some things that really stood out for me today. First, artists/writers/musicians are not good at selling themselves (and I include myself in this!). I don’t know if they are afraid of appearing arrogant or whether they just don’t know how to talk about their work. If we don’t talk about our own work, who else is going to? We need to believe in what we do and share that as often as possible with as many people as possible.
Secondly, artists/writers/musicians need help in the style department! Every time you leave the house or studio you should be prepared to meet a potential client. ‘Comfortable’ is not a style and it really looks sloppy. If you want to run your business professionally then you should take the time to look professional. Your style should reflect your art! If you love bright colours then by all means wear flashy clothes…just make sure they fit well. I know I always feel much more confident when I feel good in what I’m wearing.
Finally, artists/writers/musicians are very generous people and are willing to help each other out. Over and over today I heard people offering to help others with the things they were struggling with. Let’s face it, we all need help with something. Some had no idea where to start with social media and others were accounting-challenged (another big theme!).
Overall it was a really successful day and I’m glad I was able to participate. This evening I’m back to Market Hall for Creative Cocktail, a networking event for local business people. I’m going to work at selling myself, and my art!
PS – I did get my painting done early this morning knowing I was going to be out all day.
Here I am on the panel (I’m in the red jacket in the middle!)