Promote or Paint!

I presume the majority of new artists and a large amount of art lovers have a tinted vision of what life is like as a full time artist.

Pleasant hours spent in a studio producing your latest artwork. Enthusiasm and drive at level 10 as you mix, brush, blend and shape the textures and paints into a rewarding image.

I had this vision when I first started. That was until I had a fairly large collection of paintings stored in various rooms...and minimal website visits or interaction from the wider world. Now obviously, when you start out as an artist, you need a good social media platform, and I would say if you are serious, your own website that you need to drive your audience towards.

When I started out full-time, I had a pretty basic website. Difficult to manage and work with on a regular I guess I lost interest in it. Sure, I would upload images and photographs of my art on a fairly regular basis, ( or so I thought), but my heart wasn't in it. This was a side of my work I didn't really enjoy.

The more research I did into the art profession, and the more I read, watched and listened to established artists, the more I realised that the physical aspect of painting and producing art had to be equal to, if not less than, the work that had to be done on social media in terms of informing, discussing and promoting what you were producing.

Add to this the importance of networking and establishing contacts and connections in the art world as well as attending art fairs and exhibitions, meeting with Gallery owners and applying for funding....then you start to realise it's not all paint brushes and palette knives.

So.....I took the bull by the horns, and started a new I could manage and edit with ease. This one reflected my style and what I represented as an artist. My enthusiasm for being on the computer for hours at a time was now refreshed. I was happy to sit and edit images, write longer and more informative descriptions of my art and ensure the layouts and feel of the website was how I wanted to represent myself.

I also worked a lot more on my social media, especially my Instagram posts.

Again, research showed me that to be more effective and engage with your desired audience, I needed to post at least 2/3 times a week. I also started making reels and stories...a few a week at least. 

As well as completing lengthy funding applications and spending 1, 2 or 3 days at an art fair, you can see how producing art and finding the time to paint can be a challenge.

My solution? As an early riser, I use a couple of hours every morning to work on social media over a coffee. 2 hours of work can be achieved by 08.00am. I can also check and respond to messages, check my website and load images as well as check and re-order stock. All before breakfast.

This method allows me to schedule time for painting during the day, and works perfectly for me. I would say that the physical aspect of painting is around 40%, while another 50% is spent on all the rest. I leave 10% for "thinking about what to paint and how to paint it"