Sunday, 12 September 2010

The Artist's Plan

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans – John Lennon


When one is planning a move that involves not only relocating to a different continent, but also changing career focus at the same time, there needs to be a plan.

After having received a regular salary for many years it’s a big step to make the decision to earn one’s living entirely from art. Moreover, when you are going to be living in a place far from anyone who even knows who you are or that, in fact, you are a painter, you need to find a way to introduce yourself.

So, there has to be a plan. At the outset, I realized that a website showcasing my work would be valuable if not imperative. Then too, a blog would give me an opportunity to communicate with collectors of my work. Also, as my friends know, I love to talk, so this gives me another platform.

Years ago, artists had to rely entirely on print medium to publicise their art. Alternatively, you waited for a Gallery to show your work.Or you had to wait for someone to write an article for a magazine, give you a favourable review of an exhibition in a newspaper, or include you in a list of many artists in a Who’s Who of Artists. To merit a whole book – a book featuring your work, or a biography, generally you had to be very famous already. Most likely, the best that would happen would be that if you played your cards right with a friendly Art Page journo you would get a pic and a favourable mention in the local newspaper.

Now it’s a different world. The ease of online communication has allowed artists can be in charge of their own PR. The artist can create a website; write a blog, set up a Flickr page to display their art. They can direct the communication about their art.

The artist can talk directly to their collectors and to anyone else who cares to visit their website or read their blog. (Of course, sometimes the artist might just be talking with no one listening – is there anyone out there?)