This is MY blog.
I can share whatever I want to. I can say whatever I want. I can withhold any information I want to. I can post whatever, and take down whatever, on a whim, or whatever. I am the master of my own universe.
Anyone can read my blog. They can skim it. They can subscribe, unsubscribe, or sit there with their browser window open to it at all times and wait there until I post something new – as if I actually have something interesting to say.
People can tell me to my face that they read this thing. They have the right to not mention it too, or even lie, or not even know it exists.
They can read it and thoroughly dislike me, the way I write, my sense of humor, and think whatever they want about me. It’s totally their prerogative to judge me however they please. It’s my right to prefer they didn’t. I am not one of these people that say I don’t care what people think of me. I’m either not old enough to feel that way yet, or just too neurotic and self-centered to ever feel that way. I’m not sure which.
I was realizing today that the more you put yourself out there, the more you run the risk of being hated.
There was a discussion among artists about who the biggest artist celebrity was. Was it Warhol? Picasso? DaVinci, Dali, Michelangelo…? It’s so amazing to me how hated Picasso and Warhol are, which tells me that they are probably the front runners. And I guess this happens with actors too. The more people that know you, the more likely you’re going to get haters along with your fans. I know I’m not a fan of any actors. Not many anyway. Not that I’m a hater. But this is the risk you run putting yourself out there.
I’m a hater of celebrity though. I suppose that’s more about media. How is Britney Spears coming out of a Starbucks with 10 extra pounds on her NEWS?
Yet, I seek out media for myself. I wouldn’t care if it was good or bad. Sure, I prefer it to be good, but you know what they say…
Why do I want this? Well, I want to promote my art, dummy. Why else? Okay, but who is the dummy, dummy?
For years – and I mean many of them, I use to think promo out = income in. Quantity equals quality, so to speak. It took me so long to learn how wrong I was and how it was the other way around.
It doesn’t matter how many eyes see your work, or how many names you have on your mailing list. That doesn’t mean jack shit if all those people are not the right people, and by the right people, I mean collectors, curators, and people that are genuinely interested in your work one way or another. Even if your list is composed of rich celebrities. So what? What good does that do you if they aren’t into YOUR art or what you’re up to?
Your people do not have to be “buyers.” They need to be supporters. A supporter can come in any fashion. Money is not all there is because moral support is actually more valuable than a sale. A sale only lasts as long as you have the money in your bank account. Remember that. Your painting is also gone. So maybe it’s one less piece to store, but you can’t sell it again. (You still own the copyright however – and that’s something.) My point being, the life of a sale is finite – very much so. A real supporter means more and grows with you while you grow.
Not only that, YOU grow while THEY grow too. They will promote you to their people. Your true supporters grow tentacles like sea anemones as they go through life. You never know what people they meet and what jobs they will swing in and out of over a decade. Trust me, I once had a guy that could hardly pay me for a $100 watercolor and two years later he got a job at a big internet company and ordered 10 large paintings for their offices, plus a personal commission.
Never count anyone out.
In another case(s), I have giant bouts of depression and often think I am just spinning my wheels for no reason – not that I can do anything else. Art is it. But I will tell you. If I didn’t have some of the key supporters that I have had, especially the ones that have been with me since the very beginning – who have never purchased a thing mind you – I would never have kept going on believing in myself.
Sometimes when other people believe in you when you don’t, you think, why? What does that other person see? I mean, you can’t really believe it, but you respect that person and think, they must see something, and that floats you through those times. It’s kind of like team work. You believe in you when no one will, then they will – back and forth – like both of you keeping a balloon from touching the floor.
So, stop counting your pieces of mail, or your haters, or how many people passed by your last painting. and don’t discount your mom. You never know what she’ll cook up for you. I didn’t have a mom like that, but my supporters sure made up for her. And I bet you have a support system either within your friends or family, or both, and they count.
Don’t get discouraged any time someone unsubscribes from your mailing list. That’s one less person that isn’t interested. Your list has been streamlined! Now you can target your promotions better. That’s the way to look at it.
Now, how did I get here from how I started this entry? I have no idea.
All I know is that I eventually wanted to get to the part where I was going to show you my inspiration wall in my office.
There’s too much to go over each thing with you, but up top is my favorite photograph of John, Yoko and Sean in a rowboat. It’s an original photograph!
I’m working in here today because I set up my “watercolor station” to work on the Special 16 Dans prints. I just got them in the mail and I didn’t want to waste any time painting them, since 12 of them are slated as Kickstarter rewards. That leaves only four left that I can sell, but I have no idea for how much. Maybe $60 a piece? Still not sure.
Here is basically what they are going to look like (this is a Photoshop mock-up):
They are 8 x 8 inches on #140 watercolor paper.
Okay, gotta go. Meg Madison is also coming to visit today, so see you on the flip-flop!