From my inbox:
I signed up for your emails, because I feel I SHOULD be doing marketing, but it all seems so overwhelming and what I really want to do is PAINT (which doesn't happen often enough, as it is). I'm sure you've heard all this a million times. It's a very common malady, but wanted to communicate my frustration. I keep thinking “someday.”
My feelings about this email are complicated and intertwined, but I've tried to break them down below.
- I get it. I know there's a lot to do and much of it doesn't sound that fascinating. It is overwhelming. We're all overwhelmed these days. Not much you can do about it except to take little steps of progress.
- I'm not going to say that you should or shouldn't do this or that. If you choose to do this or that, I might tell you how I think it should be done. It's up to you to make it your own.
- Not everyone is ready for this stuff. In every newsletter and blog post, I share tips for when you are ready. Work on what you need right now and save the rest for later. That's what the blog search function (upper right) is for.
- Not every talented artist has the stomach for promoting the work, keeping track of finances, showing up at openings, and other things required for a successful career. Make sure you want it bad. You're going to have to work your butt off.
- Of course you should be making art. The studio discipline must be in place. If you don't make art, you aren't an artist. It's simple, really.
- The alternative to doing something is inaction. The alternative to marketing your art is waiting for something to happen and watching opportunities to pass by. I'm pretty sure you don't want this.
Bottom line: Do something. Anything! Every little action — whether it's selecting artist software, updating your fan page on Facebook, or sending a newsletter — takes you closer to your life dream.
One thing at a time. Now would be a good time to begin.