October 2, 2010 | Alyson Stanfield

Never miss a chance to promote your art

©Caroline Harnish, Mural.

I met Caroline Harnish at the Dorset Marble Quarry in Dorset, Vermont earlier this week. Well, we kinda met.
She offered to take a photo of me with my parents and we returned the favor for her.
We chatted a bit about the beauty of the area and the quarry and then started to go our separate ways. She was visiting from South Carolina.
As we turned our backs to her, Caroline said in a soft voice, “Take a look at my website: MuralsByCaroline.com.”
We hadn't talked about her being an artist or me doing what I do. She had no idea that I wrote a book on self-promotion for artists or that I write this art business blog.
She was just doing her best to share her art.
I hopped in the car and jotted down her website address. Of course I'm going to take a look.
Caroline, it was nice meeting you.
Think you could do what Caroline did and share your website with strangers?

18 comments add a comment
  • It’s definitely the thing to do, but it does take courage and practice! I keep “Moo” cards to hand out, sometimes it’s easier, a little picture and my website on the back. But I have missed multiple opportunities just like this where people randomly chatted with me when they saw me taking pictures. I think with practice it would become second nature…

  • Wow…
    I know I probably should do that, but I think it’s going to become one of those “Well… my website isn’t good enough to show to people yet…” or “It probably isn’t their kind of art…” things to me…

  • Alison Lynch

    What a great story. It just goes to show you never know who you’re talking to !

    • Alyson Stanfield

      That’s another thing. It wasn’t like I was a big collector or gallery dealer, but she didn’t know that I would mention her on a blog read by thousands.

  • I have a hard time putting myself out there and always feel embarassed asking people if they would like my business card. I keep trying though and I hope to get better at it.

  • I suppose its gets your name out there, but find it a bit aggressive marketing. I would not appreciate it and would feel uncomfortable doing it myself. If anyone shows an interest in my work, I’d give them my website but otherwise not.

    • Alyson Stanfield

      Sophie: I can see how it might sound aggressive. However, there was nothing aggressive about her comment. It was more of an invitation and was almost meek in the way the words came out of her mouth. It’s hard to describe it, but it was quite humble.
      It’s all in the delivery.

  • I am always unnerved as soon as I think of doing it. I can say “I’m an artist,” though I never go farther unless someone asks (and they almost always do) “What kind of art?” I would like to be brave enough to ask strangers to visit my site but I always feel as if I am breaking some kind of social spamming etiquette rule.

  • What a great story! It also reminds you to have your business cards with you everywhere you go….I have my cards printed with 4 images of my paintings. Each card has one painting on it, so people can choose the card they like. And while they are choosing, they are alway commenting on my art and what they like.

  • DK Osorio

    Excellent story! It, and the comments, point out the fact that marketing can be the hardest thing for artists. We really hope that people will just take notice on their own, but that hardly ever happens.
    Of course, you don’t have to be all, “I’m an artist! Want to buy something?” You can just as easily work it into conversation: “This area is so beautiful, it reminds me of a painting I did a while back” ;)

  • Yes, I always carry business cards with me. I get them from Moo and they have great images of my art on them. I usually have 5 or more different images to choose from on me at all times.
    In the past year or so I’ve gotten much better about offering to share my story and my work. It’s great to have a little piece of art with all my contact info on the back to hand to someone when they ask to learn more. And everyone loves going through and picking out which card they want!

  • caroline harnish

    yesterday some good friends who had taken some of your courses contacted me to let me know that i’m on your blog. what a refreshing surprise and i’m glad to have met you in such an extraordinary way, as the dorset marble quarry is off the beaten path. and i just happened to be in vermont on that day, and in that spot. i had just driven up there. thank you for the encouraging words, & i hope to hear from you again. from caroline

    • Alyson Stanfield

      Caroline: My pleasure. I did send you an email, but I imagine that was zapped by a spam filter as it sounds like you didn’t get it.

  • caroline harnish

    please resend the email! greetings,caroline

  • To be an Artist is one of the most insightful Gifts given to a selective few. As the receiver of this Gift, we must develope it consistently- whether through criticism, self-doubt, and sometimes lack of finance- which is often-times disguised as paving the road to greatness.
    My early mornings are filled with glorious spiritual revelations as I allow my soul to connect with the magnificence from within. It is so refreshing to uncover an art piece that my spirit has been waiting to bring forth to me.
    In closing, “Thank you” for another pathway to Greatness…
    (Gullah Artist)

  • […] No one can promote your art more effectively than you. No one knows it better than you and no one cares about your success more […]

  • unstarved artist » network for Okanagan artists and any art related businesses. » 13 Truths About Marketing Your Art

    […] No one can promote your art more effectively than you. No one knows it better than you and no one cares about your success more […]

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *