Sunday, October 14, 2007

Promotion is Key

A cousin up in CT who is an art dealer told me years ago that if I wanted to be a an artist I had to paint as much as possible. And so I have. I have obsessively painted for years now all sorts of stuff: murals, watercolors, oils, cityscapes, nudes, still life, landscapes, the figure, religious works, etc. Most of the great artists from the last couple hundred years were very prolific.

But one day I realized that, in addition to doing all of that painting, I must actively promote my work. One of the goals is to sell these things! Otherwise they just pile up and get in the way, and that makes you depressed. Some artists (like myself) are tempted to survive off of the same people who always buy your art. But what happens if they do not buy anymore, or if they die, or something? What happens if you need to increase your income? Anyway, I can hear what people are saying: "Gee, you have an amazing grasp of the obvious." But hey, I am a little slow sometimes, so give me a break please! Now I devote a fair amount of time each week specifically to promoting my work and getting new customers. This, in addition, to creating new works like I always have. I have already begun to see this pay off in some small ways.

I guess I would liken all of this to studying philosophy, or theology, or some other great science or field, just for its own sake, and never sharing that knowledge with others. I do not see the value in that. Granted, it is better than sitting around and watching TV or whatever. But all of these gifts and interests should in some way I think serve the common good of people and society. And that can't been done when they are kept under a barrel. Moreover, are we being good stewards of what God's given us when we hoard it and keep it to ourselves? I don't think so.

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