market smarket

marketing.  you see it hear it everywhere.  pick me! pick me! pick me!

i'd hate to think that i am so stubborn that i am actually thwarting any chances i have in this art life just because i'm not doing the marketing thing right.  i know i find it difficult to see too much of ME out there.  i make something new and tweet the link, i facebook it, facebook fan page it,  i blog it and i etsy it if appropriate.  i do not send out emails.  i'm just not that kind of gal to believe anyone really appreciates, likes, let alone would read a 'paula newsletter'.  most of you know i am rough around my edges.  i have edges.  i try to buff them, sometimes i saw them down and remove them but they usually grow back these edges.

not to diss anyone who newsletters or does whatever it is you do to market yourself.  in fact you are all much more successful than i am.  but is it really because you market yourself better?  is there one person out there who can prove to me if i do what you say i will somehow sell more art?  when i see friends or acquaintances offering marketing seminars and i don't apply for that course/online thing, i often feel as if i have just been visited by christians and i am slamming the door on the lord and am going to hell.  i often think it is all my fault i'm never going to sell enough art to get that loan for the property to build our little house this summer.  it's my own fault i slog along and never get/keep good footing in the art world. 

i bring this up because yesterday i was looking for a fund raising site to perhaps get something going with this loan i need.  i found this site, kickstarter.com  and had tod look it over to translate it for me.  he liked it.  i kind of liked it.  it reminded me of kiva in a way.  and then i realized, well ...i thought, who gives a shit about me and my wants.  honestly.  we are all so busy trying to make it in life it boggles the mind how we are all doing this and that.  i'm always totally amazed that people jump on so many bandwagons and help each other.  i feel like i am exempt from that somehow.  i don't know what it is about me but i know that no one is going to be that interested or care that much.  or maybe i just don't understand how to make myself nice and interesting.  i don't know how to make myself fit into the help box.  do i come off as too needy or not needy enough?  who knows.  i look at the stories of people on kickstarter and think well, what i want to do is just as 'warranted' isn't it? or is it? 

so yesterday tod's mom offered to send an email off to people she knows suggesting they look at my art website.  and i said wait! let me do this kickstarter site thing.  let me get it up on my website and then you can send that to them.  and i was humbled by her reply that she didn't want to send that off, didn't want to come off as pushing people because she herself (my words not hers) was tired of everyone trying to push this and push that to buy.  and i got it.  because quite frankly i'm tired of it all.  pick me. like this link this love this.  we are always telling each other what to do.  i'd like to have a choice to want to help someone.  i'd like to have a choice to LIKE something and then decide if i want to do it because i like it not because i'm jumping on your bandwagon and don't really care about what it is you want me to like or want.  i'm guilty of that and i despise myself for it.  i'm worried someone will get mad at me if i dont like this and vote for that.  and i hate being told what to do.  i would have done it had you not asked.  ya know?  it all gets so criss cross fuzzy and blurry that i have no idea what i want or like or would or wouldn't do.  maybe it's best to have complete strangers like your thing because it's more honest.  they are actually attracted to it, to you, without being told to push that button.  i'm confused what is healthy, what is normal, how to go about getting the things in life i think i want.  i know most of my blog readers (at least the handful who usually leave supportive comments) care about me but it isn't your responsibility to buy $50 worth of art let alone $1000 to help me put a roof over my head.  you all have families and bills and blah blah blah.  so how do people get help and support and is that even something they should  get.  is it YOUR fault i'm broke and struggling right now? is it YOUR fault i had to quit massage and became an artist and struggle so much?  no.  is it your responsibility to see to it that people buy my art?  hell no.

so maybe i just clean toilets and shut up.
maybe i just keep making art, one piece at a time.
and shut up.
maybe i just do whatever it is i have to do in life and shut up.
i'm already at my limit sometimes just posting a new piece of work, i don't see myself joinging kickstarter and asking untold amounts of people to jump on THIS bandwagon.  i gotta go now, i have pipe vases to make and then i have to go market them.  so you are all off the hook.  no one has to feel like i have any expectations, because i dont.  and if i do, sometimes i will have leaks you know....sometimes i will put it out there to: PICK ME PICK ME and then you can just ignore me until i come back to my senses.

i think it's best you like what you like without thinking i need you to help me. and i want to like what i like and not have to do a single thing about it.  maybe i will never understand marketing.  maybe i will never have a lot of friends and fans and etsy sales or galleries clamoring for my work.  maybe it should be enough that people say i like what you just made and leave it at that.  there is a fine line between sharing and begging.  showing and shouting.  i'm going to concentrate on not crossing it.

and i dont know about you, but i can only take so much of ME


donauluft said...

I very often think about this excessive marketing thing.
I don´t use twitter and I don´t use facebook for marketing, for I think it is a case of give and take, and for me it would be too time consuming to watch all that, and so I can not expect it for myself.
But I do love to read my favored blogs.

If I where an english native speaker, it would be nice to philosophize about that all more exact, but my online dictionairy glows already.....
As you say, it´s a balancing act....

Kendra Zvonik said...

hey paula!
I just happened to find your blog through another artist's blog today and then realized I knew you through our ag team!
Then I read this post . . . damn girl. I like the rough edges. I like your attitude and I understand every bit of what you are saying here. As a painter without an audience and as of lately dismal sales, I know the frustration and awkward feelings that come along with the expectations to market my art. I just don't want to. I don't want to force my work on people and I'm with you "i can only take so much of ME".
But, just because the art is for sale doesn't necessarily mean that YOU are for sale. I guess the question is how much of YOU is in the work and whether or not the work has a life of its own, independent of you? Perhaps, marketing is simpler when it doesn't feel like like you're selling YOU. But, is art that doesn't express YOU art?
Glad I found your blog!

paula said...

you do fine viktoria, i do like facebook as the few people i friend are for the most part participators of supporting each other and just having art friends is helpful to me. but i know what you mean, at times all the liking and following and commenting and treasury making...i need to focus on my art but think maybe i need to focus on others too so they focus on me too. then the line blurs.
see you woke me up with your profound comment. as usual i stand corrected. i think you are on to something about the work speaking for itself. duh.
none of me is my work as far as im concerned but i'm told that people ARE buying YOU (real art collectors and afficiandos are usually more interested in the artist i think than the work if that makes sense. GOOD COMMENT thanks for piping in :) glad you found me too. now i'm off to look at you.

Who you callin' housewife? said...

I'll have to have a look at this kickstarter thing. Would it be that bad to be involved in that? Does that mean you are standing on a street corner harassing people for money and pissing in the alley?

Most people might not care. A small handful might. That small handful just might be enough.

But blah blah blah words are easy.