It’s NOT About You

And the minute you own that, your business will take off

Art is really personal, right? It’s about connecting with your creative self, making something awesome. Having that journey with the piece.

So when you post about your work, you really want people to understand how special it is. Completely understandable.

But here’s the thing — everybody coming to your site or social media pages are thinking one thing (even if they’re not aware of it). And that thing is: “what’s in it for me?”

Take that in for a hot second.

They’re looking for how they will benefit. What they can get to improve their lives or spaces. How they can feel good right now. Think about the ways your work lights people up.

I recently put a post on Facebook asking artists about the one thing they like about their art. I was thinking that they would talk about colours or how they render hands or whatever. Instead I was surprised and delighted by the responses.

How it makes other people feel.

How it makes me feel.

How I feel connected to the people who love my work.

Humans are herd animals. We’re forever creating groups or tribes around us. Looking for connection. For belonging. For reasons to feel.

And you know that most people have dull and boring lives (sorry). They live for the weekend, dream about their holidays. They’re forever not living in the moment. Art, the art you make, helps them feel something. Belonging, connection, joy or whatever.

So, when you focus on how you delight, connect someone to you for however long a time, make them feel more alive, you will make it easier for your potential collectors and clients to stick around and want to see more.

People are so distracted nowadays that if you don’t address the “what’s in it for me” question right away the minute they find you, they bounce off looking for their next emotional fix.

How do you do this?

Instead of writing something about your inspiration, “my art explores the role of canoes in Upper Canada and the sun that beats off of the water as the traders made their way through the environment. The sky was usually a blue that I represent in triangle coyotes and blah blah blah,” think about creating a story that draws people in.

“Can you imagine being out in the wilderness when Canada was just an idea? A dream? Imagine exploring the wild north with just a canoe and determination. My art explores that feeling, the one we all have deep down inside.”

See the difference?

“I make zen art. It flows through me as I go through my day. My paints drive my imagination. My paper is special because I like it.”

or

“Imagine meditating in a zen space after a stressful day at work. Your worries just melt away. You focus on the meditation painting, the one you had made especially for you. Your favourite colours. Symbols that represent your life. Ahhhhhh This is your happy space.”

Here’s the thing, we can argue that changing the descriptions maybe takes you from cerebral arty-art to more commercial art, but the reality is if you want to sell your work you need to write and talk about it differently. You need to make it less about you (even though I’m sure you’re awesome) and more about what results your work gives your collectors.

When they realize that you get them, truly understand what they need, they will be all over your art.

So…. how can you make your work less about you?

Paula Mould

Paula Mould

Paula Mould is a fine artist, published author and business coach for Leigh & Paula.

She also swears, mostly on purpose.

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