Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Art, money, and Marie Forleo

Man alone with choices- watercolor and digital print

This past year I have really struggled with my art and money.
 I made a few big-BIG mistakes.
But at least I learned some stuff!

Lesson no1. Don't listen to other people.
Like being advised to paint pet portraits to make money. Paint pet portraits only if you love to.
What was I thinking????

Lesson no2:  Don't undercharge or the universe will think you are selling toilet paper.(is that a strong enough statement?)
I cut my prices to a level where my art practice was unsustainable . I didn't sell more, on the contrary , I got clients who wanted  portraits but explained to me they couldn't pay more than thirty dollars...

Lesson no3: Stand up for your art. (Don't be an art doormat)

Doubting what I am best at, but trying to please this person, and that person ,and her blind friend...
Frantically looking around me for the right way to take while I was not paying attention to where I was already standing. 
What was I thinking???

 OK. I learned. It was a necessary process, or so I tell myself because it feels comforting.(but it's probably true) 

To be honest I feel like I have come out of a tunnel, not a lion yet, still a bit of a mouse, but working on it... 

 I  feel more committed now than ever, and I am determined my sweets to get my hands on some good marketing tools.
 I came across Marie Forleo recently and I am totally loving her. She's brilliant and funny and she knows her marketing stuff! I plan to do B-School with her next time around. Would you?

So I ask you : does an artist need marketing skills? Do you think that art 'speaks for itself', so if it is good enough it will sell enough (ahem, Van Gogh)? Have you learned some tough lessons? Have you spent a couple of days (or more..) screaming at yourself : What was I thinking????

 I still feel a slight tinge of moral guilt talking about money and art... Do I need a stupid-moral-belief  exorcist or WHAT?



Julie Whitmore Pottery said...

What a fantastic post.

We have to be the best business people we can for ourselves and our customers too.


holly aka golly said...

Annamaria: These are hard lessons learned, but you have learned them well. I'm sure we've all been there in some manner or fashion. It's impossible to be all thing for all people, so simply be yourself and be proud and confident in the work you do. It's beautiful. I'm off to read about Marie....

Kylie said...

I think your lessons learned are very valid Annamaria and I've taken them on board too. (They are lessons I need to learn as well!) Ever since I was harrassed and then deprived of my shop name I've become a lot more proud of what I do and wanting to take it all a whole lot more seriously, so I understand where you're coming from. We have to, we absolutely cannot be our own worst enemy. Re your question about facebook: I have found that a lot of people prefer it to reading blogs nowadays. It's a convenience thing and because of this a lot more people are more likely to see that snapshot of what you're up to. If they are interested then they click on it to read further or see more. If they're not interested they don't waste their time or yours. I think it's worth it. Good luck with your endeavours! :) Kx

annamaria potamiti said...

Thank you Julie. You are so right. We must be the best business people we can be.xx

annamaria potamiti said...

Thank you Holly.I hope you enjoy Marie's site.

annamaria potamiti said...

Thank you Kylie. I think you are right , it's time for me to get into Facebook.

Francesca said...

oh annamaria, this is great! my friend sent me the marie forleo link about 3 weeks ago and i had such a eureka moment! i was scribbling things down like a crazy person, it TOTALLY changed the way i think about my business. there's no point making and making and making if no-one is going to see it, so i've shifted my focus to marketing for a while - hence the mailing list! and i'm blogging more and enjoying it more too. i think we have to give ourselves the best chance, and not feel guilty about it.
b-school is a little pricey for me, and i got so much out her videos, i feel like i'm on the right track already. but i'd love to know if you do it, keep us posted. x

annamaria potamiti said...

Hey, Fran that's so great! No I won't do the B-School this time but I wish and hope I can get the funds together for next time. I am so glad you are getting the same excitement from Marie. I am thinking along the same lines too. Which is why I have now decided to do Facebook and try to be more visible on Etsy, blog more often, and so forth.I love her videos too.Lets go marketing!!

vivienne strauss said...

Wonderful post, so many people think it is "cool" to be a starving artist while they earn a very nice living for themselves. I'll have to send you a great link to an article about today's art world from the Huffington Post, the advice offered there was truly valid for today's art world.

annamaria potamiti said...

Thanks Viv, I am looking forward to reading this:)

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