Artists hear me say all the time, “It’s not about you, it’s all about THEM, and when you make it about them, then it will be all about YOU.” If artists are going to learn anything from me, this fundamental shift in thinking must occur. What is an artist’s statement? First off, it’s all about YOU. I have yet to read one that is not a tedious snore. No one cares about YOU! They care about what’s in it for THEM. Why is the artist’s statement such a “conversation killer?” Have you ever been cornered by someone at a cocktail party who just goes on and on about themselves? They don’t take turns in the conversation and ask about, or try to connect to, you. If you want to sell art you have to communicate relatable benefits to THEM, your target market. Maybe some collectors will buy your art because it “by chance” ignites a feeling in them or maybe they like you and they want to support you. But relying on chance and hoping it will all work out someday, some how, is not a plan. Hoping is not marketing. Marketing begins with complete clarity on your unique value proposition and target market.
So why else is the typical artist’s statement a conversation killer?
Because no one knows what the hell the artist is talking about! Maybe their small circle of hip friends, who are in the know, understand their very “special” creative process. But the rest of us unenlightened ones are just left feeling embarrassed for them and the artist can feel it. It’s very awkward when someone is making, what they believe is, a profound and personal statement, and although you want to, you just don’t get it. It makes me cringe. You don’t want to continue the conversation because you don’t want to embarrass or insult the self-important artist. And it’s really really easy to insult a lot of sensitive artists. How do I know? Because I hear artists complain all the time about the “dumb questions” that they are enduring. “They just don’t get my work!” No. We don’t. Here’s a thought. Maybe you wouldn’t get such dumb questions if you related the value of what you are offering more clearly? What problem are you solving? For who? Collectors don’t understand the “creative process.” Why should they? I don’t understand car mechanics and I don’t want to. I just want my car to start. Talk to prospects about your relatable “mission.” Please don’t say things like “I hold space.” Whaaaa? You don’t have mission? You don’t know your why? That’s fine. You are not alone. I’m here to help because it took me a long time to figure this out. RSVP for my Creative Live course now. It’s FREE.