Dear Artist - Stop Trying To Sell Yourself
Start Serving A Mission Greater Than Yourself
Hello, my name is Ann Rea and I’m an artist.
I’m also a mentor to about 23 different types of emerging and established artists in 20 countries and counting.
I got to tell you I struggled so much when I first started out selling my art because I was under this mistaken notion that I had to sell myself who the heck wants to sell themselves, right, you feel internally conflicted if that’s your belief if you believe you have to sell yourself, you kind of feel like a prostitute.
Well, there’s a lot of confusion and there’s reasons why there’s confusion so artists start to assume that they have to sell themselves because there art is so personal. If you think about it, we’re literally the factory right?
So we twist these things around and start to believe that we’re actually selling ourselves.
You’re not! What you should be focusing on is serving a mission, serving a mission that’s greater than yourself and when you serve a mission that’s greater than yourself that inspires people, inspirito, inspiration.
What is that?
What happens when people feel inspiration?
They feel emotion and that’s actually your product. So you are not your product.
It’s emotions, the emotion that your art ignites and other people.
That’s your product.
And the way that you stir that inspiration is to share that mission.
That mission that is greater than yourself.
So, how do you do that? Well, you got to know your purpose.
You got to know your ‘why’ and if you don’t know your why it’s really hard to explain why your art has any value, why anyone should pay any attention knowing your purpose means knowing who you are what you stand for and what you stand against and to be fair, most artists, most people, never learn their purpose in their entire lifetime.
My students do. They have 28-day process that allows them to really understand their purpose and when you understand your purpose what happens is the story that you’re telling yourself about yourself changes to one that’s constructive, to one that’s inspiring not only to you, but to others and that’s important because we have to have a constant source of inspiration in order to be productive, in order to be prolific and in order to get others to connect with what we’re creating and why we’re creating it.
So what I’d like to do is share with you an example of one of my students sharing her mission for the very first time in a video. So it’s not perfect. And the reason why I’m sharing with you something that’s not perfect is because I’m a huge believer in progress not perfection a lot of artists struggle with perfection, and perfection kills creativity and it’s the enemy of done. Let’s face it.
Right. So again, you’re not for sale, right? You don’t want to try to sell yourself because you’re not actually for sale. What you want to do is you want to serve a mission that’s greater than yourself.
Now what is this mission have to do with your art? Remember your mission is designed to inspire emotion in your target market.
Not everyone. Not everyone’s going to relate to your mission. It doesn’t matter.
There’s enough to go around. If you can truly connect and inspire emotion, you’re headed down the right path.
It’s not about you, okay, it’s not about you.
It’s about them, your target market and when you make it about them then it will be all about you when people are under going through pain and hurt they tend to forget their value.
They tend to forget their worth. They tend to forget their
importance and their strength. Part of my life that happened before, influenced so much of my mission.
My mission is to build people up, to encourage them, to let them know how much they are loved, they are important, and that they are very valued.
A moment in my life that really helped shape this mission was I was previously married in a very bad marriage with an abusive husband and what was difficult about it is that no matter how many times I was hurt physically it was hard for me to escape, to get away.
And when I finally was able to leave I was left broken and I did not know what to do. What I learned from that experience though, was that eventually I would come out stronger.
I would come out as an overcomer and that God was going to, God did help me go through that painful moment.
And so God sent people to minister to me and my children and I was able to live and love again.
So both things live and love. Another moment in my life that helped shape this mission was when I brought home my youngest son from the hospital after I’ve given birth to him and my oldest son was cradling him in my oldest son had this huge huge smile of pure joy and love for his younger brother and I just wanted to capture that moment because it was so joyful. It was just a moment of happiness for me.
And so my work celebrates a person’s life.
The journey the highs the lows.
And it celebrates not only that person, but the people who are important, who matter most, the people who love them, and the people who who accept them for who they are.
So that’s my mission.