Marketing… do’s and don’ts?

Posted by on Feb 29, 2016 in Behind the Artwork, How To's | No Comments

My most recent completed series of paintings debuted for Farm Day last year on October 25, 2015. Since then, I’ve submitted those paintings to a variety of online magazines and other venues to have them displayed. I’ve also posted them on ETSY  The result: Learning to Fly and Making Concoctions sold, and Don’t Slip has been accepted for exhibition in April for Art at the Mill 2016. I was also commissioned to create a unique piece for a customer on ETSY. It’s not a one artist show with a constant stream of viewers posting their positive reviews to be perpetually found on, but it will do for now.

Da Nessuna Parte, Pen, marker on paper, 2009

Da Nessuna Parte, pen & marker on paper by Nancy Polo, 2009

What else is an artist to do to get their work out there? Short of constantly bugging people on social media or buying ads on those same platforms, it’s a lot of knocking on doors and a question of time. The two paintings that sold were purchased by patrons who have known me for a long time. One is an artist who lived on the farm where bunny “lives”. These special connections took years to develop. For these patrons, bunny is almost as personal a totem as she is for me. How do I make bunny appeal to strangers? How does any artwork strike a chord that is universally perceived?

I’m more critical of my work since being rejected or not hearing back from people. I’m wondering if I need better brushes and paint, or even a return to some drawing and painting classes. What is it that other art has that these bunny paintings don’t? Subscribing to many magazine feeds has me looking very closely at other artists who paint animals on the edge of a human world. It comes back to time. Not being a full time artist means I can’t spend days painting the perfect spruce branch. But there’s more to selling art than painting photo-realistically.

In his interview with Platinum Cheese, Portland artist David Rice reveals an interesting facet to marketing. By combining two iconic animals of a large city, he’s tapping into a deep well of emotional connections. That’s an effective strategy for a show on Portland, but what is the shelf life of his painting once the show is over? David Rice will be featured in the next print issue of Hi-Fructose Magazine. In the comment section, a clever Instagrammer posts “Put a bird on it!” Perhaps bunny just won’t make it until there is a major network television show about Berryville.

Until then, it’s back to the easel…


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