Carolyn Edlund spent twenty years running her own ceramic and jewelry studio, is currently the Executive Director of the Arts Business Institute, the author of the E-course titled “Marketing for Artists & Craftspeople,” and the owner and author of Artsy Shark,
a site devoted to the support of artists and creative entrepreneurs.
She offers workshops and one on one consulting services as well. To find
out more about Carolyn and to take your career to another level, just
One of the most effective ways that you as an artist can connect with your audience is to tell your story.
|Espresso - oil on wood - 4 x 4"|
I thought I'd share something i read over on Lori McNee's blog yesterday evening...it sort of hit a chord with me. Carolyn Edlund is the author of the article. I've copied it below. It was included in Lori's Top 2013 Art Business Tips From the Pros. Perhaps it hit a chord, because, ...believe it or not I am a little shy, and telling my story always seems a little too pompous, too grandiose. But thinking about it...I do find other people's stories really interesting. So I believe she has a good point for us artists to remember when going about our art business. You can read the article below:
Why Artists Must Tell Their Story
Not just a recital of your resume, but the story of your inspiration, your struggles, your vision and your message.
Talking about yourself and your artwork builds a layer of emotional
connection between you as the artist and your potential collectors. Yes,
your work must be good, and must stand on its own, but you as an artist
are intrinsically part of the end product of your studio work. When
your client makes a purchase of your art, they are buying a part of your
talent and your personality.
Many art collectors are highly creative people themselves
They may not have ability as painters, photographers or sculptors, but
they express themselves through buying the work of artists they
appreciate. It’s no wonder that curation is a huge trend for the public,
as each person can distinguish themselves and their tastes. They may
have a boring job or an ordinary life, but they can stand out by showing
their appreciation for the arts by becoming collectors. They crave a
connection with artists and the perceived mystique and fantasy of being a
full-time sought-after talent.
Your story helps make this connection, and can become an essential
part of your presentation. Start by writing down everything that has
affected or influenced you, and has led to your expressing your heart
and soul in your artwork. Do you have an unusual technique? A story of
overcoming hardship? Are your materials innovative?
When collectors buy your work, they will re-tell your story to others
when showing your art. This can help you cultivate repeat buyers as
well as earning referral business from your fans.
Work on your story to distill down the parts that make those emotional connections with others. Practice telling your story.
Record and listen to it, then make changes and hone it further. Your
story should be compelling, full of important messages that you want to
convey to your audience – and it should flow well. You may want to have
a longer and shorter version of your story which you can use as needed.
Where can you share your story?
- On your website About page. One of the most visited pages on any
website, this important page should also include your photograph, so
that visitors feel they know you.
- In your artist statement and bio
- As part of the branding of your business
- When speaking about your work at a gallery show
- To present your work to visitors at an art fair
- In your brochure and other written promotional material
- To use when applying for an artist residency, or on grant applications
- For networking purposes, using a succinct version of your story tells others very clearly who you are.
- On your blog. This is a powerful place to share your ongoing story.
Jack White is a master storyteller who frequently uses his own story as
an artist, as well as telling stories about others. His style has made
him a top expert on selling art.
- In press releases
- In interviews with the press
Your story will evolve over time as your art career grows. Don’t
forget to stay in touch with your audience and continue to share about
yourself and your art. It will be appreciated!