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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

You'd better be a Damned Creative Reporter to Interview an Artist

I am known for being a news hawk. I monitor news on a vast number of subjects daily. I'm not kidding you, I get approximately 500 email news alerts daily (thank you google news alerts). Of course a predominance of them relates directly back to art and every aspect pertaining to the art world.

One of my biggest peeves are news stories about artists. I am constantly amazed at how little regard reporters put into stories about artists and their work. First is the fact that most stories don't even show the artists work. They describe their work in blunt cliches that sound like they've been used in every story the reporters ever written. If the story warrants a photo its a small, blurry image that I frankly find insulting. 
This is the era of the internet! I can understand one photo in a print edition of a newspaper, but there is no excuse for not showing the artists work in all its glory. 

Then there are the titles of the stories. Oh my god, reporters! Use your damned creativity. You can't think up anything better to entitle your story than "local artist shows at blahblah's gallery"???? You can't find a descriptive term or two to throw in and perhaps allow some attention to the artists work? 

This may seem like I'm being picky. "Geeze Grey, any publicity is good publicity." But its not! Poor publicity does no good at all and works in the opposite way to reflect on the artist rather than the reporter. 

We are sometimes so desperate for attention for our work that we settle for anything we can get. But mediocrity breeds more mediocrity. If a reporter cannot find anything creative to say about me and my work I'd rather they didn't even bother. 

Would you accept a mediocre report about a football game? No you want the details. You want the guys of the moves. A mediocre report about a football game means it was the 7th grade middle school football team. 

The point is, that if you think like a 7th grade football player in seeking promotion for your work, that's what your going to get. 

I can't control what a reporter writes about me, but I can control what say to that reporter during an interview. I can stress certain things about my work and personally I sort of beg the reporter to at least not create a mediocre title for their story. I appeal to them to consider that it makes them look just as lame. As mediocrity breeds more mediocrity, creativity breeds more creativity. Most reporters I've met will understand this and respect it.

It is true that even bad publicity is better than none at all. So you risk pissing off the reporter and getting a bad review of your work. But if you approach the issue with dignity and diplomacy, most reporters will consider your words. 

But again you control the conversation, so give the reporter something he/she can sink their teeth into! Talk about your motivations for a particular piece. Give them something personal about yourself. Hell give them a free piece of art! Make them your friend. 

I would go as far as to suggest that if you can create some smaller pieces of your work even if its just prints, that you carry them around with you to events and when you find the right person, a reporter or not, you give them something of your work.  

I have a series of smaller pieces, priced at $100 each. They each have a certificate of authenticity. I've used them often. My doctor has one, my best friend, several colleagues, etc. My doctor is now a collector of my work. This is how you make people want your work. You give out a few here and there and they want more. Even reporters! 

If you remember nothing else, I say again "Creativity breeds creativity!" Be creative about your marketing of your work and you'd be surprised how creative your fans can get. 


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