We don't do enough to make a big deal of new pieces we create. Especially the poorer the artist. We labor hard at a piece of art and we are proud of it. And what occurs when we finish? Deflation. We are playing to an empty room.
In a way its almost like we are too timid to make a big deal out of something we make. We may post a photo of it and we may make some cursory mention of its completion, but do we really go out of our way to celebrate something we've finished?
But how do we even do this? We've not been taught any method for promoting and celebrating a single piece of art.
I like to think of it in terms of a baby being born. We make a big deal about a new child even though there were 900 thousand others born the same day. Are that many pieces of art born each day? If we stick a cigar in everyone's mouth and hand out "welcome to the world" cards for that yowling mass of humanity? Why don't we do the same for something not born of body but born of spirit and idea?
Is it any less difficult to give birth to a great piece of art?
"Oh my god Grey, you just compared little Egbert and his twin sister to some paint on a canvas!" But think about it. Is it any less trying to create art? I don't mean the kind of art where it took you a day to create. I am talking about the masterpiece that you had to strive day in and day out for a year and use all your skill to bring into this world.
I'm honestly not saying that children are less important than art. What I am trying to say is that the birth of a great piece of art deserves more attention than we give it in our society.
Like that child though, there is absolutely no way to tell if that infant will turn into something great later on. We can only put as much of ourselves into that child as we can and hope that it becomes something great later on.
So are their ways to promote a piece of art that deserves promoting? I think it divides into two categories, one easier than the other. First you have internet promotions of your art. Second you have local promotions.
It is by far easier to promote art virtually than it is locally. There are methods for promoting art online that are helpful. But those methods fail and come to a grinding halt for promoting that art within your community.
Face it, there are few good options for local promotions. Even successful artists find this harder to do. The community focuses on the block of work created by a successful artist and rarely give much attention to that one piece of art they finished last Sunday.
So since there are more methods out there for promoting a body of work, perhaps we need to focus on creating methods for promoting single pieces of work locally.
But if you can get a local following who look forward to each piece you create, then you are in essence creating a sort of cult following. Writers do it naturally. They work several years on a book and their audience waits expectantly for it to be revealed. Why can't we as artists do the same? The music world waits with great expectation for singers to release their next single. Is that so much different? Why cant this be done with art?
I know part of the argument here is that only superstars get that kind of following. Okay, so why is that and what is the key moment where any creatives work goes from being unknown to being in high demand? And how do we find that place?
Perhaps the issue isn't in promoting individual pieces of work as much as it is finding the pivot point where people crave to see your work rather than ignore it.
The child of a mine worker may be ignored when he is born, but to the child of a king great things are expected right from their birth. How do we create that in our art?
I am not saying I have the answers, but as I do with my art I will experiment. This post is merely to place ideas in your head, not to solve them (yet). I hope this makes you think.