I've recently been told basically the same statement by multiple artists via twitter:
I don't even know how to get my Art out there!
So, I figured I'd tackle this one with a HOW TO of my Pay-It-Forward philosophy for artists.
Don't Ever Assume "If you make it they will come!" -- Remember you're not famous. People will not just look at your art because you made it, even if it is the Magnum Opus of humanity at large. People simply wont look at it.
So, don't expect people to love your art. Instead you have to make people love you. People who love you will always LOVE your art. Ever notice that all your family and friends think you're terrific but no one outside of them ever seem to care? It's because they don't know you. They might like it but they'll never tell you because they don't know you and they feel disconnected from you.
So, as an artist you have to be your own promoter as well. How do you become this promoter? START TALKING A LOT
Get on facebook, twitter, and tumblr. You can do more than this, but these are the three I recommend. Don't do too much or you can't keep up with everyone you meet. You can talk about anything and everything. I recommend finding people that are all interested in art, mostly though I would follow other artists and start talking to them. People just like you.
Secondly you will need a place to write about these people. This is a key thing. If you don't have a website, have one built... or you can start a blogger account or wordpress. What you will do here is start writing about your passion. Write about yourself and your art obviously, but you will need to write about other artists.
If you write about other artists chances are they will start writing about you. It's simple... write about an artist, then email them and show them the article. They will be very appreciatve because all artists are looking for the same thing as you. Exposure.
Do some simple math. If you write about an artist 5 days a week that's 250 artists a year. If only 10% also wrote about you, you'd have 25 artists telling their fans to check you out every year. I can assure you that the 10% number is a low one though. In my experience almost everyone returns the favor in some way, shape or form. But you can see how this can snowball.
So obviously, don't write about super famous artists and expect to get returns on those. People write about them daily and they just wouldn't have the time to return the favor to everyone. Write about them because you want to, nothing more.
And remember, WRITE! Don't just put their name in the title and post some of their artwork. Search engines love content because people love content. People are social creatures. They want to know everything about each other. Look at all those reality TV shows. People are famous now because their famous and their fans want to know every detail about them.
So contact some of the artists and ask them stuff about them and their art before you write about them. Because no matter how famous of an artist you are you always have some fans and they simply want to know more about you.
After you write this article up make sure to include links to the artists website, blog, Facebook, twitter, tumblr accounts too. That's the kicker. You want to send your readers to their pages. This will make them want to do the same for you.
So, like that movie with the kid that sees dead people: Pay It Forward. Artists need to be each other's cheerleaders and the people will come. So yes, if you build it they will come, but what your building is your name, not your art.
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