Self branding - or - Am I too fat to fit in a tube?

This is a different age we are living in. At least it's different from the age that I grew up in and learned to do business in. It's new but its been changing for a long time. When I was a young illustrator I could call an art director and make an appointment to show my work at just about anytime. It was pretty casual. But it worked. Things changed and after about 15 years the Art Buyer had replaced personal contact with the art director. You didn''t actually see anyone. You dropped your book at a prescribed time and picked it up without seeing a soul. An appointment with the Pope was easier than personal contact. Our work was become brand. The world was moving on. Advertising yourself in industry books like The Black Book, Showcase and others became essential if you were to reach the ever more insulated creators within the publishing and advertising firms. Not only did you need a style but also a look for your ad. And it got expensive. Very expensive and even more impersonal. I missed those personal days of selling my art. Gradually my career changed and became a creative consultant. Regular pay pretty much. The illustration world was crumbling, the world was passing it by. 

In 2003 I renewed my artist life showing at Outdoor Juried Art Fairs in the Northeast and Florida for 4 years. It was up close and personal. I could talk to hundreds of people about my work over a weekend show. I had only moderate success but it was personal  and I liked it. 


Time marches on. I've been able to paint for almost a year now. I'm feeling better about my painting. but how do i create the personal thing.  I've build this website, added e–commerce. I've been following a fabulous Dutch plein air painter on YouTube for a while, Roos Schuring. She is convinced that social media is the way to create a network to sell more work. I've been sticking my toes in the social waters and find it kinda fun. Its not personal as Art Fairs or my early days of illustrating but the weather isn't as much of an issue either. I've come in contact with a lot of new people. Maybe only a hundred characters at a time but still it's communication and I have more time to paint, hunt and fix flat tires. I see this time as an evolution. Social is almost personal. It's more personal than dealing with a corporate art buyer.

I started this blog to communicate who I am to people who might be interested in my works. I don't know how successful it's been so far but my numbers are creeping up. I don't believe in art as a commodity. By that I mean manufactured and faceless. Good art always has a personality behind it. People are as much interested in the person as their art.