How does an artist stand out from all the others?
I have no idea, obviously, but I think from recent local events that in certain locations (mine) it helps to be a man if you want to be taken seriously (more on that some other day). In a related vein, I’m sorry I missed this event, because I agree that artists are entrepreneurs.
WARM member Robyn Hendrix recently attended Giant Steps, a one-day, interactive conference of inspiring folks forging their own paths and designing their own vision of work and life. Robyn shares how the day filled her with food for thought and left her digesting inspiration.
Giant Steps: So much food for thought, my brain has a tummyache. In a good way.
What is Giant Steps? Giant Steps is a remarkable one day conference for creative entrepreneurs of all types, founded by Susan Campion of Camponovo Consulting and M.anifest. It brings together creative professionals, artists, foodies, business owners, consultants, freelancers, nonprofit and/or arts administrators, musicians, dancers, photographers, filmmakers, and anyone else who wants to be at the table.
Better put: it is a fountain of insight from people you normally might not think to or have the opportunity to interact with in a professional way. The variety of background and experience of people on the panels and as participants ran the gamut, from hip hop artists, to a eco-and health- conscious sex shop owner. . . . . .
What you take away from listening to these incredible people fills the spectrum: Perseverance. Humility. That it is possible to accept failure and move forward from it. You can push through, and be a better person for the obstacles you’ve gone through. Finding balance. Staying true to your needs and vision. Figuring out when to say yes, when to say no, and when you need a contract in writing. How to do your friggin’ taxes. How to think about currency, assets, and value in a new way. How to get famous using the internet (apparently; I didn’t actually go to that breakout session, ha). How to share your message.”
Is there really a formula for becoming famous on the internet? I think that’s impossible, since everyone is now on the internet, (except for a tiny subset of old, stubborn people and those unfortunate enough to have no access). So if everyone is on the internet it’s the same as competing with the entire planet, just like if there was no internet at all. However, the internet is a great place to promote yourself and your work. (Twitter, Facebook etc.) However, everyone else is also now using these things. So once again, you are lost in the crowd.
The big question is — how does an artist not get lost in the crowd? I have been doing a lot of thinking about this lately, because what the internet has taught me is that there are a lot of artists — almost an infinite number. Every other person online is an artist of some kind, according to them. There are also a ton of internet art websites upon which to display all that art work. And beyond that there are individual artist websites, like this one and this one. I advertise myself and my websites all over the place online, to nearly no avail (but yes, I get my share of spam, so someone is noticing). Yet I could do more. But if I did do more, I’d get even less actual artwork done. Promoting yourself is a very time-consuming activity.
Given all of that, it’s now apparent to me that what artists need is a way to stand out and stand apart from the masses of artists and art sites out there.
How does one do that?
I don’t know the answers, but if you do, please contact me! Meanwhile, here is the Giant Steps Video.