As a creative, you’ve probably been told on more than occasion that people won’t buy your work just because it’s good. Something about what you create has to connect with your customers. A part of your story connects with them and they want it to be part of their story, so they make the investment. Working at a gallery, I saw this all the time. A customer would express interest in a piece so I would tell them about the artist and how they made their work. It was fun to see their eyes light up when they discovered a piece of information that resonated with them.
“It takes four firings to achieve this effect? Wow!”
“That’s made from a single piece of wood?!? How does he do that?”
“She’s from this area? Can I visit her studio?”
Many artists try to avoid anything that sounds like “self-promotion”, but I want to encourage you to rethink that avoidance. If it helps, try to think of it as a conversation. Use your website and social media to share your work in a way that encourages interaction and connection. Give people a glimpse into your world and your process. Show them the why of your work, not just the what. The what is static and impersonal without the why.
When someone understands why you choose to paint landscapes the way you do or use local stones in your jewelry, you are opening the door for communication. You’re inviting that person into your creative process and giving them the opportunity to feel like they are a part of it.
What’s something you can do today to start a conversation with your audience?