Shop Talk

Self-Promotion for Artists: Satisfying the Curious

By Jen Wahl and Beth Caird

In our first installment of “Self-Promotion for Artists”, we ran over some practical ways to get your collective feet wet in the often daunting waters of the self-promotion pool. Genuinely effective and easy-to-implement tips are hard to come by, and this series aims to address different aspects of self-promotion. Today we’re going to try and convince you that self-promotion can be a dynamic way to be creative in your artistic practice. While it might be a stretch to say it’s “fun”, it can be a helluva interesting artistic exercise. Consider it a problem set, an ongoing challenge, it can be a way for your to show off your creativity like you’ve never seen yourself before. Effectively, you can show yourself off in different ways while expanding your own creativity (and that’s a good thing, right!?) We’ve listed some seriously worthy options for taking your creative promotion to the next level.

Look at creative ways to present yourself. (Image: "Unexpected Portrait" by James McKenzie)

Embrace the fact that humans are innately curious beings…and satisfy that curiosity

Once upon a time a  half-man half-ape thing decided that he was curious, and walked outside of his cave to see what was happening. A little while after that, he decided to build and light a fire. A little while after that, he started painting on the walls of his cave. Curiosity is defined as a need, thirst or desire for knowledge. The concept of curiosity is central to motivation, something which arguably we’ve had as humans since, well, forever. As your fellow man is a curious being, by satisfying their curiosity you can let your audience know who you are, where you’re from and where you’re heading. By letting them know a bit about you, and what inspires you to create, you can steadily build an audience of supporters for your artwork. People want to feel like they are part of something greater than themselves. And your story, your evolution as an artist is something that your fans want to be apart of. So let them in!

Approach creating media teasers like an artistic challenge

You can satisfy the curiosity of your followers by following the 3 steps below, which will over time grow your story as an artist and your fan base at the same time.

1. Share work-in-progress teaser photos

  • A good old fashioned work in progress photo can go a long way to get your fans excited about your new collection of work. These shots are perfect for Instagram, Facebook, or or other social media sites.

Share your work-in-progress like Amalia K.

2. Show off your workspace

  • Building off the previous step, try and share photos that workspace, studio, or something about your surroundings too. Are you working in a sunny, spacious loft somewhere or maybe prefer the solitariness of a bat cave working by torch and moonlight. Invite your audience into your artistic space and introduce them to your weapons of choice. Check out our studio visit with Firedrake (Kaitlin Beckett) for an amazing peek into her space.

Show off your new candles just like Firedrake .

3. Make time-lapse Videos

  • Time-lapse videos are a series of compressed images that are compiled into very short (sneeze and you could miss it) videos. Think of it this way — you can take something that might take a very long time to create — like an illustration that takes days (or growing a mustache) and view it in less than a minute! Check out the video below by RB artist Alssa May (penguistein) to see how she creates her “Crabapillar“.

Learn more about self-promotion here. 

Do you have other self-promoting goodies you’ve made that Satisfy the Curious? Have a progress video you’d love to show us? Share them in the comments below.

[Header image: Girl & crow by elia, illustration]

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