Monday, August 8, 2022

The self promotion game

During my two months of recovering from lung surgery (two surgeries in two days), I have been doing a lot of thinking about "where do I go from here?". Do I want to continue on the path of the exhibition circuit or not? There is a lot involved in exhibiting, both in time and money. Creating the art is just a small part of the process.

An important part of the process is self promotion. When you don't have a "following", how do you generate interest in your art? One thing I try to do is find free resources to promote my work. 

When I was preparing for my Haven exhibit, I found a Canadian magazine called smART Magazine, published by Lighthouse Immersive, that encourages submissions of all forms of art. Submissions are free. I prepared a short statement, included my exhibition location and dates, and a short bio and sent off an email with ten samples of my work.

Much to my surprise, I received an answer a short while later. My submission was accepted! I had to laugh when I read that I would not receive any compensation for the submission since there was a promotional aspect to the submission. It never occurred to me that I would be paid! lol

The first bit of promotion was included in a newsletter they sent out by email in March: (click the image to view it larger)

The magazine was supposed to be published in May, which would have been perfect timing for my exhibit. However, due to supply issue problems faced by many businesses this year, it wasn't published until July. No matter, I am thrilled to be included in this high end publication. 140 pages of interesting art and articles...and two pages are about my art!

This was quite a success story for me. I won't get into how many rejections I have received!


  1. How satisfying and validating to see your work in print... no matter what month, what reason, or what publication!

  2. Congratulations on recovering from surgery! Hope it continues to go well. I've been mulling what you said for a couple days.
    The 'where do I go from here' has tackled me harder than I thought it would, and when I say 'here' I mean 'being actually really truly retired from work in oil and gas', which I guess is kind of complicated in that I thought I had figured that out, and in some ways I have. But in other ways, I'm still finding a balance between doing things I like and seeing people I like, and enjoying days where I don't have to do anything in particular, or be anywhere at a particular time.
    But however much we like it or don't, much of the creative world revolves around money, as in, trading it for our art. To even begin the negotiation, one must put themselves out there, promoting their work and themselves. I know one successful artist who has 3 distinct personas, one the social party reception schmoozer sucking up to the money, two the artist actually creating work in their studio, and three is the actual person you'd have coffee with. It's quite startling to see the differences. One of my writer buddies is deeply offended by the amount taken from the actual writing process to do all the other promotional stuff that's involved in getting money, that the publishers used to do.

  3. Sorry for the delay in responding to your thoughtful comments. For some reason, I have to do this anonymously :)

    I read an interesting article recently called "Death of the Hobby Artist". A quote from the article: "...once the technical aspects like finances invade the artist's work space, their original passion for art disappears."

    I think this happened to me and I'm struggling to find my way back to strictly enjoyment of creating. I do like to show my work, but the expense of framing adds a stress to try to "sell" and it doesn't seem like fun anymore. It's a balancing act for sure. Sara


It's great to hear from you! I appreciate your comments.