Wednesday, April 28, 2010

On Connecting with an Audience

As an artist, I spend a majority of my time hulled up in my studio, lost in my own head, wrapped up in my own thoughts.  So, how can I take this inward focus and turn it outward with the intention of my art connecting with an audience?

1. Define the audience.  The artist aught to know who her audience is.  I know that my work has a tendency to capture the hearts and understanding of women.  I think it is a safe bet that her audience will be a lot like herself, so that's a good start.  She should not paint for her audience, but with her audience in mind.

2. Create a message and a thing of beauty.  My dad always says, "If you want to sell paintings you can't paint camel bottoms."  Sage advice from he who consistently maintains aesthetic appeal.  The artist has to achieve a delicate balance between being honest, sincere, and original and being relevant, unambiguous, and able to relate to.  The purest art has something to convey.

3. Disappear.  Do the work to translate an emotion or idea into an image, then step away and let the art speak to the viewer.  During the process of labeling, packing, and shipping off a painting, I detach myself; I no longer want to be present once the piece is on a wall.  I love when the viewer finds her own meaning, whether it is in line with mine or not.

The successful artist is not lost in her own world, she is observant and deeply connected to yours.

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