I'll just semi-ramble on this post here. Since Monday I've been pretty much occupied. First half of the week was juggling the dayjob tasks and studio work. Then rest of the week was studio shop work.
Still cracking my head on how to get to more audience. Or is my art not as good as I believe it is? I don't say it's stupendously brilliantly marvelous, but good enough given the heart that poured into it. But no. I know my art does not suck. I've done commissions and I've sold things online and I have strangers on Instagram sending me messages of support, appreciation, and a few even asking for some advice on how to live an artist's life. Hmm, maybe there's something to teaching/writing/workshopping about living an artist's life? Third-world Asian version because, you know, it is harder that way. I had a seed for something like that a couple of years ago, something I called "Rough Guide to the Road Less Travelled". Maybe I should revisit it. Maybe that's a side door.
Posting to Etsy is hard work. My shop can't look too shabby. So effort on photos, and editing the photos, and coming up with interesting descriptions -- which led me to crafting poems instead and I hope this will somehow capture the kind of customers I can be in a long-term relationship with. If not poems I craft snippets of mythology about the Impossible Garden & the Wildforest.
I wasn't gaining enough visits despite the multiple promos and offers, so I paid for some ads for the weekend. The tricky thing is you don't have control on who really sees it. Machine algorithms can only do so much, and in the end, programs are only as good as the insight and inspiration of the people who designed them. It's one thing I learned in research (which has been my dayjob for more than 20 years), that the output and effect rely less on the methods and technologies and whatever new buzzword thing is floating around, than on the attention and skill and insight of the research doer.
There is a part of me that wants to dabble into digital and online research, particularly on people's behavior with apps and sites. But it's going to really eat up everything. Yet I know if I put my mind to it I could actually make ridiculous big bucks from it. I've seen countless times how so much less "input" and invention/reinvention by others has generated same (or even more) ridiculous big bucks.
I'm back on puzzling out how to reach more audience and then how to convert more audience. This all feels like my Ad School days. Awareness-Trial-Retention. At the core, everything remains simple and basic, despite the trimmings and sleight-of hand that marketers employ. All the new "tricks" and "insights" are reinventions and re-expressions, simply adapted into the new "things" and "trends". There's that 1990's song that went "It's all been done." Yes, it has. It's just all angle and perspective. Smoke and mirrors. Ah, that's maybe what I need to be better at.
There IS a real budget constrain in what I can do and experiment with to improve my art's reach and awareness. So a layer of challenge has to do with making do. In my ad agency days I've often heard the question "How do you make a small media budget most efficient?"
I remember buying a book a few years ago on how Introverts can do networking. I'll have to dig it up. Honestly I hate networking. Or maybe I hate how it has always been templated and presented. And I maybe I hate how its worst forms had bullied or victimised me or made me feel like I'm less of a person because I'm bad at it. I think the new trendy word for it now is building "community" or "connection" or something related. I fear I'm still rather bad at it. Another thing to learn more of.
I'll stop rambling now. Do follow me on Twitter (see right column, my feed is there), and on Facebook. Lots of updates and snippets of stuff. See me grow. See me stumble. It's all real-life, real-time. Let me know if something's helping you or inspiring you. I could use the boost that my journey is not entirely invisible.
Hugs to all.
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