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Article: The "Starving Artist" - Art Marketing

A Creative Output Dilemma

or …. the “starving Artists”, living a Bohemian* lifestyle ?

or ..  Holistic Marketing and Art

Article by Dieter Luske N.D.-D.C.H.-D.M.H.-D.H

NOTE* The Bohemian lifestyle; living by oneself or with like-minded people, focusing on musical, artistic, or literary pursuits and creations.

So many starving artists, and an abundance of creativity, some of the artistic work may surface; most will stay underground, enjoyed by a few, but lets not confuse the term”starving artist”.

A starving artist may mean different things to different people, what does it mean to you?

Is it an artist who has chosen integrity*, staying true to an inner vision, rather than to possibly be corrupted by money, ego, fame and fortune?
Another NOTE* I am not saying, successful artist have no integrety.

Who knows, but my guess is that despite creative conviction and staying true to oneself, well deserved recognition and some capital would not go astray.
After all, one has to live, a minimum of cash needs to be available, which leads one to make choices, such as: living with like-minded, living of benefits, getting an art grant, getting a job or selling ones creations.

Looking at those choices, one realizes that there is really only one or two that could be appropriate to generate some extra cash.

  1. The Art Grant; unfortunately the government has limited their budget for the arts, obviously not recognizing the huge benefits art and creativity are having on injecting vitality into our society. Further more, it was never easy for an artist to get a grant anyhow.
    Grants often are given to people and organizations that know how to write a successful application, but on the positivity side, they work on behalf of the starving artist by providing events or platforms to show their art. However, this in itself is a process of selection, and only some artists will be selected to a possible event.

  2. Getting a Job, that can be absolutely soul destroying or it could be liberating, depending on the artists, their attitudes, and on the job.
    Are call centers full of starving frustrated artist? Could be, not sure, however, some artists may find jobsthat are less compromising, while others may even contemplate a second carrier choice.

Lets go back for a second look to the definition of the “Starving Artist”:

  1. A starving artist is an artist who believes in the importance to sacrifice capital income in order to focus on their artwork without compromises. They typically live on some essentials, either for a lack of business or because all their cash goes towards art projects.

  2. Other artists desire mainstream success, but have difficulties to find recognition, due to the nearly insurmountable barriers to be accepted by a Gallery, Book Publisher or Music Label.
    These artists frequently take temporary jobs while they focus their attention on breaking through in their preferred field.

  1. Others yet may find enough satisfaction in living as artists to choose voluntary poverty, regardless of prospects of future financial rewards, or recognition; those are the idealistic bohemians.

Having spent some time investigating the nature of the Starving Artist, lets now concentrate on the second category of our definition; artists who desire mainstream success but have difficulty to find recognition”.

First of all, I think all artists should be given the opportunity to be recognized within our society as driving forces of creativity and as the creative lifeblood of our society.
The obvious question is; how would that be possible?
I guess, no one knows exactly how to achieve that, but the more important fact is:
“There are always possibilities as long as creativity exists”.
Lets investigate some of those possibilities.

There are Two (2) distinct pathways to get to those possibilities.

  1. The first one is “Hope”, which is actually an emotion; you hope to win the lottery, you hope the sun is shining, and you hope to be “discovered”.
    How does hope “feel” to you? Does it feel positive?
    Nothing wrong with hope, after all, as the saying goes, you have to be in it to win it, but one needs to completely recognize, that “hope” is “passive”, it is virtually out of your control, the only control you have is to shift the odds into your favor, which we will address shortly.

  2. The second one, another emotion, is “Anticipation”. Just say the following sentence: “I anticipate to be discovered”. How does this one feel?
    I am sure, you agree, it feels much more positive, anticipation means action will follow, you feel compelled to do something … anything.

Hope and Anticipation can be used to your advantage, but they must not be confused, or you will wait for something forever.

Hope, even so it is passive makes you want to shift your odds to heighten the possibilities, and to keep that tickle of excitement, after all it is possible you will be discovered if you have done the “Basic Essential Steps” to shift your odds into the realm of possibility.

Whatever your creative pursuits are, you will need to define your art, and you need to accept one gigantic step; allowing and handing your creative outpouring over to someone else, who will see your work as a “product”.

I know that may hurt, but in marketing terms, anything which can be sold, or exhibited is a product.

This step maybe in part the inability for most artists to market themselves. However, by releasing your creative baby, you take a step back, it’s still your baby, but it will turn into a product in the hands of the marketing department of a Gallery, Publisher or Label.

Having come to terms with that conversion from Creative Baby to a Product, you may even see another possibility emerging; would you be able to step away from your artist nature and take on the role of a marketing manager?

Can you separate yourself from your artistic nature, and look at your creative outpourings from a new vantage point, and see new possibilities, maybe apply some of your creativity to find uses, niches or applications for your artworks?

However you decide, the next step is to prepare the essentials for letting your artwork become a product, your art, your creativity, or your style needs to be defined.

To get noticed you will need definition, just handing your work to the world is a shotgun approach, which is not the way to get noticed or recognized.

We are living in a world of communication overload, meaning whatever written word will accompany your work of art should be short.

... this ends part 1 ...

.. will be continued with ... you guessed it > Part 2 - Holistic Creative Marketing

Article by

Dieter Luske .. as Artist …

... back to the Holistic Philosophies Menu

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