An Artist’s Life: Promoting Thy Self

EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! THE ARTIST IS ONLINE!

Let’s face it. Being an artist is hard. Even harder is telling people about you as an artist.

As a lifelong hardline introvert I get jittery whenever I try to strike up a conversation with a total stranger or present myself to a social gathering. I’ve never had friends nor could I keep the very few that I do manage make. My only true friends have been the ones I would cook up in my mind.

But it has come to my attention that i cannot stay hidden in this closet forever, especially now that I have made it my goal to become a full time artist. With internet and social media nowadays I have absolutely NO excuse to try and put myself in n the spotlight.

So I have steadily taken steps to get myself out there through various social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube- any where I felt that I can make my mark. I would post sketches, work in progress photos, even videos of my work process that I painstakingly edited and compiled myself. I’ve even started streaming myself on Twitch, and while I am garnering a massive 0 viewership it nevertheless has given me some confidence. I’m even forcing myself to talk out loud even if it’s just to myself (course I informed my parents beforehand about this so they won’t keep peeking into my room to see if I’m okay and that I’m not going cuckoo). I’ve also got into gaming as a way to draw more audience to my channel and hopefully lead them to check out my art.

And how is it going so far? Well I have seen some more traffic in recent months and even managed to sell few paintings, although they are mostly fan art. Yes I’ve been doing a lot of fan arts lately I figured that is most popular and draws more audience, but now that’s another story…

An Artist’s Life: So Much to Do, So Little Time…

Is having more than one skillset a good thing or bad?

You can do anything, but not everything.

David Allen, Lifehacker

When I started my art practice in 2013, I wanted to try it all: painting, mixed media, collage, printmaking, modern, abstract, realism, you name it. I was not satisfied with sticking to just one medium or style. I guess it was my way to trying to find out what I was good at and where I can focus. Funny thing was, I liked all of them; I was unable to choose or settle down. I can blame my unchecked ADD for that. From then on I dabbled at every art and craft that piqued my interest spending dough after dough getting all the necessary supplies and how-to books to learn how to use them. At one point I began calling myself the Jack-Of-All-Trades-Master-Of-None Artist. Here is a list of all the crafts I have accumulated to date.

At the time it seemed like a good idea to know more than one technique or skill as an artist. And I had a blast at it. But later I learned the quirks of having too many things to do at once.

For one, there is no Time. I wake up, wash up, eat, run errands, take a rest, work on my stuff, and in a blink of an eye the day’s already over. Some days I just feel like a sloth and veg out on the sofa for half the day. I had crammed in my little cranium of all the things I want to complete-new bodies of work, an artbook, video series, an Etsy shop, etc. But Time just goes by so fast. And I go to bed every night feeling dejected because I didn’t accomplish what I had set out to do. Though the very next morning I open my eyes I’d be refreshed with renewed hope of getting things done, only to repeat the same thing. It’s almost like the movie Edge of Tomorrow where each day is set on continuous loop of the same old routine: get up, suit up, go into battle, get killed, back to start. Keep that up and it eventually becomes draining, physically and mentally.

For this reason, at the beginning of 2019 I made it a goal to set schedules for my activities. I had decided to make at least three days a week a “studio day” or “me day” so I would have several hours of uninterrupted time for myself to do the things I want to do. Then I set up certain days/weeks/months for certain project and so forth. Instead of trying to cram several different projects to complete in one day I would spread it out designating what days or weeks I would specifically work on that particular project. I even got myself a daily planner to write it all down, something I was never good at. In doing so I felt like I was more disciplined and organized, a load of rocks lifted off my shoulders and I was more relaxed. I couldn’t believe it took me this long to realize the benefits of planning and keeping schedules; always working out of chaos might sound thrilling but eventually it catches up to you physically and mentally.

But alas I forgot the one other thing to consider when making plans. Which is to always expect the unexpected. But that’s another story…