Self-Promotion is a Bad Thing?

 

I had a very kind comment on my blog a few days ago. Basically, the commenter said that she usually didn’t like artists who ‘self-promote’ using a community Facebook page, but she enjoyed seeing my post and was glad I shared.

I’ve been thinking about it a lot this last few days.

Because I think, as artists, we are terrified of being accused of self-promoting. After all, great art should be discovered, preferably years after the artists have died, and the rest of us should be content to labour in solitude.

But here’s the thing …. no artists chooses art because it’s financially lucrative. We KNOW that’s not the case!

No, we choose to make art because we want to communicate with others; hopefully touch one or two people; hopefully make a connection.

And how can we do that if we don’t share our work?

Once shared, it’s optional. People who don’t like it can skip right past. Others can stay and engage. But I believe that artists have an obligation to share our truth and to get it out to as many people as possible.

On that note, today’s self-portrait is my first collaged piece, which is funny because most of my ‘real’ artwork is collaged. There’s something about collage that just appeals to me on a visceral level – both the process and the result. I enjoyed making this picture more than any other so far and I see great possibilities for this approach going forward. More to come I’m sure!

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8 thoughts on “Self-Promotion is a Bad Thing?

  1. Lynn Cohen

    I saw that comment and I didn’t understand it. I thought she didn’t want to see people selling their art on Facebook. I didn’t see you selling what you had posted! However, I’d not have had a problem with it if you had. ( being the happy owner of twelve wonderful drawings of yours in a calendar form that continues to hang on my wall after that year has passed. ) but ” promoting ourselves” how then, if not selling? We are promoting ourselves every time we post a drawing! Hey, look at me I can draw! I like what I do and I hope others will too, therefore I share it. No monitory gain there! Other perhaps than some ego stroking when it evokes that! What’s wrong with that?

    I love your collaged Selfie! ( did that commenter see Selfies as self promotion?) love how you got a piece of your name in it too!

    Keep ’em coming please! You are such an inspiration for me!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Louise Post author

      Thanks so much Lynn – I feel so NOT an inspiration right now, so it’s nice to think of someone seeing value in my work xx

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  2. Cathy Tenzo

    I don’t think I saw that, but I think sharing on Sketchbook Skool is more about sharing our joy as artists and supporting each other around that, which your post would have been. There are a couple of people who just post things for sale, and that becomes tedious. Share away!!!

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  3. Jo Sumara

    You are an inspiration to me also. From the moment I saw your cows, and then your collage landscapes, I looked forward to your post. I practiced trying to create cows like yours, and then to try to do my dog in the same style. I even tried a collage of my dog, which was not bad until I got carried away by adding too much paint.I was delighted when you started the selfies, that made me appreciate your writing style as well. I’m sure there are many silent admirers too. Keep the post coming!

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  4. Kerry Schofield

    Ahhhh don’t worry about that comment. If artists from the past had social media and the World Wide Web, you bet they would have posted their artwork. Artwork is made to be seen and shared. That person is obviously uneducated as to the ways of artists and their visions. Don’t take heed in a foolish opinion obviously with no merit or understanding. If singers, songwriters, fictional writers didn’t share their thoughts, we’d never know about them. It’s the same as with the visual arts.

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  5. Amy Forsyth

    I think it depends on the intentions. If you put your work out there to connect with others, to have a conversation, that’s great, and you’re making the most of the medium. But if someone just puts their work out there and never responds to anyone else’s work, to me it comes across as self-promotion and nothing more. You seem to engage others and respond, so I don’t think that criticism applies to you. Nice work, by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  6. holygrasshopper

    Hello, there is nothing wrong with sharing your gifts with the world. However, it does depend upon which facebook community which you are apart…some have rules and others do not. It is always helpful for me to ask a person to back up their opinion and ask if the group moderator agrees. I highly suggest a book “Art & Fear” by David Bayles & Ted Orland it will help you to deal with those types of comments and other issues facing artists on a daily basis…keep creating and keep sharing.

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  7. audreymontoya

    I love your work! And I’ve totally heard from older artists that promoting yourself is a big no no, as well. But here’s the thing, art is communication. Just like this comment or a post telling everyone how your day went. When I share a painting, regardless of what social media outlet I’m using, I’m telling my story. Sure it’s not as straightforward as a picture of what I ate or a selfie of myself with Micky Mouse, but it’s just as valid as anyone else’s communication. And I think that’s how we should look at it. And plus I might sell the piece, make some money and further my career as an artist, and that’s always fun.

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