Creating Good (Art) Karma

By Aletta de Wal in Art Business Advice > A-Z Art Marketing Guide

Welcome back to “The ABC’s of Art Marketing,” an alphabet guide to marketing your art from A to Z!

In today’s article, I’ll be focusing on the letter “K” for Karma—suggested by artist Josephine A. Geiger who said, “Good vibes are always more productive than bad ones, whether you are creating, selling or connecting with colleagues.”

“According to Buddhism, inequality is due not only to heredity, environment, ‘nature and nurture’, but also to Karma. . . our own past actions and our own present doings. We ourselves are responsible for our own happiness and misery. We create our own Heaven. We create our own Hell. We are the architects of our own fate. Karma is action, and Vipaka, fruit or result, is its reaction.” –Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw

First, find ways to create good art

If you were born into a family of artists, you may have burst into life with the “art gene.” Think of the Wyeth clan, for example. Even if you were not born into an artistic family, your parents might have encouraged your nascent talents. You grew up thinking that being an artist was noble and normal. Good vibes all around.

Of course, in some cases art is the antidote to a tough environment or challenging life circumstances. Good vibes in this case arise from the act of creating.

Whichever reality may be the case for you, putting your best into your work brings its own reward. Artists who are proud of their creations exude the joy of making as well as the confidence of completion. That energy is always magnetic and attractive to viewers.

Second, find ways to connect to others

To become a magnet for the right audience for your art, your thinking is best focused at least 80% of the time on the people who might want to connect with you. The other 20% is on the kinds of actions that you feel comfortable taking and that suit your audience. The results are out of your hands.

In this series on Art Marketing from A to Z, I’ve already written about three ways you can use karma to market your art:

1. If you appreciate your audience and try to get to know them as people before you treat them as prospects, you’ll expand the possibilities of what might result. You might make a sale eventually. But you may see a larger ripple effect as you make new friends with other artists and art lovers, whether or not they ever buy from you.

2. If you want a good living from your art, you must give time, energy and money to gain something of value now or in the future. That something could be tangible or intangible. You could gain fame, followers, fortune or the faith to keep going.

3. Artists make art to fulfill a creative urge and exhibit so they can get feedback, followers, fame or fortune. Collectors buy art to fill a desire, and that desire is different for each one. Your job in marketing your art is to match your art with that desire. Getting a match doesn’t happen with the first spark. It happens when you foster friendly familiarity.

The Buddhist idea of karma is summed up neatly in this quote (attributed to Frank Outlaw) that I have posted on my wall:

“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

What destiny are you setting off today with your art and your thoughts?

Follow the links below to read more articles in “The ABC’s of Art Marketing”—an alphabet guide to marketing your art, from A to Z:

A – Appreciating your Audience

B – Building your Business Base

C – Communicating Clearly, Consistently and Cleverly

D – Diversifying Your Delivery

E – Educate, Entertain, Engage, Enrich, and Evolve

F – Fostering Friendly Familiarity

G – Give to Gain

H – Hiring Help

I – The 5 “I’s” of Art Marketing

J – Joining Juried Shows

K – Creating Good Karma (current article)

L – Listening and Learning

M – Mastering your Marketing Messages

N – Negotiating 101

O – Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

P – Procrastination & Perfection

Q – Quality & Quantity: Creating Art that Sells

R – 8 Rules to Improve Your Artist/Collector Relationships

S – S is for Sales

T – 30 Ways to Say “Thank You”

U – Switching from “I” to “Us”

V – Volunteering in the Art World

W – Write, Write, Write!

Y – Just Say Yes

Z – Zen, Zoom, ZigZag & Zowie


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