Episode 307 – New Markets for Artists / Art Has No Limits

Art Has No Limits

Artists can do all the traditional things like dance, sing, and paint, but they can also work, for example, with biologists or architects to enhance their work with new views and sensibilities. Everything influences an artist’s work, and that includes modes of exchange and commerce. Artists can have a personal impact on this as well. Especially now, with the web at their disposal, artists can use social networking media for their own agendas. The MONA story illustrates how many of these tools can be used for our artistic purposes, and how you can use them, too.

Non-Visible  Wounds

When we were giving out free hugs, we also gave out bandages for what we called non-visible wounds. We would ask people if they had any non-visible wounds of any kind and they would typically say no, or that they had headaches, stomachaches, heartaches, or other internal wounds of some kind. For those with heartache, we put Band-Aids on or near their hearts and give them motherly kisses on the bandage itself.

Community

Looking back on it now, those Saturday offerings were a great way of meeting people and sharing art. Everyone who came into our small 200-square-foot storefront for a hug or bandage was also exposed to the art decorating our walls. Artists do all kinds of things to get people into their studios (like having a party and giving away food and drink), but whatever you do, getting new visitors helps you grow. If you are not meeting new people whenever possible, there will be fewer new opportunities presenting themselves. The beginning of the Museum of Non-Visible Art story has its seeds in our first event that brought people into our studio for the non-visible bandage. Thanks to having good visibility in our storefront, we made many friends new friends this way.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 306 – New Markets for Artists / How We Did It

How We Did It

The story I am going to tell is about an idea my wife and I had for a non-visible museum. We not only sold a lot of art, but we improved our art careers dramatically and got international and national media coverage. You, too, can try many of the things we did to promote this project. This chapter assumes that you understand the basics of social networks, and if you do not know how to build web pages and manipulate HTML code a bit, you will have to talk to your web designer to understand some of what I’ll be describing.

The Beginning

The idea of a non-visible museum was conceived in 1999 and 2000 when my wife and I met. We were artists living illegally in a storefront in the East. We had begun a project where we gave out free hugs, foot washings, and bandages for non-visible wounds to the public. We opened the storefront every Saturday and offered those services. People liked our services and asked why we were providing them, and we always replied that it was because we were artists who wanted to do this. That was the truth. As an artist, you can really do whatever you want. When we told people who we were they seemed to understand. People assume that artists have ideas and motives that they may not understand and give you what has become known as an “artistic license.”

Artistic License

Clearly, my wife and I were taking artistic license by offering hugs to people. Of course, the hugs were not the only art we were creating; we also made paintings, drawings, and whatever else we wanted to experiment with. For starters, knowing you have artistic license to do anything you want will help you succeed. It’s incredible how much latitude you have as an artist. My wife and I once interviewed Vito Acconci, a great artist and very interesting thinker, who told us that art, unlike science or math, is the only field of interest that is non-field, meaning that it can incorporate anything. In other fields, there are limits to what can be brought in to study and influence things within the field, but art is limitless.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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