Social media and selling

Boats, by little ol' me. Social media allows you to get your work out to a larger audience.
Last week I got into a spirited discussion with other painters about social media and marketing. As I frequently do, I cited one of my favorite painting students.

In his other life, Brad VanAuken is a brand consultant to Fortune 100 companies and the author of a texton the subject that’s going into its second printing. (In fact it’s his success in his chosen field that somewhat slows down his progress as a painter, since he’s always jetting around the globe instead of coming to class.)

Using photos of myself painting on location helps my audience understand what I do. Standing in creeks will someday also give me pneumonia or a broken ankle, but I try not to focus on that. (Photo courtesy of Mitchell Saler, a painter you'll be hearing about in the future.)
Brad is the person who made me understand an essential truth about social media: it works more like a mesh than an arrow. I can’t cite a particular connection between, say, a Pinterest post on Tuesday and the sale of a painting on Friday, but there is no question that—somehow—it works. I’m completely booked from now until September with invitational paint-outs, shows, and classes.

Sunset in Maine, by little ol' me. I try to be transparent, to let people see my failures as well as my successes, because I want people to understand that painting isn't a question of genius, but of plugging along.
One painter suggested that platforms like Tumblr and Twitter were a waste of time because their target demographic doesn’t buy paintings. This is untrue. I need look no farther than 22-year-old Anna, who not only owns her own home (which contains purchased art) but takes painting lessons from me to boot. And even if it were true, her age cohort is in some ways the arbiter of taste for the rest of us.

I have three openings left for my 2014 workshop in Belfast, ME. Information is available 

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