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Letter #1

Dear Artist,

            I heard that you are ready to show your work, well done! What are your plans? Do you have a space lined up at a gallery or at another local establishment? Or are you going to use an online presence? There are many things to consider but I must share some trade secrets that have helped me along the way.

            Strong work has a few sustainable qualities. First of all it’s important to be distinctive. Artwork that can be recognized as yours personally even if there was no signature on the front is powerful in a world that can make digital copies of anything at anytime. What personal elements or trademarks are you developing in your work?

            Personal is great, but your artwork must also relate to the viewer if indeed it is going to sell. Selling is a necessity only if you plan on making art full time. Jonah Berger, author of “Contagious: Why Things Catch On” has made a career of researching why things go viral. He explains that there is no one recipe to success but that social currency, triggers, emotion, practical value and stories are areas that can help with creating products that will be noticed by the community.

            Social trends are waves that can be ridden. Yearly color schemes, favorite themes or design elements are part of a current of energy running through society that will influence many buyers. Triggers and emotion could be other avenues to help with sales. When people view your work what does it remind them of or what emotion does it evoke? Do be cautious, however, to not lose yourself in the process of considering others’ ideas about your work. The way it makes you feel must always come first.

            Of course selling can be a challenge, but meeting challenges with action is a way to create personal growth. What steps are you taking to sell your work? Send me a link to your website so I can see what you’ve been doing.

            Finally, stop beating yourself up. I heard that your doubts have been causing your joy and passion to be tainted with worry and self-loathing. If your heart tells you to paint, then by all means paint. You can do this!

            No one knew who I was and today most everyone still knows my name. Believe me, self-doubt kills more artists than anything else.  Make more work when you start questioning your skills and go see what other artists are showing. A constant influx of creation and viewing will fuel the fire inside you that can keep the demons at bay.

            Let me know what successful steps you have taking to sustain your desire to be a full time artist. I look forward to our correspondence, art has given me much and I want to return the favor by helping you.

            Create with ambition and soon you may fly,


Uncle Salvador

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