Prostituting Yourself – An Academia Attitude by M Theresa Brown
October 13, 2010
Right now, we are set up with our art, at a show. Sure it’s a long day, every day, for several weeks but after a few days we get into the rythym of it and we can work while we sell so to speak 🙂 While we work, we chat with prospects for our art, meet with clients, answer questions, paint…..and speak with artists!
In one such meeting yesterday, a mother and her daughter came up to me and the mom works in a well known pharmaceutical company in research and the daughter is in her final year in college in a school of art as a printmaking major. To my dismay (yet not a surprise), after chatting about art marketing, both had similar stories about the still prevelant attitude in academia towards the word “marketing.” Upon graduating with honors in her field from Rutgars, and accepting the position with the company, the mom was approached by one of her professors and was told “Well, congratulations on prostituting yourself to the corporate world!”
The daughter, meanwhile, who had recently asked her professor about methods for selling her etchings, was told that “any effort to market your art results in prostituting it for money and public tastes.” Decades earlier, I had been told that “Portraiture is prostituting your art.”
LOL, Prostitution is apparently a popular word in all fields of academia! What “it” really is, is prostituting an attitude.
My late father, with his Doctorate in Education and his professor emeritus status in an NC university, once told me “It’s easy to preach cutting edge art from behind the safety of a salaried job, pension and tenure!”
And that is my usual reply to the queries of questioning students. And, blessing my art history minor, my other comment is usually, “even Michaelangelo was an “artist for hire.” 🙂 What if the master had followed today’s current thinking in academia about commissioned art? Would we have the Sistine Chapel? If there had been no sculpture contest, would we have had the “Pieta” or “David”?
We can do nothing to change the views of those in academia who are obviously unhappy with the direction in their lives that their own art studies have taken them. BUT we can do something for the many, many artists who talk to us and want something different-a new attitude, a new confidence…and most of all HOPE. No longer willing to let past negative and pessimistic attitudes have power over them, these artists are ridding themselves of someone else’s baggage and looking for guidance. They are looking for guidance that some one, some institute, some university should have shared with them and in doing so, empowered them for success rather than expect their failure before they even started!
What you ever decide to do with your artistic talents and abilities is a decision that only you can and should make. Don’t give someone else the power to make you unhappy! Only after working hard at your art marketing (or any other career choice) and then deciding that it is not the way you want to go, can you make an educated decision based on fact, not someone else’s theory. In reality, the “prostituting yourself” critics have usually never sold their own art, been offered a coveted research job, been offered a music contract, had a best seller and so adopt that sour grapes attitude as a way to compensate for their own potential failings. Fortunately, as history shows, Michaelangelo and many, many other revered artists had no such qualms!
So if you’re ready to take on a brave new world and ignore people telling you “You will fail!” before you even start, then join us in November for what we promise you, will be the art marketing you were never taught 🙂
We will be speakers at the upcoming Art of the Carolinas . The AOC event has everything from us 🙂 to art supplies to art workshops! The event is designed for people coming, participating and staying at special rates at local hotels for the whole time enjoying everything from the workshops to the shopping 🙂 They come from all over the United States!â€¨You can sign up online with any of the links to any of the workshops.Art Career Experts and feel free to contact us. We have been referred to as “from the trenches” artists as we do not use art galleries, marketing agents, lottery wins, working spouses or rich relatives yet we pay every bill entirely from income from the sales of our art!
Our 3 day series held Nov 11, 12, 13 in Raleigh at the Art of the Carolinas location are designed to offer solutions, not theory to those artists seeking to earn a paycheck with their artistic abilities. For the ultimate benefit, we recommend starting with the first session and participating in all 3. Time will be limited so we want to make sure that we start off each 3 hour session with the basics from the previous already covered!
IF selling your art has been your dream then learn from artists who sell their art for a living! Visit the
Thursday, November 11, 2010 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
For optimum results, we encourage you to begin with Thursday’s workshop and continue through Saturday!
Every artist needs this class! This is not your Internet Art Marketing 101 that’s plastered all over the Internet by people who don’t even sell their art. We have our own step by step, month by month PLAN! We’ll cover ALL the basics of what is important to start today and track you through November 2012!
We help you re-word your copy of your bios and artist statements in new or existing sites to “sell the sizzle, not the steak!” Bring copies of your current marketing tools-business cards, artist statements, bios, any brochures and photographic examples of your work.
We’ll cover laying out our plan for your niche market, your website, blog and setting them up to work for you.â€¨We will be providing our exclusive workbook and 10 Step Artist Business Plan at this class only!
Friday, November 12, 2010 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Special bonus: Social networking! Now that we have the plan and the tools in place, we share with you the places online and offline to market your art product that really work and do not involve an Art Gallery! Every method and place we share in this session, we have utilized ourselves. No theory here! We know what works and what you need to do to jump start your success!
Saturday, November 13, 2010 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
The ultimate guide to self representation.
It’s not enough to have a beautiful website, blog or art booth at a show. We’ll share with you the tips and methods to turn browsers and visitors into buyers! Learn how to act, what to do and what to say both in emails and in person! Take the mystery and confusion out of selling your art and banish those self doubts forever!
Join us in role playing, we’ll take turns, and learn how to reply and what to say to ALL of those questions that artists get asked!
Nothing will ever work if you don’t try. And that is our attitude towards art marketing-creating something that you love to do and paying yourself while you do it. It’s that simple.
Art Career Experts