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January 23, 2013
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Delaying your own self promotion?

:icondaws3:
Daws3 Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013   General Artist
Has anyone else ever gone through periods of not wanting to promote yourself because you don't want people to see your work as it currently is?
I know I'm not horrible, sometimes I feel pretty good about my work, but other times I just feel like it could be so much better and I don't want to do things to promote myself until it's where I feel like it should be. I want people's first impression to be so much more than I feel like it will be, so I avoid drawing people to my page or other places they can view my work.
What about you guys, have any of you ever felt this way?
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Devious Comments

:iconlittlebabyshoes:
littlebabyshoes Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013
I know that feeling. It just seems wrong to show off a piece you can see mistakes in, you know? Even if no one else sees them or even if you worked really hard at the piece. I guess we all can't help but compare ourselves to people who are better or start feeling like our art skills just don't live up to our expectations.

... I usually just swallow my fears and post the artwork regardless of all the complaints I have. I don't think I'll ever be satisfied with my work and if I gave in to my fears everytime, I would never post anything.

But to be honest, I'm hardly ever happy with my stuff. I just hope from the bottom of my heart that I don't disappoint people somehow. There really isn't any solution to these feelings other than to just get better! :'D
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:icondaws3:
Daws3 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013   General Artist
Sometimes I do feel satisfied but I feel like I see things when I post them that I don't in person, and then it starts to eat at me! Thanks for the reply :)
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:iconrj700:
rj700 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I sometimes don't want to promote my work, but it's because I'm scared it'll come to nothing. I wanna make a bit of money from my art, but I keep having to drop ideas, or find out I can't do it, and I'm worried if I did do it, there'd be no one there interested in buying it.
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:icondaws3:
Daws3 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013   General Artist
I know exactly how you feel. I'm telling you though I've seen people with far less skill than you gain a decent level of success, through just pure self promotion essentially. Not everyone will like your stuff obviously, but I'm confident if you tried your hardest you could find a market for your work.
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:iconrj700:
rj700 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks, I appreciate it :) Unfortunately my main idea for making money was selling drawings of celebrities, but I've recently found out it's illegal, unless I have the permission of the celebrity and the person who took the photo. So I'm not sure how else I can turn my art into a business
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:icondaws3:
Daws3 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013   General Artist
You could do commissioned portraits of regular people? :) I think many people would love to have a portrait of themselves, their family members, a photo they love, etc.
Also, not that I'm condoning it but in this world of fanart and the like there's millions of people making money in ways that aren't exactly legal. In addition I think there may be ways around that, I'm just thinking there must be because I've seen multiple iconic portraits of celebrities done where I'm almost positive the artist did not get consent and they were able to make money off it.
You might look into loopholes if you really want to do celebrities. A lot of the laws regarding art seem to contain quite a few loopholes which one could exercise if they simply phrase their reasoning the right way.
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:iconrj700:
rj700 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, I thought about doing normal commissions, but I did one of those late last year and it was quite stressful, but I'll probably think more about it. It's more than possible that I could do it without getting into trouble, but I think it's still illegal. Sometimes when it does go to court freedom of speech wins over in the artists favour, but it's not really something I should rely on. A lot of people do it because with all the people doing it very few of them will get into trouble, also a lot of them probably just don't know. I'd probably be okay, I'm just a bit apprehensive. But thanks for the tips, I think I might look into it a bit more, 'cause I really feel I could do well with it :)
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:iconfngrscr8dstroui:
fngrscr8dstroui Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Professional General Artist
I just hate promoting myself. Obviously I'd like for more people to see my work, but I'd rather not whore myself out w/ constant dA/FB/twitter/etc. posts that keep cutting into my time, you know, actually CREATING artwork. You see it all the time: "market yourself, market yourself",....which basically means set aside half your time posting on social networking sites to build up hype for a product that'll only reach a portion of that hype b/c you've been taking too much time away from focusing on the product to promote.

Of course, that's just the case w/ those doing this solo. I'm just gonna look towards an experienced promoter who actually likes doing that sort of stuff and focus on what I do best: creating content.
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:icondaws3:
Daws3 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013   General Artist
Yeah I start to feel like I'm bugging people. For me it's not the problem of wasting time (I do that quite well :P) I just feel like I'm bothering people. I've been saying for ages I'd LOVE to have someone like an agent who just took care of that stuff for me, because 1) I'm terrible at it, 2) I hate doing it and 3) I have no idea what I'm doing. The problem for me is money to hire said person and finding the right fit.
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:iconzinspiresofresh:
Zinspiresofresh Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013
I'm the same way; I always feel like my artwork needs more perfecting if I notice even the smallest of errors on it (and this is because I compare myself to the artists that I think are better than me). I feel like I'm almost ready to show off my artwork soon though because I have to eventually anyway. I'm just taking my time perfecting each flaw I see (I know I will always have a flaw, but if I notice it I will try to fix it) because I noticed that I make much better art by taking it at a slow pace (no rushing). I'm trying to get rid of some mistakes I did when I got fed up with some of my old art.
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:iconfloraella:
Floraella Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Honestly, I don't like promoting myself when I have lack of inspiration.
Sometimes when I draw or paint, I will use other's art for references and I feel guilty if I do promote myself.
It's a dog-eat-dog-world when you're an artist though, and so if you lack promoting yourself, even if it isn't very good or unique sometimes, kind of holds you back, you know?
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:icondaws3:
Daws3 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013   General Artist
Yeah I agree
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:iconsewlolita:
SewLolita Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013   General Artist
I usually don't bother posting stuff... I don't know why, though. Leaving my old dodgy drawings up is worse than updating, as far as impressions go. Part of it is that I have ....very...varied subject matter and styles :D
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:icondaws3:
Daws3 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013   General Artist
Me too, plus I am the worst at taking photos of things and posting them (ironic since I'm also a photographer) but I probably have at least 5 times the work I have on here that I just never got around to photographing and now much of it is in other's hands so there's not any chance.
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:icondecolesse:
decolesse Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013
Heh, with stuff like this DA can reallllyyy not help. You'll be going to upload stuff then glance at a group that has something like 9999999 pieces that are a million times better than yours and you feel like you should just give up on the game and go do something else. Get it all the time, but every now and then when I decide to upload stuff you get these really nice, genuine comments that lift your spirit a bit and you're like "so what if other people are better? my work is unique in itself and it's not right not to share it, some people may really like it, even if i don't think it's on par with what others can give." xD
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:icondaws3:
Daws3 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013   General Artist
Sometimes I do compare myself to others but for me mostly I think it's because I look at my work on here and know it's not my best, or instantly see all the flaws that I know I'm capable of fixing or avoiding all together which irritates me. So I always want to fix things before I let other people see them, but it's a never ending process.
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:iconshaunmichaeljones:
ShaunMichaelJones Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013   Traditional Artist
I don't understand. Surely you only put your best work on here. Why would you upload anything that you didn't try your best on. If it's not good enough then don't show it to people. I do realise though that this can be subjective and am often suprised when my least favourite painting turns out to be anothers favourite.
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:icondaws3:
Daws3 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013   General Artist
not necessarily. Like you said often the work we love isn't what others love which I've learned time and time again, so I try to upload a little of everything whether I think it's my best or not. There was a photo I finally took down because it bothered me so much that was very quickly becoming my most faved picture. To me it was my worst picture, just so many flaws, I finally couldn't take it anymore and removed it because it embarrassed me, despite what others seemed to think of it.
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:iconemilymuldowney:
emilymuldowney Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Definitely, I constantly have it in the back of my mind that it isn't as good as I'd like. Fact is, no matter how good I am it probably never will be. It's hard to get confident but it's important to get your work out there if you want to make any sort of impression as an artist :)
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:icondaws3:
Daws3 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013   General Artist
:)
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:iconvioletlips:
VIOletLIPS Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Student
I do the exact same thing. I actually only put up sketches or test runs if I'm experimenting with different medias. Like I even have a facebook fan page so if I want to sell my stuff I know where to find potential buyers. I mean, I think we're always developing and learning new things to enhance our abilities or look from a different perspective to create 'better' features in our styles.
Haha, idk. I've been thinking the exact same thing though.
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:icondaws3:
Daws3 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013   General Artist
Well it is somewhat comforting that I'm not just a weirdo :)
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:iconvioletlips:
VIOletLIPS Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Student
Haha, same here. c;
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:iconsevmd:
SEVMD Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I try not to self promote my artwork because everytime I have the courage I lose it immediately, because I see other artworks much better than mine promoting and I feel I should only promote if i am as good as them ._.
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:icondaws3:
Daws3 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013   General Artist
I know! the internet is both amazing and depressing for me. I know compared to most people, I'm really good at art, yet on the internet you have access to the entire world of art and there are so many people that put me to absolute shame.
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:iconsevmd:
SEVMD Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Indeed thats how I feel but now I'm starting to be more open about them instead of hating them. I use their tutorials now and I appreciate that there are people better than me to teach us
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:iconkey-master-himeko:
Key-Master-Himeko Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013   Traditional Artist
It's extremely heartbreaking to get confident, to finish a piece and commission and think "I'm ready" and then you get off your ass and post all over the internet....!

And then nothing happens. All I can think about is "what am I not doing?" and it's eating away at my enthusiasm. It feels like a dangerous cycle to start on. I'm finally there and I'm trying, but nothing is going on!

What more can I do? What are you doing? What can we do as freelance artists, small, small fish with big potential in an even bigger sea? What will we have to do before someone will invest in our potential? What is that "spark", that "discovery" everyone talks about and how can we start it if possible...?
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:icondaws3:
Daws3 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013   General Artist
all good questions! I wish I had the answers :)
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:iconkey-master-himeko:
Key-Master-Himeko Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013   Traditional Artist
Or at least a breadcrumb trail that leads to the path that starts it all...
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:icontylon:
Tylon Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Professional Artist
I felt the same about selling my crafts- but my issue is I am a perfectionist and often people do not see what I see. I graduated college working with design/ marketing so I know how to promote/ market my work- but often I feel there is nothing like getting out there in person- networking and making it more personal. Showcase how your style/ product is unique and different- showcase you want to create and establish a network. I found this is one of the greatest things- by giving away my crafts as gifts to start I was able to see how different people of different ages liked my work. It also allowed me to trial the quality- are my items staying in shape- are they breaking, etc. Then I started to ramp it up- ok, sell a little bit online, offer commissions- sell at craft fairs. A lot of the customers I have I know now on a personal level- they invite me to their events all the time, they know my work and me as a person- not just as somebody else out there selling stuff. There is a whole business side to this as well- and now that I work with a lot of smaller businesses I see this so much more.

Truthfully- a lot of artists are perfectionists- and if you keep trying to perfect it- you never will be happy and only prolong your own exposure. You need to start somewhere- and by promoting your work as is- you will be able to gain a following- small at first. By gaining more experience through promoting your work (seeing who buys what, seeing who wants what) it will allow you to establish a direction you want to move in. At every single fair I went to- the vendors all tell me the same thing. "The beautiful thing about art- is it can be anything. What you, the creator and artist view as an imperfection somebody else will love". I am starting to see this a lot in the work I do- when I make something I say "I don't like how square or round that face looks" but you know- people love it and don't see that, now I have people asking for that in particular.

In the end- not everybody will like your work which is a given. Everybody has different tastes- it does not mean your work is bad or awful, but that style is simply not their taste- and often this can discourage a lot of people and they take it personal. That is why establishing an audience is key- and you can find that by figuring out who it is you want to sell to- or do like I do and trial it. I thought my work and stuffed animals was meant for younger kids- now I have adults and older folks well into their 40's-70's wanting some for themselves- so you never know who might be interested. I don't take it personal if somebody doesn't buy or like my work- I see work out there at shows and fairs that doesn't fit my tastes, and that's not wrong or bad- but you cannot focus on pleasing everyone.

That is what I learned since I started selling my items/ work. You will only hold yourself back. That is what happened to me.

Hope this could be of help!
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:icondaws3:
Daws3 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013   General Artist
Thanks for sharing your experience! :)
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:iconvisionoftheworld:
VISIONOFTHEWORLD Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013
The only thing I see is the need to decide to post in a "your newest" or "your best" thumbshare topic. Then the option always exists to post someone else's art instead.
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:icondaws3:
Daws3 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013   General Artist
I'm not sure if I quite understand what you're saying
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:iconpuppy-dangerous:
puppy-dangerous Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
Pssssst. Lemmie tell you a secret. It will never be the way you want it to be.
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:icondaws3:
Daws3 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013   General Artist
yeah, somehow I suspected that already :)
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:iconopiumtraum:
opiumtraum Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013
Self promotion? What's that?
I know what it is. Personally, it's my greatest failure as an artist. I hate it. Making art- yes. Pimping myself out- no. Delayed self promotion....for me that'd be simple procrastination. I've delayed my self-promotion for 40 years. One facet to the self-promotion thing is, many galleries, if/when you intend to show your work, ask for work that's no more than two years old. I've never quite understood that requirement- regardless of how old something is- if it's the first time somebody's seen it- it's new to them, right?
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:icondaws3:
Daws3 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013   General Artist
I sometimes forget that fact and don't want to show people things that I've just seen for so long. I'm so bored of them at that point it's hard for me to remember it's not going to present that way to them.
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:icontetchist:
Tetchist Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
no, it's stupid.

what do you think's going to happen if someone sees your work as it currently is, and then later sees you do something better? are they going to say to themselves, "Oh, they got BETTER? Well that clearly means they're a worthless piece of crap." :la:
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:icondaws3:
Daws3 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013   General Artist
yes :nod:
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:icontetchist:
Tetchist Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
that's ridiculous :la:
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:icondaws3:
Daws3 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013   General Artist
I know :cries:
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:iconnelchee:
nelchee Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Professional General Artist
Yeah, actually I have a full plan for promotion set up for later when I have a body of work that I know my target clients might like. Right now I'm working on improving my skills.

I'm not hiding my portfolio of course, there are people who like my art as it is and are willing to hire me for it, but the additional promotional activities will wait for a bit.
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:icondaws3:
Daws3 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013   General Artist
yeah that's basically where I'm at as well
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:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013   Digital Artist
Yes, so then I went and made better art that I was proud of. :iconbiggrinplz:
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:icondaws3:
Daws3 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013   General Artist
you make it seem so simple, but were you just always able to make better art and didn't? or did you work on your craft and improve through practice?
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:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013   Digital Artist
Practice and working on it . And I learned to be less self conscious because letting people see my not-so-good art helps me because they can give me feedback on what to work on.
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:iconhabla-babla:
habla-babla Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Oh absolutely. Sure we all think "Ah my art sucks / its not where I want it to be yet". But I think another reason is because art is very ... revealing. Its like youre showing a part of yourself to the world and it makes you feel a little naked sometimes. Sortof uncomfortable. I believe when you begin to feel that way then you know you are on the right path.
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:icondaws3:
Daws3 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013   General Artist
that's comforting :)
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Constantly. :B
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:icondaws3:
Daws3 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013   General Artist
So what do you do about it?
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