Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Paris 2020 (4 of 12) -- street art smarts from (@paris_paintings) rad_1paintings on Instagram UPDATED 11.9.20

On a sunny Sunday, like most tourists, I was walking around the scenic areas. The bridges near Notre Dame were busy with vendors of all sorts....

as well as street artists....
This display below caught my eye...

UPDATE -- This artist has this new name for his IG account: rad_1paintings

What's especially smart about this set-up, is when you go to the link the artist features, you find his personal work -- amazing, compelling photographs..... not the little tourist art on his display. The link rewards an audience that is curious about artists and art. Win-win!!
I'm always looking for smart ways artists are making their art work harder for them. This artist had a display of appealing small original canvases. They were little souvenir images. A handy size for packing in a suitcase. A unique gift to bring to friends, family, etc. The subject matter was geared to that market. The display featured his Instagram handle... so if you took a photo of his set-up, you would likely get that in the shot as well, and be able to find him again online. That's so smart!!!
In  my survival-level French, I asked the artist if I could take some photos of his display. He gave permission in English and we chatted some more in English about his work. I told him how impressed I was with his marketing. He told me his personal work was nothing like the little paintings he was selling. Then we discussed how artists often have to make time for the personal art they deeply value, while they produce other art and/or have a "day job" to support themselves.

What I found very astute about what this artist was doing was the way he was juggling both sides of his art work-life. Yes, he was doing the street art, knocking off little canvases to fill a niche in the tourist market. But he was also using that art to spark some interest in his personal work. He was using the tourist art as a bridge to connect followers to work that he valued more.

How do you build a career where the art you love to make is the artWORK that supports you???

You build that loyal following of clients who are invested in you. That's not just "likes" and "shares." That's financial support. They learn your story, support your vision, and will spend money every year on your work.

Do the math.

If you live in an expensive city, are free lance having to self-fund your benefits, and especially if you have dependents.. you may need $100,000 a year. That feels like an impossible goal...

But look at the problem another way....  can you market your art to attract 1,000 clients who will spend $100 a year on your art.

The possibilities can become realities.

You have to see the business opportunities.

At the end of our chat, I insisted on paying a token amount for his time and the permission to take the photos. I told him I didn't want to just take photos and not pay for them... that I wanted other tourists to see that I wasn't just taking the photos without compensating him somehow for his work. He would only accept my money if I accepted a painting in return. I fear I didn't pay him enough given how much I really enjoy that little painting...... Meanwhile.. I encourage all of you reading this to check out his Instagram.
His photography there is AMAZING!!! He deserves an exhibition for the images is producing.
As he said, his personal work is nothing like his street art. But his little paintings are wonderful mementos for the public... and a reminder to them that art is a way we conserve our memories and share them.
And these little canvases could lead a larger audience to his valuable personal work.
Watch for posts coming soon on one of my best friends in Paris.. the Rhino of Versailles!

No comments: