Detail of painting by Karen Sperling from her photo taken at the Butterfly House in Topanga, CA.
I had a great conversation with Rodney Washington today. I’ll be a guest on his radio blog show on Thursday, May 6, 2010 at 1 p.m., Pacific Time.
I was impressed with Rodney’s take on the importance of marketing.
He tells photographers that instead of thinking about marketing as dreading having to make another phone call, think about what your niche is, “what’s your message, what’s the reason behind why you’re doing what you’re doing and how it’s affecting people,” and then speak that message. “The money will come if the message is in alignment” with who you are and what you believe in.
Nowadays, anyone who has a business has to do marketing in one form or another. I never think of myself as a master marketer, but I certainly have to do it to keep my business going.
And what Rodney said really hit home for me. I told him I never really thought about it before, but my message, my reason behind why I do what I do, is what I wrote in my book, Painting for Photographers, and that is, if you think you can paint photos, you probably can.
The reason that’s so important to me is because I want to offer encouragement to others to paint and to pursue creative interests because no one ever encouraged me.
When I was younger, I thought no one encouraged me because no one thought I was very good at anything.
Now that I’m older, I realize that there are zillions of reasons preventing people from encouraging you, and most, if not all, have nothing to do with you.
Some people don’t need encouragement. They are made of tougher stuff and they can go out and realize their potential without any feedback from anyone.
I took to heart all the negative feedback and lack of encouragement and waited all my life to realize my creative potential. And I’ve only just begun to do so, I have a lot more I want to accomplish.
What got me going was some encouragement from an editor of a magazine. She was the only person who ever said to me about art, you can do it, and I did, and she published my first painting.
Click here to read the story.
So that’s my message, if you think you can do something creative, you probably can, and as for painting photos, I’m here to help you turn your interest in painting photos into a passion by showing you not only the art concepts and the software tools, but also by being the example of what I’m teaching. I never finished a painting before 2001 and now I’ve exhibited my art in New York and Los Angeles and during Art Basel Miami, and I’ve sold my art and commissioned portraits to private collectors.
So if I can do it, you can do it!
I guess this is marketing, then, but it sure doesn’t feel like it, and I guess that was Rodney’s point, and it’s a good one–do what you believe in and everything will fall into place.
I titled this blog the aha moments because that’s when I get the most satisfaction out of teaching Corel Painter workshops, when I’m showing photographers the art concepts and the Painter steps for painting their photos, and their expressions go from fear and confusion to aha! That’s how you do it! For me as a teacher, those aha moments are fantastic!
I’m sure readers of my Artistry Tips and Tricks and my Painting for Photographers book also have aha moments, but I don’t see them! I do see the aha moments in my Corel Painter classes, though, and they’re the reason I love teaching Painter, to give people who think they’d like to paint the tools to get them painting.
And you can experience your own aha moments live at an Artistry Painting for Photographers Retreat, where you learn the art concepts and receive step-by-step Painter instruction for turning photos into paintings. The next Artistry Retreat is May 12-14, 2010 in Atlanta, followed by a Los Angeles Artistry Retreat May 24-26, 2010, then again in Los Angeles June 21-23, 2010 and in New York, June 28-30, 2010. Click here for details.
Are you someone who has had an aha moment from my Corel Painter tutorials, books or classes about painting photos? Please share your aha moments in the comments. You’ll be encouraging those who are afraid to paint to learn the art concepts and Painter steps and to paint their photos!
And tune in to Rodney Washington’s radio blog show on Thursday, May 6, 2010 at 1 p.m., Pacific Time. Between his insights about marketing and my painting information and experience, it should be a pretty interesting conversation!