A fireball artist
April 12, 2013
Cory Trepanier of Caledon, Ontario, Canada is an example of an artist who goes it alone. Cory has achieved remarkable success and popularity without benefit of dealers or galleries. He's what we like to call a rugged individualist. Like most self-made folks, he has some ideas on how to make it. In his own words, here are a few:
"1) Create quality art. It all begins with creating meaningful, passionate and high quality work! If it's not meaningful to you, how can you expect it to be meaningful to anyone else?
2) Get inspired. Hunger for excellence. Continuously seek inspiration to make your work better.
3) Have a website. A personal website is vital, but it needs to change and evolve. You can learn to build one yourself or use one of the many templates widely available.
4) Use social media. A Facebook page (business, not personal), Twitter, Google Plus, etc., are great ways to grow and connect with your audience and clients. And they're free.
5) Develop a mailing list--anyone who comes through your studio or meets you at art shows or anywhere. It's the power of permission-based marketing. Email your latest work to the list, every month.
6) Find a business mentor. Connect with others who are successful in other lines of business. Bounce ideas off them, pick their brains. Maybe they can re-write a proposal for you.
7) Spend at least 20-30% of your time marketing. You have to pay for this either way. Either you pay a gallery to do this for you (taking an average of 50% commission), or you put your time and effort into it. Unless people see the great art you're making, they'll never buy it.
8) Tell a story. Tell about your processes; how you get ideas and develop your paintings. Most people view the artistic process as something of a mystery. Leverage that, and engage your prospective clients with good stories. For many, buying art is their escape from the real world. Make it entertaining and enjoyable."