The Artist’s Marketing Dilemma: A Play

Screen shot 2013-03-14 at 2.02.35 PMScene one:  Afternoon.  A room.  An artist is sitting across the table from a PR consultant.

Artist:  To tell you the truth, I’m not sure why I’m even here.  I’m not comfortable with the PR game.  My job is to create my work.  I’m an artist not a salesperson.

PR Consultant:  I understand and it’s precisely because your work is so important to you that you owe it to your work to build a bridge between your art and your audience.  And the PR game is no stranger than the art game, believe me.

Artist:  But in my life the art’s the thing.   If my art is quality work, it will find its audience.

PR Consultant:  Build it and they will come?

Artist: Something like that.

PR Consultant:  That’s a great sentiment, but what if they don’t?  And what if your art never reaches the type of audience that it could solely because you refused to let people know it existed.  Marketing and PR might be foreign to you, you might be uncomfortable with it, you might have a huge amount of resistance, but what if it works?  What if I’m right?

Artist:  I want to get my work in front of as many people as possible.  But I don’t like marketing.  Plus, I wouldn’t know where to start.

PR Consultant:  But we do.  Creating and implementing the campaign would be our job.  We’d formulate a strategy.  We’d work together as a team.  It’s a creative process.

Artist:  But I don’t want to be known as an artist with a PR representative, or with a marketing team.

PR Consultant:  Marketing didn’t bother Warhol.  From what we know of Shakespeare, he was a heck of a promoter.  Dickens was no marketing slouch.  Ginsberg was one hell of a PR force for the Beats.   Musicians and film makers have used marketing and PR from day one to get their work out there.   Artists have marketed from day one.  It’s part of their job.  We can find an approach that works for you. We work with painter, sculptors, authors, film makers, musicians and designers.  Each one needs his or her own approach and direction.

Artist:  I don’t think you really get what I’m talking about.  You’re not artists.  You don’t understand.

PR Consultant:  But we do and we are.  We’re marketers, but we’re also novelists, playwrights, painters, musicians and actors.  We’re artists who also market.  Look at it this way, effective PR really comes down to one thing, effective storytelling.  Who better to tell your story than people who not only know PR and marketing, but are also professional writers?  Marketing artists is an art.  It can open new horizons for both you and your work.  I realize it means stepping out of your comfort zone, but when you think about it, isn’t that what art calls for?  You’ve said you want to get your art in front of as wide an audience as possible.  Here is a process that will allow you to do that.

Artist:  I need my focus to be on my art.  That’s where I need to put my time and efforts.  It takes time.  Inspiration just doesn’t come.  I need to give it time.

PR Consultant:  That’s where the collaborative process comes in.  We focus on your marketing so you can focus on your art, which can then inspire others.  To quote Salvador Dali, another artist who understood the power of marketing, “A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others.”

Artist: I’m not a Dali fan.

PR Consultant: Point taken, but you’ve heard of him, right?  You know who he is.  You know his art, his work.  That didn’t just happen.  That’s really what this conversation is about.

Artist: (Long Pause) Okay, so, hypothetically speaking, let’s say I wanted to move forward, to work with you to get my art out there, how would we start?

Lights Fade

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2013

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