For the past two months, I have been working through an online program called B-School. It was created by Marie Forleo and she and her team run it once each year. The “B” stands for business and most of the people who enroll in B-School have traditional businesses that offer products or services. Marie walks you through an in-depth series of exercises that help you clarify your purpose, your customer, the need that you are meeting and then how to most effectively reach the people who want what you have to offer.
Making art seems to fall into its own category. To describe what my art offers as meeting a need feels a little, um, generous. And yet, I have often received comments about how meaningful it was to be a part of one of my projects or to witness one of them. Part of my work these past two months has been to stop with all those “art is extra, frivolous, a luxury” comments in my head. If I really believed that, I would not have dedicated my life to making art. What if I actually allowed myself to commit to the statement, “My artwork is important and necessary.”? What if I stopped being apologetic and minimizing when I talked about my work?
I also have been working on clarifying the ways that I would like to invite people to participate in my work in an ongoing way. I started with some ideas about a year ago over on Patreon. The Patreon format is very interesting but it never was a great fit for me and I found myself bending like a pretzel to make what I want to offer work in their system, which is always a sign that things aren’t quite right. Last week, i shifted everything over here to my shop. It feels like the start of something important and new, not just for myself but for all kinds of visual artists who are interested in engaging directly with their audience.
I will write more in future posts but meanwhile, maybe you want to head over there and take a look.