Tag Archives: press

Growing your success

Amy Guidry giving a talk at the New Orleans Museum of Art
Amy Guidry giving a talk at the New Orleans Museum of Art

I had a question from someone wanting to know my thoughts on his acceptance into a particular publication (Studio Visit, to be precise, which I have discussed before here).  Often when I would get my work featured in a certain show or a magazine, I would get questions as to whether that led to something bigger.  Because I don’t ever rely on just one opportunity, I can’t pinpoint or put some sort of quantitative measurement to it.  While it would be nice to come up with a specific formula that doing X + Y = Z, I find it is best to have a continuous cycle of productivity going.

I don’t believe there is ever one accomplishment that opens doors.  On rare occasion you hear of some now-famous artist that was discovered and then had a sold-out show.  These are the stories that artists hear and think “that could be me.”  For the overwhelming majority of artists, including the famous ones, it was a series of events that got them to where they are today.

So in the case of the artist that contacted me, I told him that it is not so much about being in the magazine, but what you do with it.

For example:

– Once he is published in the magazine, get extra copies to send to collectors

– If you can afford it, get additional copies for potential buyers as well (anyone that seems really interested in your work)

– Give copies of the magazine to galleries as part of your portfolio presentation

– Inform your local press (newspapers, radio, etc.) that you got into the magazine

Find ways to make the most of your accomplishments and extend their shelf-life.  No one opportunity will do it, but if you can make it snowball into more, you’ll increase your chances of getting bigger and/or more opportunities.

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www.AmyGuidry.com

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Helpful Hint- Boosting Your Publicity

May issue of Art Calendar Magazine- my profile is featured on pg. 44
May issue of Art Calendar Magazine- my profile is featured on pg. 44

One question that I seem to get repeatedly as an artist, and not from viewers but from other artists, is “how do you get your work published?” On my website, you will find a Press section in which I post articles in newspapers, magazines, and sometimes online articles about my work. (Take a look at www.amyguidry.com/press.html) If I had to estimate, I would say that 70% of those originated because I notified writers and editors about my exhibits or announcements. (For the record, Art Calendar’s Louise Buyo contacted me- I just got lucky on that one!) Of course these days, press is viral, so if one blog or paper publishes you, another will then post something. I’ve had that happen a lot as well, which I did not directly influence. Anyway, I want to give you some helpful information to boost your own publicity.

First, assuming you already know what you want to promote, make a list of your local media. If it’s an out-of-state show, you should also do some research and find their media contacts as well. Get some double-duty out of your efforts. Once you have your media contacts- names of actual people, not just the name of the newspaper, etc., you can start writing your press release. I’m no writer, (yes, ironic since I have a blog…), but I always write a press release when I have a show or a big award or something I think the general public may find interesting. In your press release, which I like to limit to a one-page letter for expediency, you should give the usual- who, where, when, how, and why. You don’t want to write a bland description covering all these bases. I know- but isn’t that the writer’s job- to spruce things up? Yes, but there is a lot of news out there in the world, and especially for newspapers, it has to be covered quickly on a daily basis and they don’t have enough writers to possibly cover everything. This means you need to get their attention with something that sounds too great to not write about and make it easy for the writer to get all their information in the least amount of time possible.

So, here’s how to do it: You need a pitch. You can’t just write, “I am having an exhibition this Saturday at the Big Time Art Museum.” Start brainstorming. What reasons do you have for the public to find this interesting?   Think in terms of impressing not just your writer or editor, but the public as well since that’s who you’re ultimately trying to impress. Think of what would matter most to the public. What is the most significant factor behind your news? How will it affect the public? Think of this as telling a story, not just stating facts.

Once you have your letter written, you can then add to your press release by including images. Either photographs, or a CD, or a brochure- just something with images pertaining to your news. A CD may be best since the writer can automatically use images from it, but if you can also offer to email high-resolution images. Oh, and be sure to send all of this to your media prospects well in advance of your event. I have found that it can take up to 3 months to get coverage, so the sooner the better. Depending on the publication, they may be booked for awhile and not able to fit your story in on short notice. Regardless, give at least a month’s notice to ensure at least some coverage.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear back right away… or at all even.  Sometimes it takes a few tries, especially if you are unfamiliar to the media.  Be persistent (and patient!).   Questions? Feel free to ask.  Comments?  Let me know. www.AmyGuidry.com

The 411 on Donating Your Art

"New Realm" by Amy Guidry- Sold at Auction

I get asked to donate my artwork fairly often. And this topic has been broached with me before in the art marketing class that I have conducted. So I thought it might be helpful to offer some insight into donations. First, you won’t be able to do them all- and please don’t feel bad about it. I get letters and emails requesting my work, sometimes several in one month. If I donated to all of them, I’d be out of paintings. And a girl’s gotta eat, so I have to have something left to sell. Next, you should decide who you’d like to help. Some charities hold the same art auction every year, so if it’s one that you would like to help on a continual basis, you can go ahead and plan on that and mark your calendar for it in the upcoming year(s). Or, you may like to alternate who you help and plan on donating to a different charity next go round just to even out the playing field a bit.

When deciding on who you would like to donate to, there are a few things to take into consideration. What does your donation do for this charity, organization, etc.? What will you be supporting? Does this follow your personal beliefs? What type of venue will hold the event? Who are the other participating artists? Would you be honored to have your work seen in such an event and amongst the other artists’ work? What kind of publicity will you gain from this experience? Will your donation conflict with another obligation, be it an exhibit, juried show, etc.?

I know this is a lot to consider and may even sound selfish, but the truth is, there’s much more to consider when donating your art than just simply writing a check to support a cause. This is about more than just money because it also involves time and labor- lots of it. You’re an artist, you know that it wasn’t easy to create this piece you’re about to give away. It took time, supplies, energy, creativity, willpower, and probably involved a personal sacrifice ranging anywhere from sleep to your family. So yes, you should consider what you get out of this. And if you decide that you can’t part with your work for whatever reason, but would truly like to help, simply write a check for this organization, charity, etc. You’ll directly help them without feeling guilty. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with just stating the truth- “I’d love to help, but I have [fill in other obligation here] and won’t be able to. But please add me to your mailing list, I’d love to donate next year.”

Thoughts? Questions? Let me know, either here or at www.AmyGuidry.com!