That is the message that greeted me in an email I received earlier this week. It was 6am and I had just made myself a cup of green tea and was starting my day in an exuberant mood as I reviewed emails. The cause of this this terse little response was an email we sent out promoting the smARTist Telesummit. This is an event which we really believe in and in 2011 we are invited Keynote speakers.
I’m normally fairly thick skinned on the odd occasion someone unsubscribes from one of our email lists – but this time I felt different. This was a person who had received some really great free information from us that would really help them to promote their art career if they actually used it. I wouldn’t have minded if they had simply clicked the “unsubscribe” button displayed visibly in the email – but to go the extra step of adding a rude little snipe like that really surprised me.
This got me wondering – do some artists really think that they should get everything free? Is it really too offensive to them that amongst all the free articles and information we and many other great art marketing and art career websites publish that we occasionally promote something we believe in that has a price tag? Surely not! But apparently so!
So, just for the record, here are a few thoughts from me on this topic. In a perfect world I would probably spend a good part of my weeks writing art marketing articles and books and teaching art marketing seminars. I have a genuine interest in helping artists bridge the gap that often exists between art and business and helping them to bring more beauty and creativity into the world. This is a world that really needs it!
That said, I and all the other art marketing writers out there run businesses – not charities. We have to run our businesses successfully because we need to eat and support our loved ones and communities. Money may not buy happiness but you can’t do a whole lot in this world without it. And I for one am several decades past being able to sleep on the sofa at my Mum and Dad’s place!
So, amongst all the volumes of free information we and many others provide, occasionally we promote products and services we believe in that are not free – and we make no apologies. If you as an artist are offended by a commercial offer then by all means feel free to unsubscribe. But before you do, think about what this might be telling you about your own relationship with art career success – because if you are uncomfortable with receiving an occasional promotion from us, how are you going to feel comfortable about asking for the sale with a new art collector? And you most certainly will have to do that!
Money is not a god to be worshiped but it is a big part of the world we live in. If you are uncomfortable with it, then it it will almost certainly feel uncomfortable with you. Think about that!