Monday, September 3, 2012

Connecting the Dots – Making Your Art Relevant

"Beach Buddies" mixed media on 16x20 canvas
I’ve talked about the importance of networking as you make your way in your career, and the importance of getting your artwork seen and your name recognized. But there’s another side of the networking coin that’s even more important. It’s called connecting.

What’s the difference you might ask? The focus of “connecting” is your audience. Who are you painting for? Do you paint only for yourself or do you have something to say? Who do you want to say it to? It’s all about finding your voice as an artist and connecting with your audience.

This takes networking, a critical step in marketing, to a whole new level. It means connecting with people in a new way, not just visually, but emotionally and intellectually. It’s about making your artwork memorable, recognizable, and desirable. It means connecting to your buyer.

"With These Hands -- Love" 18x24 oil on canvas; framed
This last step may take years for an artist to develop. What is it about you and your perceptions and attitudes about life that make you unique and different? How can you incorporate this originality into your voice so that you may connect with people? Do you want to make a statement or do you just want to paint pretty pictures?

I’ve asked myself that question many times. I watch what sells, and I know that a big part of it is painting pretty scenes with dynamic colors that catch a person’s eye, whimsy, or the décor of their living room. Sadly, this may make a sale, but unless there is something else to grab the mind and heart of the viewer, it is quickly forgotten in the stream of other things in life and other competitive art that grabs for attention.

"An Open Book" 16x20 mixed media on canvas
If we want to make our mark, our voice has to speak volumes about us as individual artists. Depth of soul, depth of character, and a unique perspective say as much about us on canvas as does the skill we use in applying paint, composition, and structure. Success and recognition come when we finally make that connection!

Featured Artist
Magal Nagar was born in New York, and at age 9 her family relocated to Israel. At the age of 18, Magal fulfilled her two-year Israeli military obligation, assisting with the operations of a kibbutz (communal settlement). It was during this period, inspired by nature in the rural mountain setting of Southern Israel, that Nagar found her gift and passion for painting. Indeed, through exploration with color, she had achieved her own intuitive, unique form of self expression and inner peace.