How to Share Your Life as an Inspired Artist

by Carolyn Edlund

There’s a lot of competition for attention in our everyday lives. How can an artist stand out with all the noise?


Artist Mary Garrish paints en plein air on Italy's Amalfi Coast

Artist Mary Garrish paints en plein air on Italy’s Amalfi Coast


People mostly care about themselves, and what they like. As an artist who wants to be seen and remembered, you need to make an emotional connection with others to engage their attention. But you are very fortunate, because artists and art are always fascinating subjects. Many people wish they could be artists, and imagine the artist’s life is passionate, free, and exciting. That might not always be true, but what you share with your audience can shape the interest they have in your work.

Whether you communicate through your website, in a blog post, via email marketing, on social media, at a live talk or with printed material, you have the option to share visual and written content that will pique collectors’ interests and capture their hearts. Suggested topics:

Your Life and Inspiration

  • Share what inspires you to create, such as a recent trip, an extraordinary poem, or a quiet walk through the woods. Fill these stories with images and memories.
  • List artists you admire from history, or personal acquaintance. Why are they notable, and what do you like best about them?
  • Review a book that you love and that is meaningful to you personally or artistically.
  • What in your daily life helps you to stay creative and inspired? Meditation? Yoga? Kayaking? Caramel macchiato?


Artist studio pets

Studio mascots clockwise from left: Brad Reyes’ pup Giacometti, Lisa Stewart’s kitten Zari, Donna Howard’s cat LucyBlue and Nancy Beardsley’s dog Parker Roger.


Your Studio and Creative Process

  • Give others a peek into your artistic practice. Do you paint in the morning, all night, outdoors?
  • What type of music sets the mood for working in your studio? Share your playlist.
  • Introduce your studio mascots, the pets who stay by your side every day offering unconditional support, or even critique.
  • Share your technique through in-process photos over time, or make a time-lapse video to tell the story.
  • Tell your secrets. Do you work with unusual materials? What about your technique is different or fascinating?


Artists & Makers Gallery

A Grand Obsession exhibition at Artists & Makers Gallery in Rockville, Maryland, with art by Francie Hester, Martha Jackson Jarvis, Michael Enn Sirvet, Betsy Stewart, and Eve Stockton.


Your Art in the World

  • Got a show coming up? Celebrate and spread the word through invitations and announcements.
  • Photograph a gallery space before the work is hung, during the process, and the result. Write about your experience.
  • Take a panoramic shot of your solo show.
  • Share pictures of your opening, the crowd, and the excitement, or take a video at the event.
  • Snap a photo of your collectors and the works they now proudly own.

Through stories and images, you can draw in your audience, engage with them and find commonality. Pursue conversation, invite them to share their thoughts. In these messages, don’t forget to include a gentle Call to Action. Link to your website and send your fans to your online portfolio, ask them to follow you on social media, or ask them to join your mailing list to hear more from you on an ongoing basis.

It takes time to cultivate fans and followers and turn them into collectors. People buy from others that they know, like and trust. Your authentic stories, images and engagement will further that relationship.

How have you shared your passionate life as an artist with the world?


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  1. Carolyn,
    Thank you for all the ideas for telling personal stories. It is so helpful to have a list to choose from and to add to. One of the things I have noticed in my personal journey with art is that I seem to grow into doing marketing strategies that seemed impossible when I began. In the beginning I was overwhelmed with so many “shoulds” for marketing. I decided to try one strategy at a time. As that becomes routine I start another. It has helped manage the anxiety of the unknown that I generate myself.

    • What a great idea! Doing everything at once is, of course, impossible. A personal story is effective because it is authentic. It is a story you know well, you just need to write with clarity and meaning. Increasingly today, collectors are looking to connect directly with the artist. They love that relationship. Being yourself and being accessible plays into that perfectly.

  2. Catherine says

    What wonderful advice to promote your art! Being the type to hide my art under wraps, have thustly insured of not selling my art. The advice comment from Elise of doing one thing at a time is PRICELESS.

  3. For many artists having a large studio with beautiful natural lighting, peace and quiet with freedom to create whatever art they want is their ultimate goal. Maybe I am just a people person – but a lonely studio has no appeal. I am excited to go and paint on location in businesses and at events. I love to share the process of creating a piece of art. Today I will be painting at the Western Canadian Bank , Strathcona branch. and then off to the Western Canadian Breeders horse Show for 4 days. I paint at shopping mall’s, charity events , hotel’s in fact I am open to all possibilities. This approach to sharing my art with the world has been amazing, I have met and been inspired by new people. Have been given tons of exciting opportunities and increased my fan base not to mention sold lots of art along the way. I am something half way between a performance artist and a busker – this approach may not appeal to everyone – but it is working for me.

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