Notes by Christen: Make Yourself Available

I recently had a conversation with a fellow editor that I couldn’t wait to share with all of you. She came into my office because she found some fantastic artwork by an artist—artwork she really wanted to publish. There was just one problem: she couldn’t figure out how to get in touch with the artist. Her blog had no “contact me” link, nor did it provide her full name. My suggestion was to leave a comment on her blog and hoped she wrote back, but then we encountered a second issue: she didn’t allow comments. We came to the conclusion that maybe the artist didn’t care that much about getting published or selling her artwork. That’s no problem, but if she does have goals such as those, it’s important to make it easy for others to contact her. This situation brought to mind another obstacle I’ve had while trying to recruit artwork for my publications. More often than you’d believe, artists go by different names on Flickr, Etsy, Twitter, Facebook, blogs . . . you get the idea. I’ll find myself going from site to site wondering if this artist is the same as that artist. With all of that jumping around, it’s easy to forget what you’re doing and become distracted. If you’re trying to get your artwork out there, that’s the last thing you want to happen. If your goal is to get published, or even to sell some of your artwork, you need to make it easy for others to contact you. Put a “contact me” button on your blog or website. Use the same name on every website you use. Make use of widgets that easily allow the reader to find any other website your work may be posted on. Make it easy for anyone who may want to discuss your artwork with you. In a time when new artists are popping up daily, take these steps to ensure your artwork will get the attention it deserves. These small steps will make it worth it in the long run. Christen Olivarez is Director of Publishing for Stampington & Company and Editor-in-Chief of Somerset Studio, the top-ranked magazine for mixed-media and paper artists. You can listen to a podcast with Christen by clicking here.
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