Marketing Monday: Having An Artist’s Statement

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Oh, if it were only as easy as clicking a button on your keyboard!

Last week I wrote a post about your “About” page with some pretty solid advice, at least that’s what I thought. I still stand behind all my suggestions, but David Bock disagreed with me in one of the Facebook forums. I started to get a little defensive, but totally understood his point when I read what he and Cathy have on their site. I have to admit I like the way they’ve presented their “About” page.

In my post I had suggested you stay away from personal information that’s not relevant, especially awards, camera gear, how long you’ve been shooting etc. Well, David and Cathy went totally personal, but they stayed consistent, sharing facts about themselves that were funny, light-hearted and painted a picture of a great couple to trust your wedding with.  When you look at the entire “body of work” it’s very clever and through humor, they’re doing the same thing I had suggested, built trust with their clients.

They’ve done their story in two parts, “Us” and “Our Style” and while I personally like shorter pieces, I love the way they’ve covered both topics. It reminds me in part of the qualities in Justin and Mary Marantz’s “About” video, still considered one of the very best in the industry.

Here’s one more approach…

A few years ago my good buddy, Scott Bourne, shared his artist’s statement in a blog post and I want to share it with you again, in the hopes that it will give you some stronger direction in writing your own. Scott’s focus at the time was all about wildlife art photography, but it doesn’t matter what your specialty is. Work to develop and share the kind of passion that Scott shared below.

For me, wildlife art photography is about two connecting themes: extraordinary craftsmanship in terms of technical mastery of photography and a fundamental understanding of the dynamics of the nature behind the image.

At a deeper level, however, I pursue this art form because of its almost religious qualities.

One day, I can have a vision in my mind that represents a photograph I want to make. This vision exists only in my head and my heart – it’s a silent vision which has the power to bring me out into the field, month after month, year after year, for a chance to turn that vision into something tangible that I can share with others.

The other religious aspect of my work is focus and devotion to an idea over which I have absolutely no control.

I learn all that I can about the natural factors behind each photographic opportunity, but I never know how they will play out. My artistry focuses on the beauty of things which are random. Wildlife operates within its own free will. The bird flies its own path.

It’s different than working in a photography studio where I have control over the set, the model and the lights. As a wildlife artist, my gift is to know how to “show up prepared” to interact with beauty that I do not control. I must learn to be at peace with my subject on their terms, not on mine.

I struggle with finding the patience and the path. But when that struggle becomes the hardest, I remember my calling. I speak for the creatures which have no voice. Perhaps this is why the experience is so emotional for me.

Each time I get a perfect moment and capture that with my camera, I experience joy and sadness. I am joyful because the finished work provides me with a lifelong memory of a successful vision. But I also feel sadness that the pursuit is over.

After that moment, the cycle begins again, and I launch the pursuit of the next creative vision. I hope to share that vision well enough that others may someday wish to help speak for the animals too.

No matter how you choose to tell your story, remember, this is a time for you to show your heart, not your credentials.

Video has added a whole new dimension to enhancing your About page, bio and artist statement and this is the perfect time to remind you of the new contest we just launched with Photodex. We’re searching for the ultimate self-promotional video with a terrific grand prize. Checking it out is just a click away!

Photo Credit: © tashatuvango – Fotolia

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