Thursday, November 30, 2017

Feed the animals

On the other side of the deep intimacy of the creative process, one is hurled into the lights and camera lenses of marketing and sharing one's work. This is the hardest part of the process for many of us so-called "creative types". Marketing and selling a book is very different from selling fine art. For one thing, paintings hang on the wall and exhibit themselves while you are off doing other things. Books sit on shelves, pile onto tables, rest in hard to reach cyber pages. They are much harder to be seen.
In the case of self-published books, there are no marketing departments to do the "social work" of getting the book seen and heard and read. I've learned to be patient with myself in accomplishing all the required support a book needs. It's going to be a slow process. I wasn't a marketing major. I didn't grow up with a computer screen in front of me since I was five. Social media is not second nature to me, in fact, trying to be consistent in social media taught me that I am shy, and that I would rather do creative things than connecting things. Show offs are really great at social media, people who like to be seen, people who like to be looked at. Let's face it, some people will do anything to be looked at. I was taught that such a characteristic made a person vain, perverse, and maybe even vulgar. Be that as it may, the Kardashians have proved that vanity can be a money-maker. I don't fit into that social media climbing genus or specie. (If you are a reader of this blog you know I'm often too shy to write too often.)
I am, however, very sociable, and that is a great help when presenting to classes or bookstore audiences. The interactions have been heart warming.
I love hearing from people who are reading or have read Tango Lessons. (I don't get many notes from readers of Freeing the Creative Spirit anymore.) And this is the real kernel in this post, the difference between being a painter and being a writer in getting feedback. We may be different types of animals, but both writer and artist egos love to be fed.
At the moment I have 6 reviews in Amazon, all 5 stars. Well, let's face it, most of them are friends. But they count! And every now and then I get an email from a friend or family member to say they are having a great time reading Tango Lessons. It is a wonderful feeling. I want to know exactly where they are in the story and what reactions they have to certain characters, and where do they think the story is going. But I cannot ask, I just content myself with a kind of self-satisfied realization that tells me I have given the world something that didn't exist before.
In the ACCI Gallery interview I said that the moment I saw a projection of Monet's painting of Rouen Cathedral in the Mist, I suddenly understood that painting/Art was magic. The artist, the writer, is a conjurer. We create something out of nothing and then we give it to the world as a gift.That is our form of magic. I'm sure you have experienced some magical excitement in response to some work of art, or perhaps a work of animation or music. All our art forms are magical means of transporting us beyond the hard, cold, ungiving surfaces of life.
So I'd like to encourage you to feed the artists. If you see a piece of fine art that you admire but can't afford, leave a note for the artist with the gallery person. (Someone once left me a note tucked into the stretcher bars on the back of a painting! That was great!) Write a fan letter, or email. You have no idea how much it means. Our art has a life of its own. It meets people we never meet, so we love to know that someone out there cares about that work we do all alone while the rest of the world is playing golf, going to a street fair, taking a nap, playing basketball, listening to jazz or all the other great things people do who choose not to write.
I started to write this blog in order to pass along my new Amazon Author's Page. The page has a bio, some photos, a link back to this blog. I think one can email the author that way, too. It's all new to me. Here is the link:
Thanks for reading. Maybe I'll hear from you some time.

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