Monday, September 6, 2010

"Don't Play It Safe"

I am always reading "art" and marketing related articles and once in a while I come across one that reflects my feelings exactly. I would like to share with you one of these recent articles, written by Keith Bond. Enjoy!

Don't Play it Safe
by Keith Bond

This article is by Keith Bond, Regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.

I recently read something from Alyson Stanfield that I would like to address today. She wrote:

“Stop playing it safe. Allow yourself to experiment and make mistakes. It’s the only way to move forward. If you stay in your comfort zone all the time, you won’t grow as an artist or as a businessperson. Get uncomfortable and take some risks.”

I like this statement. A lot.

I think each of us has times when we are a little afraid to do something. I know I do. Sometimes it is an idea for a painting that is a stretch for me. Sometimes it is a marketing idea. Sometimes it is another medium.

Everyone has these hurdles that need to be overcome. It is healthy to stretch yourself. It is good to push your limits. As Alyson points out, it’s the only way to grow.

Think of your art and business as moving water. Moving water is clean and refreshing (at least here in the Western U.S.). Water that doesn’t move forward – water that stagnates – becomes dirty and begins to stink. Don’t let your art stagnate. Don’t let your business stagnate. Don’t just play it safe – if you do, you quit moving forward. And I’m sure you don’t want to stink.

A friend of mine has the following quote on his office wall. It was written by the prolific and great Anonymous (I am sure someone else wrote it, but Anonymous gets the credit).

“Don’t be afraid to try something new.

Remember, the ark was built by an amateur.

But a group of professionals built the Titanic.”

Here is a short list of some things you may do to push yourself.

- Learn your medium better.

- Learn a new medium

- Try a new technique.

- Attempt a collaborative work.

- Try a new genre or subject.

- Experiment with a new color palette.

- Write a blog.

- Talk about your art.

- Try new marketing ideas.

- Write about your work.

- Re-write your bio.

- Put your portfolio together to show that gallery.

- Send that follow-up letter.

- Make that telephone call you have put off.

- Send a “nice to meet you” card to a new contact.

- Teach

There are thousands of other ideas (but this late at night, my mind is mushy). I am sure you have had some. But maybe you have been hesitant. Give it a try. Take that risk. Don’t simply play it safe. Push yourself. What do you have to lose? What will you gain by trying? What will you gain by not trying?

Best Wishes,

Keith Bond

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