Poor Vincent Van Gogh.
When he died at age 37, Wikipedia tells us, “His work was then known to only a handful of people and appreciated by fewer still.”
But did his work find an audience? Are there millions all over the globe who love his art?
Yes. I am one of them and I bet you are too.
It’s too bad he didn’t have internet marketing or a resource like creativity coaching. If he had, he might have been able to feel the fulfillment of knowing that his work was touching millions.
It’s one of my goals with creativity coaching to teach you how NOT to be like Vincent Van Gogh, in the dying-young-and-unappreciated aspect of his life.
Before we had the internet (and right now for the people don’t know how to use it effectively) an artist had to sit around, hoping some critic, patron, or gallery took a fancy to her work.
But now there are nearly two and a half BILLION people getting online every day according to this source. (http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm).
Does that mean you can find an audience for your spider-web-inspired, splatter-painted greeting cards?
Does that mean you can find an audience for your hand-painted, custom-fit, silicone mermaid tails?
Yes. (see https://themertailor.com/)
Does that mean you can find an audience for your erotic zombies-in-space novels?
Does it mean you can find an audience for your paintings of plates of fruit?
Because everyone paints plates of fruit. It’s not authentic.
Now, if you are obsessed with fruit, and can show in new and unusual ways that you genuinely are obsessed with it, then you might find an audience. But most people know that an artist who is painting plates of fruit is an artist who doesn't know herself well. She doesn't know what really turns her on, lights her up, or makes her feel the deep and searing emotions we all long to feel.
So to find people who value your work, my dear, first find your voice. And that doesn't mean searching high and low. It simply means discarding everything that isn't authentic about yourself, and exploring what is really in your heart to explore. Your voice is already inside you, but it’s often buried beneath layers of approval-seeking and fit-in thinking. (Hint, your “thing” is probably something you've been obsessed with since you were 14).
ARE YOU FEELING SCARED?
Afraid people will laugh at you, think you are immature, “too much,” “not enough,” boring, weird, insane, or otherwise judge you?
Well, those feelings of yours mean you are on the right track. Explore that place.
And people will judge you. But many, many more will love you. Your work will touch them deeply.
Start exploring your most authentic self as the first step to finding people who value your work.
Leave a comment below if this resonated with you, and if you have any questions about this post, I will be happy to answer them below.
Start exploring your most authentic self, make art from that place, and find people who value your work within a few short months.