I’ve never enjoyed the business end of selling art. The pricing of it. The search for new customers. The pitching and convincing that always leaves me feeling like a used car salesman who is pulling a fast one to make a quick buck. I know I’m one of millions who feels this way. The term “starving artist” exists for a very good reason–we are passionate about creating art, yet often terrible at profiting from it. It’s well known that some of the most famous paintings today come from artists who had to pass on first before those same paintings became desirable.
It’s a part of the game, I know. Any writer, photographer, filmmaker, painter, or musician knows that the creative track is probably one of the most difficult careers one can choose. And we also know we are lucky that our lives aren’t in danger like those in law enforcement and defense. That knowledge helps put things in perspective during the difficult times, but it still doesn’t pay the bills at the end of the day. Only sales will do the job.
I have no idea if I’ll ever master business part it, or if I will continually find myself frustrated with my results. I’ll continue to try new strategies and tips and see what works best just like any businessman would do with the product/service he’s offering. I love the art too much to do otherwise.
Today’s picture was taken five days ago at the Salton Sea. It’s interesting how the place looks so accommodating at first glance–picnic tables, grills, ample parking–that you almost forget that few people travel to the region for recreation. But then you step of the car and remember why the lake is abandoned. The smell. It’s tremendously strong, so much so that any guests in your car are likely to pass on exiting the vehicle even for a minute because the odor is too much to tolerate. I remember my first trip to the lake. I walked around for hours taking pictures during the afternoon–ignoring the smell as best as I could–to the point where my sneakers became two mucky swamp creatures. I don’t recall how many times I had to wash my shoes to get the smell out, but I know the job was akin to removing what dogs jettison on lawns for unfortunate, unaware soles (pun intended).
Nevertheless, the Salton Sea still a beautiful place to photograph. Some of my best shots have come from the lake, and that speaks volumes when I consider how many places I’ve visited over the years, and how many pictures I’ve taken of those destinations. There’s a surreal sadness that hangs over the area. It hints at a time when the air was once fresh and the water was once swimmable. You can almost picture women sunbathing, children running and laughing, and fishermen casting their lines into fish-rich waters. You know the present and past are two different worlds, and only God knows what the future holds for the region. (I’ll save talking about what happened to the Salton Sea for another blog entry.)
-Vincent Lowry (Author of American Vineyard)
I created a video today for American Vineyard. I know I have a lot to learn in terms of the technical details of video making (lighting, sound, etc), but I also know my videos really don’t need to be all that fancy. I just need to tell my audience about the book, say a few words about what they will get out of it, and then let them know where to find it. I’ve seen a lot of fancy videos out there on YouTube for books (some of them costing thousands of dollars, I’m sure), and I’m not certain those authors are getting their money’s worth. Some might be. Most, I’m guessing, are not.
So my low cost video is up. I will likely do more videos because it’s a great way to generate content for the various projects I’m always working on.
-Vincent Lowry (Author of American Vineyard and #LucysLetter)
The back cover description for American Vineyard is now finished! I’m proud to share it on this blog:
A Timeless Story of Love, Loss, and Friendship
In 1980s America, six adolescents struggle to secretly build a ranch fence to repay a large debt caused by their own carelessness. As the fence construction nears completion, an unexpected evil strikes the children, testing their character and resolve to right an unfathomable wrong.
American Vineyard is Vincent Lowry’s finest coming-of-age novel about youth and innocence. Vincent’s other works are #LucysLetter – The Children of the Greenhouse Age, Surfing the Seconds, Dreams Reign Supreme, and Constellation Chronicles – The Lost Civilization of Aries. Vincent was educated at Tulane University in New Orleans, and he lives in Southern California with his son.
Praise for Vincent Lowry’s Books
#LucysLetter – The Children of the Greenhouse Age
“Well written. A lovely little story with a big message.”
Surfing the Seconds
“I love the way Vincent Lowry writes, each word a picture, each line a memory waiting to be revisited. I have so many bookmarks and underlines in this Kindle edition that I found it hard to pick one line to share.”
Dreams Reign Supreme
“This was a fantastic short read. An excellent balance of short stories and poems.”
Constellation Chronicles – The Lost Civilization of Aries
“Vincent Lowry has created a science fiction book that held my attention from the very start.”
I thought my art show today at Redondo Beach would be about meeting many strangers to discuss all things photography, but I found it was to talk to a few important connections about opportunities for future events. I won’t get into details about it, because it’s not very interesting as a blog subject. I will mention, however, that I was most surprised by my girlfriend. She looked absolutely beautiful in her pink dress, and I was lucky to have her by my side supporting me at the show. She hasn’t been feeling well for the past few days, and yet she got fixed up so she could help me as best as she could. What an amazing woman! It is because of her that I find today a success; how lovely it is to have that feeling no matter what happens with sales/connections/results.
(Vincent Lowry – Author of American Vineyard and #LucysLetter)
I created an ad today on Facebook to draw people to an art exhibit/seminar that I’m hosting at the Coffee Cartel in Redondo Beach, CA. I haven’t had much success with Facebook advertising (or any online advertising for that matter), but I’m more optimistic this time around because of some marketing tips I discovered thanks to my girlfriend. I plan on doing a second ad tomorrow for a separate teaching course I’ll be putting on sometime late next week or the week after. If these marketing tips work, I’ll share them on my blog. If not, there’s no need to mention them and force other readers down the same rabbit hole. While one could make the argument that mentioning ineffective advertising will at least put the reader on notice so they can avoid it, I disagree. As I said, I’m not a pro at marketing. I could just be following the advice wrong, or using the wrong strategy or product, so telling others not try what I’ve attempted isn’t a wise course of action.
I’m crossing my fingers I get to tell you something about it.