Basic tactics of self-promotion can be learned, but artists need to be motivated to learn them. A preliminary step toward motivation is to abandon anti-promotion attitudes and realize that art promotion, if done correctly, is hardly the same as peddling consumer goods. It can be an enriching experience; it doesn’t have to be painful or artless.
Another factor that might move artists to embrace self-promotion is the realization that it is essentially a means of shaping their destiny; everything a creative person does with regard to their work reflects upon their future.
Promotion means interacting with the public, producing a friction between the interior world that initiates a creative work and the exterior world. This friction gives promotion a frisson of tension and excitement; its consequences are unpredictable, and no matter how carefully it is planned, no one really knows where it will actually lead or precisely what its effects will be. It may open other opportunities or reveal undreamed of possibilities. Or it may backfire and reveal harsh truths.
An artist must capitalize on the results, whatever they may be, and adapt to the destiny they reveal, just as he/she does in the course of his/her artistic life. Self-promotion is taking your fate in your own hands; it is an active, deliberate effort to make a mark and impose your creative vision on the world.
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