The difference between great art and a great artist.

Updated: Jul 18, 2020

On a walk down any random Indian street, an observant eye will catch art waving from inside the tunnels, or gloating outside the movie theatres. A folk song you came across might have had lyrics better than a famous songwriter’s best work. The young man who adorned your daughter’s palm with henna for her wedding might have composed designs that were more intricate and mesmerizing than a mandala artist who sells her work at a cost this man would take years to earn. The book your neighbour published, only fifteen copies of which were sold, might have had the ability to leave you more awestruck than a bestselling author’s most recent novel. Some talented star kids do not get the offers they deserve, while some who are the results of sheer nepotism snatch the opportunities of other worthy artists.

So what draws the line? What makes the difference?

While a lot of factors come into play when we refer to what might be called “the success” of an artist, a few very important ideologies stand taller than the others in the determination of the same. In the highly competitive world that we live in today, the skill-set we possess needs to see an expansion. Dependence on mere talent will not be sufficient for you to win this sprint. Broadening your area of expertise, smartening your ways of working, and updating yourself with the constantly changing world and its trends hold much significance, but none of this can be compared to the significance of the art of marketing.

Many a time, you might have heard artists narrating their experience with making the cut and talking about how they happened to be at the right place, at the right time and ended up meeting the right people. It is believed that “luck” is the secret potion to success for many artists, but this is a privilege limited to the fortunate few. But, it should be understood that owing your complete failure to luck is as unreasonable as owing your complete success to it. What the “unfortunate” bunch is deprived of can be made up for with the help of right marketing.

When it comes to the promotion of your work, establishing network and building contacts is everything. Join artist organizations, display your work in galleries, collaborate with fellow budding artists on projects, build an extraordinary portfolio, make your social media presence felt, but most importantly showcase your personality. Make sure every piece tells a story, make sure your art speaks for you, build a brand and portray it with utmost confidence and certainty. Always remember one thing, your art is about you, but your marketing is always about your audience. Cater to the needs of the audience, study their range of interests and present your work on a platter that would please them. Because your art will only receive the acknowledgement and value it deserves when it reaches the right people.

Everything said and done, it all comes down to the artist and his hunger for success. Reaching the summit of the mountain of triumph is anything but a walk in the park, but with right exposure coupled with perseverance and grit, it gets a whole lot easier.

So, take the leap of faith, dear artists. The world is awaiting your masterpieces. It’s never too late, is it?

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