Understanding your different audiences as an artist
A few months ago, I talked about the artist’s struggle to figure out who her-his audience is and the seemingly universal desire to have art be interesting to everyone.
At the time, I was embarrassed to admit that I was better at defining who my audience isn’t than who it is, but, more recently, I realized that I was selling myself short. Over the years, I’ve been keenly aware of exactly who enjoys my work.
I understand the appeal of my art through both the press I pursue and the press I receive. In other words, the blogs and publications to whom I send my press releases and those who end up featuring my work are a fairly accurate reflection of my audience. And that means that trying to get the press interested in your art isn’t just good for the career, it’s good for the art too since it helps you to determine just who is on the other end of the conversation of your art—something that’s very useful in learning how to communicate better.
For example, last month, Apartment Therapy picked up a story about Crime Against Nature from Hyperallergic, something which both surprised and heartened me considering that Apartment Therapy doesn’t usually talk about political art. This made me rethink who else might like to hear about this work.
Also, the current issue of the literary art magazine T(OUR) features some of the posters from Crime Against Nature. I pursued this publication because I understand that the LGBTQ community is an important part of my audience, especially with this series.
Finally, Cory Huff of The Abundant Artist talked about Crime Against Nature in the most excellent webinar he did this week about content marketing for artists. As with the Apartment Therapy mention, this wasn’t something I chased after by messaging Cory about this art and the way I marketed it. Rather, Cory and I are friends, and, as such, he couldn’t help but hear about this work as I created it and launched it—it’s true, I talk about my art a really lot! His using it as an example of well-marketed work reminded me that there are still other audiences I should seek out.