Usually, my blog serves as a sphere in which I highlight some of the projects I’m currently undertaking and mention a few of the great people and families that I’m servicing at any given moment. It’s a brochure, or a magazine of sorts, where people can see what I’m up to, read my thoughts, and respond if they choose.
However, these days it seems that a lot of small businesses and organizations are under attack, especially within the arts. I’m not sure if the concert of John Williams’ music from the Star Wars films that I attended over the weekend has made me think along the lines of warfare, but if you are a believer in spiritual battles as well, there is definitely one being waged among artists at this point in time.
One of the ways I promote my business is by saying “all work is done by hand”. It’s out there on my website and social media pages in the name of clarity, because people ask, and this way they know what to expect. I do hand calligraphy on a project basis, which brings with it a unique timeframe and outcome. That doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with being a graphic visual artist, a letterpress designer, a printing firm, or a watercolor painter. If I get inquiries that I cannot fulfill, I happily refer them to my other friends in the industry, and they do the same with me. There is no animosity, since (as someone else mentioned already this week…can you tell there’s a theme occurring?) there is enough business to go around. If people can’t get at your business integrity, they may also try to take you down with a personal affront or false accusation. Don’t fall prey to this.
With the fine arts consistently being pushed to the fringes of American society, the best we can do is try to promote them collectively, rather than seeking to one-up each other. For example, if you know that one of your friends’ bands is playing at a local venue downtown, and you have other friends performing in that show as well (!), don’t schedule another event for the same day to try and win your own audience, but choose another day for that golf outing and GO YOURSELF to see the band! 🙂 If you hear there is something going on artistically in the community and you are available to attend, support it. If you can cross-promote your work with others in your industry, do it. The arts will thrive with all of us working together. Don’t worry so much about survival of the fittest, thinking you will move up the ladder by stepping on someone else’s neck. As Marie Forleo always says, “the world needs that special gift that only you have.”
Now let’s go out there and make some lives a little more beautiful.