Marketing Art: How to Make it Fun&Profitable (Proof Inside)

The other day, a reader replied to my ‘ask me a question’.

This is what she wrote:


You asked in this most recent message to “hit reply and tell me where you struggle.”

I thought about it.   I’m not even sure where I struggle.  I think that may be part of the problem for many people.

I market and market and try various things I read.  I have slow success….but I am happy I have success!

But it feels slow and it takes all my time, leaving little time or energy to create my art and books.

Selling seems to be my job now.

I guess this must be my struggle?

You know, I don’t even mind the slow moving success of selling….it’s kind of what I expected. The result of this is that I don’t make enough money to hire help.   But the constant need for marketing in order to maintain this feels like it bogs me down.   I can’t get the creative side of my job done now.

I think my question here is vague but I would appreciate suggestions.


Ah yes, the classic creativity vs marketing struggle.

That there is not a happy state to be in.

So here’s what I wrote back:


Had a look at your site – that’s really impressive. I love the images, makes me smile.

I can relate to how you describe your struggle – you want to make your art but marketing is unavoidable.

And it just keeps becoming more urgent and more important and more time-consuming.

There’s two sides to it. First, as an artist-entrepreneur, i.e. someone who seriously wants to get their work seen&sold, marketing just can’t be avoided.

And in any business, the marketing side can be as important as to take 80% of your working time.

Which is not necessarily a happifying thought, but that’s where the second side comes in.

When you say you try many things, I wonder if you’re not making it more difficult than it needs to be.

It sounds like you’re spreading yourself too thin.

It’s good to try various options, but at some point it’s important to choose just a few channels (or even just one) and focus the majority of your effort there.

For me, that’s Twitter – that’s where I put 95% of my social media time.

It’s easy to be active on all kinds of platforms, and to have accounts and profiles that all need tending to – but that will indeed become a slog.

To be involved in marketing shouldn’t be the same as being a marketer.

After all, you’re an artist first, and you’re selling and marketing your art second.

Once you find one or two methods/avenues or two that a) seem to be viable an hold promise of working and b) are something that you actually enjoy, everything changes.

I’d say look at what has gotten you the best results and is fun for you, focus all your energy on that, and drop all the rest, until you’ve got that one method working well enough to automate or outsource it.

Fun is important in all this. Unless you have a budget to let someone else take care of it, you need to choose something that combines results with your own enthusiasm.

P.s. Given that you’re a writer, it would make a ton of sense to start a daily email practice. It takes time to take off, but it’s a lot of fun to do and it builds great relationships with people.


This here is sound advice, if I say so myself. Especially the part about email marketing.

In fact, once again I put to you a 30-day challenge, to write one email a day.

You might be very surprised at the results.

An example?

A reader took me up on the challenge last month, started sending daily emails – and hey presto…

(You’re gonna love this)

A psychologist asked her to illustrate her new book, and…

She doubled her rates (!), sold a few pieces as a consequence, and has been asked by a national TV show to create artwork.

There you go; the results of daily emails in practice.

Could happen to you too…

30 days, 30 minutes a day – try it?

Here’s help if you need it –>



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