Ask any artist what is the hardest part about their job and I bet 95% of them will tell you its the promotion and marketing. It was super hard for me when I first started out; you need to promote, you need to market, you need to say "Hey, look at me, look at my art!", and hope they look at it and think it's great. Better yet, they think it's so great they buy it. Promotion and marketing were so far out of my comfort zone I really didn't know if I could do it, but I did, I learned and I grew as an artist and I am still learning.
Being an artist is a pretty solitary job, but I have always been a big believer in artists helping artists. We know what we need, and for those of us with experience or in a position to help, that's what I feel we should do. Over the years, I've been fortunate to have been able to help quite a few of my artists friends and even artists I didn't know very well. It's been fun and very rewarding. I truly hope I have made a difference in some of their lives, because I know people have helped me along the way, people I am so very grateful to.
Last year I decided to step out of my comfort zone and put some information about my St. Albert Series on a local Facebook Page. I was a little bit nervous because I was new to the page, and wasn't sure what you could post, what I wanted to post was basically an ad. I read the rules and decided it would be alright. I got it ready, clicked post and then let it go (sort of, you know how that goes with FB). Not too long after the post I got a message from Steven Barry, a local (St. Albert, AB) internet channel producer. He asked me if he could interview me about my St. Albert series and other art. After the interview we got to talking and he asked me if I would be interested in joining his team; he pitched me his idea about doing a segment interviewing local artists in our community; he asked me if I would produce the segment and interview the artists. Seriously, me? Okay, organize, contact, that sort of thing is right up my alley, but the interviewing part, I have no experience with that. Being interviewed, I can do, but being the one to ask the questions, keep the interview going, hmmm, actually it sounded like lots fun! Let's face it, what a way to help promote more artists! How hard could it be?
Okay, so the first set of interviews turned out to be a bit harder than I thought; a little more nerve wracking than I anticipated, at least it was the night before as I was trying to prepare things for the next day. I started to get nervous and have self doubts about what I had agreed to do, but something inside me kept reassuring me this was going to be fun and I knew this was going to be a good thing. No matter how many self doubts and second thoughts, I was doing this! After all, getting out of my comfort zone was something I was really getting used to and it has served me well so far.
I set up the first set of interviews at the Art Gallery of St. Albert, invited four guests, Steven helped me with the questions and gave me lots of guidance. The next day, when it came time for the interviews, I took a deep breath, and proceeded. Luckily, I had dream guests and they made it so much easier. It also helps to have a very kind and understanding producer. After the interviews were done I felt so much better, it was fun and I figured I could do it again.
When the first interview aired I was excited, but I worried a bit about how it would all turn out. I admit, it was a bit harder than I thought to watch myself, but I also realized this was were the biggest learning opportunity would take place. So far, I have learned not to move around, your personal space may get a bit smaller, every uh uh, or comment comes through the mic, nodding your head a lot looks strange, making mistakes is okay because it's going to be edited out, the beginning and endings are the hardest, and as Steven always says "you only get better by doing". My guests have been great, many of them super nervous, but they all did a great job, and Steven with his editing wizardry fixed anything that didn't quite work.
I really hope this makes a difference in artist's lives. I hope they get a bit more notice and this helps further their career even in the slightest degree. At the very least it's one more opportunity to be in front of a camera and get out of their comfort zone.
Thanks to Jenny, Carol, Lewis, Berni, Barry, Tim, Rick, Vicki, Doris, Deirdre, Miles, Jeff, Cheryl, Karen, Jori and Judy for being my guests and sharing in on this new adventure. Thanks especially to Steven for giving me this opportunity and having a good sense of humor.
Stay tuned, so much more to come!
To see the interviews please check out tv7.ca's website or Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/tv7.ca