Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I'd rather be in the studio

I'd never heard of a 'blog tour' until I read Kirsty's blog this evening, it's one of those terms like 'blog carnival' that potter around blog land without ever explaining themselves to me. So this evening i've been visiting some of the other blogs on the blog tour that's linked to this new book and getting an insight into the thinking behind it's author, Alyson B. Stanfield. Kirsty has suggested other books to me in the past that i've found useful (Art +Fear being one) so i'm happy to trust her judgement on this book!

Having spent the last however many years promoting other people's work (to a greater or lesser extent) I always seem to struggle when it comes to promoting myself. I have spread myself all over the internet- if you google any of my assumed identities, or even my real name, you will come up with pages of links that refer directly to me, but in 'real life' I am less able to promote myself and constantly feel like an idiot who will be caught out by some unknown art police force for ever daring to suggest I am an artist.

I've hidden behind curating other people's work, because I am scared of promoting myself. I deliberately 'dumb down' what I do, because I am afraid of people thinking i'm grandiose if I talk about my work in the way I want to. Instead of explaining all the ins and outs of just why I turn things gold, I just tell people 'yeah I turn things gold' and leave it at that, as if it's nothing more that some kitsch thing I do. Inside my head is full of 'art wank' I could tell you about my work, but what comes out of my mouth is just something dumb that devalues what I do. I guess the first rule in promoting yourself as an artist is not to devalue your work, actually that's probably the second rule, the first one is probably not to tell anyone that you're doing it.


Claire said...

It's a weird thing isn't it? I spent years on a board of a public gallery and never gathered the nerve to discuss my work. When feeling unusually bold about it I would mumble that I 'make things'.

But I do worry that in fact I am not an artist at all as I can't seem to settle in and concentrate on it. I'm just chipping around the edges all the time.

Anyway, back at that stage I did believe I was an artist and I should have said something as I may have gotten some encouragement and exposure.

iHanna said...

Haha, yeah, good rules to start with - and great book to start with! I still need to write a review about it but I've read it and LOVED it! Camilla, your first thing is to practice with a friend on that "I'm an artist this is what I do" speeach! It's in the book and tips on how to do it! Good luck, I think you can do it! :-)

Carina said...

I hear ya, Camilla. I really do. Damn silly, isn't it!? Must work on it, too! We rock! ;-)

Camilla said...

Sorry it's taken me so long to reply to your comments- maybe another part of promoting myself would be to actually maintain contact with the outside world and the people who are nice enough to show an interest in me?!

Alyson B. Stanfield said...

Camilla, you won a free copy of my book! Contact me and make sure I have your correct address. I can get it in the mail this week! Thanks so much