“At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since.” Famous Artist, Salvador Dali
Many of the artists that I consult with ask me “How do I become well-known for my art?” They don’t want to use the word “famous” but that’s what they are asking.
Some people yearn for fame, and I suppose it’s natural to want that, because if you’re famous, it means that people like what you’re doing. Creative folks crave being liked; it gives their work meaning somehow.
Being famous also means that the money will follow. And making money from your art means that you can create more and quit that other job that you don’t like.
Deep down inside, though, what most creative people really want is to leave a legacy with their art. They want recognition for their artwork. They want to know that what they are doing is meaningful in some way.
Becoming famous for your artwork can take a lifetime. Think of all the artists that have left behind a legacy; it took them a lifetime to do it!
But you have the time, because time is going to pass anyway. If you dream of being remembered for your creative work, read on:
HOW TO BECOME A FAMOUS ARTIST AND CREATE A LEGACY IN 6 STEPS:
1 – CONSISTENTLY PRODUCE A LARGE BODY OF ART WORK OVER TIME:
I know an artist who painted five paintings, inspired from a trip to South America. He exhibited those five paintings for years, traveling the U.S. and showing them and selling prints of them. While the art itself was nice, it wasn’t enough to create an impact.
Picasso, Da Vinci, Warhol, and other artists who are well known have created large bodies of work, consistently.
Through the process, their talent deepened and their techniques improved.
Consistency and quantity = quality.
2 – DEVELOP A CONSISTENT NICHE, STYLE, LOOK OR MEDIUM:
Develop your own, distinct style so that everyone would know that it’s yours, even if your name wasn’t on it.
When you see a Picasso painting, you know its Picasso’s. When you see a Picasso knock-off, you know it was copied from a Picasso painting.
A distinct style becomes your own, and over time, people come to know it as yours.
(My husband Drew Brophy is the most imitated surf artist in history; but when people see one of his “copied” pieces, they know it’s a Brophy knock-off because his style is so distinct.)
If you have trouble creating a distinct style, then become known for a distinct niche (such as “the artist of horses,” etc.)
Or, your medium could be unique. An artist named Tedos in Santa Barbara, California, creates surfboards using carved leather techniques that are so unique, he’s the only person in the world doing it.
When you have a distinct style, medium, technique, or niche, you eventually become known for it, and you become the go-to artist for people who looking for it.
(For instruction on how to find your niche, read: BECOME WELL KNOWN AND RECOGNIZED; HOW TO FIND YOUR NICHE)
3 – TELL YOUR OWN UNIQUE STORY (CONSISTENTLY):
It’s up to you to tell people what you want them to remember about you, your story and uniqueness. If you don’t tell people what you want them to know, they will make up their own stories about you.
Your story should be told consistently, online in your biography, about page, and across all social media and written/printed platforms.
Every person has a unique story. It could be your life journey, overcoming a difficult past or an illness (or learning to live with one), your unique lifestyle, or what you do for fun. Tell your audience what you want them to know!
Salvador Dali told his story. He was a master manipulator of the media, painting himself as an eccentric. Once, he delivered a lecture wearing a wetsuit, for no apparent reason! It had people talking about him, and they said the things he wanted them to say.
4 – INVEST IN PROFESSIONAL PHOTOS OF YOUR WORK AND YOURSELF:
Invest in having professional photos taken of you and your art, regularly.
For the short term, post the photos online, on your website and social media sites.
For the long term, professional photos are important for future documentation that will be used in art history books, coffee table books and historical exhibits. (If you are planning to leave a legacy, this is something you need!)
Invest in photography sessions that capture you working in your craft. Also, get a few good head-shots (that can be used for media, online, etc.).
When the media wants to feature you in a story, you’ll be ready with excellent photos.
We hire photographers four to five times a year to shoot Drew and me working, traveling, or in the studio. The photos come in handy for many different uses.
5 – SHARE YOUR WORK ONLINE:
Make it easy for people to share your work online. Post quality photos of your work.
For copyright protection, and to claim the art as your own, include your copyright notice or signature on each photo (but don’t place your copyright notice in the center of the image; that’s annoying and people won’t share it).
6 – INSPIRE OTHERS:
This is the most impactful of all: Be generous with your knowledge. Don’t be afraid to share some of your secrets. This is what makes you memorable, and it leaves a legacy.
Help other artists, allow them to use your art as inspiration, and applaud them when they do. This will come back to you ten-fold.
You will become known as the artist who inspired many others after you. There’s no greater way to create a legacy than to influence others with your art.
“A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others.” Salvador Dali
Please, share in the comments; do you have a yearning to leave a legacy, to become well known for what you do?
And if so, why?
I’d love to hear from you!
Thanks, Maria xxoo
PS: If you need help creating your own niche or style, please consider letting me help! Visit my Consulting Page and let’s set up a time to talk.