Tuesday, January 11, 2011


         I try not to fence myself in when it comes to art and marketing.  In talking with other artists, it’s apparent that this economic decline is taking a large toll on the galleries.  Marketing artwork is difficult, and artists, by the very nature of their craft, would rather paint than market.
     One tool I’ve found that can be a great asset for artists is collaboration.  Collaboration is defined as:  the action of working with someone to produce or create something.
     I like to collaborate with a partner who brings as much or more to the table as I do.  By combining the talents and resources of two, we double the chances for success.
     I’ve become adept at looking for just the right situation where collaboration will achieve my goals.   My last collaboration was with my friend Kathy McCraine.  It was born during a short drive to the O RO ranch in Arizona.  Our casual talk lead from one step to another.  In the span of an 80-mile drive, we hatched the idea of a cookbook, developed a passable marketing plan, and set a schedule to meet a Christmas deadline.  That short drive was the impetus to create Cow Country Cooking.

     Was the collaboration a success?  We paid the printing bill in just over a week, and in just two months we have sold well over half the edition.  So why was this collaboration a success?  Several reasons come to mind:  1).   Kathy and I both know our subjects.  We had emotional connections to cowboys and Northern Arizona, as well as the O RO ranch.    2)   We combined our talents into one concerted effort.  With Kathy’s writing and photography skills, and my paintings and storytelling, the bases were all covered.    3)  We both had mailing lists and contacts.  We doubled our outreach just by collaborating.
     One word of caution:  I think we must be careful as artists what we put our name on, always keeping in mind our collector base and their expectations.  But collaborating on the right product or project can be a huge success.  Keep your eyes open for opportunities and good luck!

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