Why are artists afraid of marketing themselves?

art marketing for artists

I talk to a lot of artists on a regular basis. Some online and some in person. With only a few exceptions, they almost always put up their guard when I start talking to them about marketing their art and themselves.

I simply don’t get it.

I realize that it doesn’t come naturally to some. I also understand that learning the technologies for art marketing can be intimidating. But artists are supposed to be intrepid souls who will go where others will not dare, right?


My experience has shown that artists tend to shed their intrepid adventurer skins when you start talking social media, blogging, websites, etc. to them. Why is that?

I suspect that there are a lot of reasons. Whatever the reason, it is to the artist’s detriment. Artists who succeed in their own lifetimes tend to be the ones who develop a knack for marketing. They sync their creative souls with their desire to share their work with others, and they find ways to get there work “out there”. When their work is “out there” and seen by a wider audience, it sells.

I am not anywhere close to where I want to be in selling my work, but I am SELLING. I sell more work than most artists that I know. I am not living in luxury, but I am living from the proceeds of my art. I am building a foundation upon which greater things can develop.

I want to help others learn what I have learned, and what I continue to learn about marketing. It is a creative and energizing endeavor, and it does not have to take away from one’s artwork production.

So I ask you, if you are an artist, are you afraid of marketing? What scares you the most? What hold you back?