Should Artists Feel Ashamed Because They Promote Themselves?

I have come to the conclusion that since I have a bit of entrepreneurial drive that I do not have to feel ashamed that I promote my artwork. Many people use Facebook to socialize or play games, so why should a creative person feel hesitant to share their work on their own page? I even sell some of my art inspired creations on Zazzle and RedBubble, which I sell via Sweetbearies Art Workshop. Today someone told me how they would prefer a handmade gift over one sold in the store, and yes I do like handmade gifts. I make these all the time and write a column as the budget crafting examiner promoting the idea of handmade gifts.

However, with this being said I do not think someone who is an artist or a crafter should feel reluctant to share things they create on their own Facebook page. There has been a lot of talk about how today’s world is about consumerism and pushing products, but a writer and artist such as myself is not exactly doing that. Actually, I think sometimes people with a smaller business are sort of chided for sharing what they sell more than a large corporation selling items that everyone buys without thinking much about. The small business person, artist, crafter, writer, or musician has to do more to get the word out about their products and services, and cannot simply rely on brand loyalty or name recognition. This is part of the reason I have created Facebook fan pages for my writing and art inspired products to share what I am creating with others. I believe in my artwork and photography, which has deeps meaning for me, and thus have a tremendous sense of joy after I create each piece.

As much as I love self-sufficiency and making things yourself, I am also not adverse to people who make a living selling things. The entrepreneurial spirit allows individuals to make themselves known in the world, and there is no shame in that. If you create something that people want to buy and you are willing to sell, then there is always a market for that.

2 Replies to “Should Artists Feel Ashamed Because They Promote Themselves?”

  1. Yes, I think it is fine to promote ourselves on Facebook and in other social networking domains. I think this is the prerogative of the producer, and you and I are producers.

    Consumers, however, seem to think differently. I know people who will think nothing of “liking” Wal*Mart, not realizing they have just given a commercial endorsement, but when they are asked to like a product made by a friend will say that they are not interested in helping to sell things. What are they thinking?

    It’s the same with spam. Some people feel perfectly happy spamming all their friends with a joke or a news article that they did not write, but they feel that if you share what you wrote and that contains your deepest feelings on a subject, you are being a pain.

    What I say to those people is: share a joke you wrote. Share an article you wrote. Share your own thoughts. Don’t keep regurgitating someone else’s thoughts — unless they happen to be so profound they are better than mine. If not, share mine, ;->

    Okay. I was just kidding about this last part. And yes, I do sometimes share an article by the establishment press with a friend. But that’s only when I think that there is something there that will help them and that really interests them. That is not the same thing as a bulk mailing.

    1. I completely agree with your observations Aya, and think you should write more about this. People are quick to condemn those who share their own articles or products, but think nothing of sharing the same pictures over and over again from humor sites, or the same automated status updates that everyone and their brother has passed around Facebook. I would much rather read some unique and original than read the same article posted over and over again. It is pretty ironic that people like certain sponsors on Facebook, and then get upset when someone simply suggests they might check out a store, website, or a book with an independent perspective. I sort of believe you can find out how open minded people are regarding how they react these situations.

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