David Mathison, author of “Be the Media”, began his presentation talking about the dwindling six major publishing houses and the troubles that they’re facing because of the fundamental shift in the publishing market. “They’re like the Titanic. They can’t turn around.”
The opportunity to publish is no longer just in the hands of a few select publishers; it’s in the hands of the nimble artists. The market is moving away from a scarce model of a powerful few and placing that power into the hands of a number of independent artists, including authors, musicians, and film producers. More specifically, the power belongs to those with creative capital who effectively leverage relatively easy and free access to their audience through new media.
David Mathison intoned “Don’t chase the media, be the media.” And the artists who take the initiative to craft a meaningful message and engage their audience can do this. I have and I will. My website sales averaged 8% of my overall income in the past four years. In 2009, that number jumped to 27%. I sold while I slept. But I had to plant the seeds for that harvest through consistent online and offline marketing. The two work hand in hand.
This is exciting stuff. A revolution is a foot. And for those artists who recognize the creative capital that they hold in their hands and who are willing to do some left-brain thinking, they will rule the world. This is also according to Daniel Pink, author of a Whole New Mind, about the current conceptual economy.
I would argue that fine artists are the last in this line to catch on to the good news. But it makes no difference. The internet gives us marketing tools that are available to most everyone at any time, at a relatively low cost. I mentioned this to David Mathison and he offered to interview me on his radio show. That proved my motto, “asking is free.”
What does this all really mean to fine artists? The playing field is being leveled and artists do not have to chase a scarcity model of gallery representation. You can be the media and reach your audience, your collectors.