In Daniel Coyle’s book “52 Tips for Improving Your Skills – The Little Book of Talents,” Coyle refers to the famous hockey player Wayne Gretzky, who was willing to look foolish for falling on the ice as he learned to build and improve skills by reaching, failing, and reaching again.

For artists, this concept is familiar. We experiment with our tools and materials, and some pieces turn out amazing while others end up in the scrap pile. If you’ve been painting long enough, you know that scrap pile builds up.

Just Gesso over It”

My dear friend Mally once told me that if a “bomb” of a painting sits around too long, she will just gesso over it and start a new piece on top. There’s something so freeing about that because it gives oneself permission to try, fail, and then try again.

When looking at this concept through the lens of helping artists grow their art business, I like to refer to mistakes as market research. Just like creating art, growing an art business is another art form. There are foundational elements that need to be in place, like registering your business name, having business insurance, maintaining a website, and tracking your inventory.

Then there are areas of an art business that need to be refined. This is where market research comes in. What works for one artist may not work for another. That’s where you need to be willing to try new activities, take risks, and give them time to see if they work well with your art business.

For example, trying Facebook ads to promote an upcoming art show. I’ve heard lots of stories of how incredible this tool is for promoting a local art show. But then I’ve heard from other artists that they received crickets on their posts. That’s where you need to be willing to try things, flex your muscles, and just say, “I’m doing market research. I’m trying something new to see if it works.”

You know the quote by Albert Einstein, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” There is some truth in this. If something isn’t working, then seek ways to improve, tweak, or change it up. But you have to balance that with only trying something once and giving up. That too will drive you crazy, in my opinion.

Tracking Data to Help Understand your Art Business

Although I’m not a fanatic about my analytics, I do like to check them on a regular basis to see if things are working, what needs improvement, and maybe if something needs to stop altogether. For artists, this could be making sure they have a way to see how many visitors come to their website each month, which pages are the most frequented, and if visitors fill out the contact form to connect with you. Some have built-in analytics, like my old Weebly website; however, my new website on the Showit Platform required embedding a code from Google Analytics to track this information. Every time I open Google Analytics, at first, it seems overwhelming, but if I just dip my toe into the data, I begin to see a clearer picture of what’s going on with my website.

Let me know in the comments below if you find it hard to take steps in growing your art business because you’re afraid of making mistakes. And if reframing this idea as market research feels easier to do.

Until next time, keep creating. “Every blank canvas holds the promise of a new beginning, a new story waiting to unfold beneath your fingertips. Keep embracing the unknown, for your willingness to explore leads to discoveries beyond imagination.”

Signing off until next week – with plenty of mistakes, or should I say market research, happening between now and then.

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I Let me know what you think about today’s post and if changing mistake to market research offers a fresh perspective. Leave your comment below – Keep Creating !

One response to “Artist 2 Artist Challenge: Tip #5 – From Mistakes to Market Research”

  1. Donna Zentek Avatar
    Donna Zentek

    I enjoyed reading your newsletter. I like the quote you posted:
    “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
    -Pablo Picasso
    Thank you for sharing your talent.
    My son is getting engaged soon. Maybe they would like a painting at their wedding. Be well.
    Donna Zentek

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