I’ve always been of the opinion that you should never brag about yourself or your work. I remember the adage often as a kid “No one likes a bragger.”
When people monopolize conversations and talk about themselves, I want to knock them down a peg or at the very least tell the person to quit flapping their gums and give someone else a chance.
I meet people like this all the time. If they are entertaining, I can listen to them for hours, but for the most part, that’s the exception rather than the rule.
When someone shows off something essentially saying “Look at me!” I want to at least take a small dump on it. The more they dance around and point at themselves, the more I want to shut them down.
Those people are insecure.
I thought that my work could speak for itself. I was of the “Field of Dreams” mindset that “If you build it, they will come.” But life is not a fantasy baseball movie, and James Earl Jones isn’t doing the voice over for my life. I actually have to push or promote myself. So at the age of 52, I am stumbling into it.
I get very nervous when marketing myself. I want it to be funny, show that I don’t take
myself too seriously. But that might send the wrong message, as if I lack confidence in my work.
At the same time, I don’t want to be that guy that views everyone I meet as a potential client. I don't want to be that "salesman" that is looking to promote some pretentious agenda.
I had a friend in high school who shall remain nameless who became part of a pyramid scheme. He invited me to dinner—which turned out to be a dinner with a presentation and then—a presentation without any dinner at all.
I felt like he no longer saw me as a friend, but as either an asset or as a cash register wearing sneakers.
So as I market myself, keep in mind that I don’t view you as merely as a paycheck. I view you as someone who has a need that I can actually follow-through with. As Forrest Gump might say “We’re like peas and carrots." We are partners in crime.
If you have new business, I can design the logo for it. If you have a children’s book idea, I can illustrate it and even give some ideas out on how to tighten up the writing, if asked for. Or maybe you just want something I’ve already created to hang on your wall.
If you have a portrait you want painted for a birthday or other special occasion, I can do that too. In fact, I am delighted to share, in some small way, your life, and I’m not just blowing smoke up your buttocks…well not entirely.
My point is that as an artist, who has put in the hours and effort. I can do these things for you. And I’m not just braggin’.