Artist as Brilliant Marketeer? A Contradiction?

**Like the dramatic painting below?  You can order one, at fraction of professional artists’ prices…I tell you how..below.

Ah… the quintessential marketeer…the person who knows how to sell his wares. These folks are tough to find in the artist market place. Why? Some artists are snobs who consider others who market themselves “déclassé.”

But I think savvy marketeers are just plain smart.better jonas girard look-alike

After all, if the idea is to get one’s art appreciated by the masses, why not market the daylights out of every medium? You’ll never get known if you keep all the secrets about your great style (whether it’s painting, writing, story-telling) to yourself and a select few.

At times, I’ve asked artist/painters “Do you have a business card or better yet–a website?” They demur and say, “Oh, no.”  They act like being a business person is a terrible thing, almost like prostitution.

But the folks who really know how to sell devise the best methods to hype themselves and their products.  And they go over—in a really big way.

Who’s my Asheville nomination for Best Marketeer?  None other than Jonas Gerard, for I’ve never quite seen anyone quite like him.

Case in point:  When husband and I went one spring day to downtown Asheville, Jonas Gerard was dazzling a crowd of onlookers, by painting a piece right in front of them….He was under a portable tent, one he’d brought, and he even had a gaggle of musicians for background music.

Then, he proceeded to mesmerize with a slap of the brush here… a dab there…a splash in the far corner (there are lots of these) and after a half hour, or so, he was done, offering the piece up for sale.

When someone in the crowd asked, “If your paintings take literally minutes to produce, why do they command such a hefty price tag? (of thousands).

Ever the quintessential marketeer, Gerard replied “Because buyers pay for the artistic skill I’ve developed over many years.” He suggests any fool can’t mimic the product.

For one who’s been in sales for almost a decade (me), I doff my cap, for I can only describe Gerard’s ready response as “Pure Sales Nirvana.” I thought:  “This guy should market his response, too (Sales 101,) for the crowd bought it (and he’s right.)

When an artist’s work looks easy, it’s deceptive because he truly did develop his craft over years. I know—The same formula applies to writers.

I can’t tell you the number of people who believe I sit at my computer, and the words just flow, in an easy stream, from some font of creativity.  They don’t realize I work at every piece, revising, honing, stripping away the non-essentials, in hopes of achieving the best product.

But my work doesn’t command thousands (a fact I hope to change.)

In addition, Jonas Gerard’s paintings are EVERYWHERE…at least in Asheville.

When my husband recovered in Care Partners facility on Sweeten Creek Rd (from the terrible accident he was in.), what did he see through blurry eyes, in the physical therapy room, each day?  A Jonas Gerard painting, strategically-placed, over the entryway.

I assume that painting was a charitable contribution or it was possibly “on loan.”

More JG’s were on the walls, at strategic locations.

That meant as I wheeled my husband down the corridors, we met JG everywhere. It’s safe to say:  My husband recovered via Gerard’s colorful palette.

His works of art could have created a subliminal connection, for when he got out, my husband asked: “Wanna buy a Jonas Gerard painting?”

When we dine in restaurants in town, who shares a repast of Coquilles St. Jacques with us? None other than the master, himself, whose works look down on us from those walls, too.

JG’s such a fabric of the community, friends recently sought to copy his style (I told you some think any fool can do this,)  giving one girlfriend a memorable birthday gift…a clone, if you will, without the talent, skill, pretense or price of the Master.

Their product’s at the top of this post…

So, artists:  Step out from the shadows…It’s a tough market out there.  You need to devise methods to stand apart from the crowd. Not having a website or blogsite or fantastically-interesting business cards just won’t do, anymore.

Get your Marketing Game On….If you don’t know how to do it, follow the lead of one who’s made a mission out of it, in life–Jonas Gerard…

But if you can’t afford, I’ve got a savvy group of friends who’ll do the work at serious discount…That’s their painting at top of this post (Click on it to enlarge and catch its nuances.)  Impressed?  They’re taking orders…E-mail me or leave comment…I’ll connect you.

P.S. Those are our children’s books for sale– top and to the right (Grandpa and the Truck.)  Following my own advice, we have our own website...our own business cards…colorful advertising. In other words, we hawk our product–loud and clear. Got to, today…There are simply too many other distractions in the marketplace.


About admin

A lifetime teacher and realtor who's now a published writer, Colleen Kelly Mellor is a humorist first, ever aware of the thread that connects us all. Her works have appeared in the WSJ, Providence Journal, and CNN and NY Times-acclaimed medical blog,, to name a few. All material on this blog is exclusive property of the author and cannot be reproduced without this author's express written consent.
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