Pinch me. Yes, that's me on the front page of The Brampton Guardian. The adjacent photo shows the article on page 11, based mostly on an interview with me.
Most people who know me know I do what I can to get the word out about shows, talks, workshops and other events. My philosophy is simple: if I don't invest time and energy in doing that, how will anyone know? Why would I do or offer any of those things if I don't want anyone to know about them?
A lot of artists shy away from promotion and publicity. I can understand why.
The kind of person whose life ambition is to maximize the time they spend alone in their studio listening to their own train of thought may not gravitate naturally to putting themselves “out there”. As well, there is a set of skills and knowledge involved.
In my first career as a designer/art director, I worked a lot in both promotion and direct mail. Those are not necessarily considered the premium areas to specialize in, and not because of budgets (some mailings numbered in the millions!). I believe one reason is that the results were so incredibly and immediately measurable. They were both very much a numbers game.
Every promotion and mailing had specific, tangible goals such as how many orders were placed? How many entered the contest? What kind of traffic numbers visited the booth? And so on.
Everything about the visuals, the writing, and the offers (price, free gift, contest, that kind of thing) was geared toward getting a measurable response while being consistent with the brand (which I always thought of as the "voice").
This is not the kind of thing that gets most artists excited, and while of course the work is the most important thing, if that work is meant to be seen in the world, never mind sold, we need to get first some skills in marketing and publicity, and secondly, just a little bit excited about coming up with a good turn of phrase, or an incentive or increasing our email list size.
Back to my photographs: This is my first front page for an exhibition. The only other time I made it onto a cover was when I wrote an article for The Root my alumni magazine (you can check it out by clicking here, the article is on page 17).
More than a little luck was involved in making it onto this front page: first the curator had to invite me to be in the show; then she had to give other spotlights to the other two artists so that I became the press focus; the show needed to be at a high profile venue like the Living Arts Centre; an editor had to decide that maybe the photograph would be a nice addition to the front page, or the content would improve the mix of stories.
Luck tends to find you more if you're putting yourself “out there” of course. So don't be a wallflower :-)
The kind of person whose life ambition is to maximize the time they spend alone in their studio listening to their own train of thought
may not gravitate naturally to
putting themselves “out there”.
As a visual artist I like nothing more than getting up to my elbows in paint or little plastic toys, or wading in at the deep end in pursuit of an idea. When I am not teaching others in a similar vein, you can find me researching, writing and noodling around in my studio, seeing where my latest lines of inquiry lead me.
All images and content on this website © Kim-Lee Kho 2005–2018 except as indicated. All rights reserved. No reproduction without express, written permission.