Thursday, July 3, 2014

Self Promotion for the Introverted Potter

Throwing pots does not have to be a group activity.  It's something that one can do quietly, alone in a little studio.  It's one of the things I love about being a potter.  I am a very introverted person and that tendency tends to be getting stronger as I get older.  As much as I love visiting with friends and family or meeting new people I also NEED alone time.  When I was younger I could sit by a stream and just watch the water flow for hours.  I soon discovered that if you sat next to that same stream with a fishing poll people would think I was doing something and whisper then leave me alone.  I rarely used bait or a hook.  There is nothing like catching a fish to ruin the peace of sitting by a stream.

Now that I'm older finding the time to sit quietly by a stream is difficult.  For so many people life is full of interactions.  Many of us carry around a small device that lets us work or socialize just about anywhere, even when we are already out socializing.

Ceramic platter with handles by Lori Buff
Handled Platter

Being an introvert means that sometimes I just want to be left alone.  Sometimes it's almost painful to even wave at a neighbor driving past my house, they might want to talk and involve themselves in my life as friends do.  Sometimes it's even hard to interact on social media.  If I comment or "like" something will I have to continue the conversation?  After all, isn't that what we are supposed to be doing there?  I try, I usually enjoy the conversation, but sometimes it's hard to get it started or to keep it going.

When I look at the stats on this blog I seem to get the most interest from readers when I write about my pottery.  That's no big epiphany, it's a pottery blog after all.  But that means I have to write articles that say "look at me, look at me" when I'd rather just sit quietly in front of my wheel and make pots.  I like twitter and pinterest because I can promote other artists and take the spotlight off of me in the hopes that it will come back in a karmic way.  Plus, I just really like to support the arts however I can.

So the question is, how does an artist draw attention to her work without drawing attention to herself?

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff

11 comments:

  1. I could have written this. Sometimes I want to interact with others but just for a short while and then but most times I'm in my head and like it there. Sometimes I think I'm probably perceived as rude but I don't mean it that way. Too many people or too much activity is just too draining or distracting. I think talking about how pieces are made or where inspiration comes from takes the focus off the person and on the work.

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    1. Oh Linda, that's so true. I'm often afraid I'll be perceived as rude when it's just "overload" or pensiveness keeping me quiet and alone. I'm glad you understand.
      Good suggestion, thanks.

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    2. When I was a child waiting for the bus the bus driver thought I was scowling and it was just because the sun was too bright for my eyes, perceptions are so often misunderstood.

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  2. It has taken me awhile (probably too long) to get over it and just start promoting my work. I came to the realization about 18 months ago when I looked at how my savings had dwindled... if I didn't want to look for a full time job I needed to start pushing myself a little harder.

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    1. nothing wrong with pushing yourself, I admire you Michele, it isn't easy, one has to be organized and just go for it no matter what the perception, self or others. ha

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  3. you throw the spaghetti at the wall, see what sticks :) IT IS hard for an introvert to get the work out there, but helps pay the bills :)

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  4. I feel the very same way, love my friends, but it is hard to drag me out of my house, I like being alone. I like doing things with others, but I am just as happy to be by myself doing things. My daughter is the same. As social as I am ( I can walk up and talk to anyone who will listen) I prefer my own company more!
    I might be one of the statistics on your blog that reads for more than the pottery. My interest in pottery is lessening as my interest in just good writing grows. I like your recipe posts and as I said before, I found you by googling studios when I was looking to build my own, the post you wrote about your studio inspired me to get going!

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    1. Hi Tracey, it's funny, I started reading your blog to see what you were doing with clay but have continued reading even though you're doing less clay because of the connection we now share and because I like what and how you right.

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