Creativity has its own rhythm. When you create things there can be a mix of chaos, frustration, insight and (if all goes well) the thrill of achieving something good. And then there’s a kind of cross-beat called ‘marketing’. Somehow you have to get your work into the ‘market’# so that you generate the funding that enables you to get back to creating.
It happens no matter what your discipline. Scientists have to ‘sell’ their value even though they may use a different approach from actors, musicians and artists. For that matter, the creativity of running a school is different too. Yes, we have to attract students but we also have to work with officials and politicians to make our case.
It isn’t always fun although it helps to regard this as a necessary part of the bigger rhythm. If you discover some joy in selling your work then you’re opening the way to do more of what you do best. Give some thought to the fact that Jesus, Buddha, Leonardo and Einstein were all marketers who were not essentially in it for the money. So is Jacinda Ardern. Just because a vast amount of marketing is toxic doesn’t mean we should be passive when we have something good to share.
The TLC team behind the AWA show in Upper Hutt are familiar with the challenge of marketing. They have again demonstrated how to get creativity to the public. They made it into the local news and had a great opening on 17 November. Mayor Wayne Guppy attended and looked pleased with what he saw (that’s Wayne with the red tie).
Creativity lives or dies according to how it’s communicated. In the case of AWA (short for Awakairangi) they took the chance to exhibit in an empty shop in Main Street and they drew the crowds.
These shows don’t magically happen – they require a vision and plenty of hard work. They also have to engage with their venue. Everything was pitched to connect with the community and they did very well with every aspect of organisation.
The most important aspect of marketing a show is to learn how to do it. It’s about fronting up and exposing your work to the risk of sale. The best marketing can be a work of creativity in its own right. All purchases are a bonus.
#There are a few exceptions like sugar daddies and large inheritances
- Jonathan Milne