"You're not supposed to do that."
That's the advice that I heard recently when I was sharing my PR ideas with a friend.
For the past year or so I've been creating and re-creating my portfolio at Mixbook* (an amazing company for photo books. Highly recommended!)
It's the type of platform where you can edit your book, publish 1 copy, make changes, publish 3 more, re-edit, etc.
I use these as PR to send to major museums to introduce them to my work.
"You need to have your work in collections" she continued. And then have your work recommended to some of the smaller museums and then wait for the other museums to contact you. That's how it's done."
Really? Is that always how it's done?
Seriously, I didn't know. Or maybe I did. Maybe I choose not to pay attention to 'protocols' (Hello! Artist over here!) And I don't mean to sound flippant. Sometimes I like taking the road less traveled and show up in someone's mailbox, uninvited.
To paraphrase author Julia Cameron "Success has little to do with talent and everything to do with audacity."
When I read that in the Artist's Way 20-plus years ago, it forever changed me. It changed the way that I approach my art, and gave me permission to be more courageous in the choices that I make. Of course, I try not to do anything obnoxious or force my way in to situations or experiences where I don't belong. That's not what audacity is, and I don't think that's what Cameron was referring to when she wrote about it.
It's about taking chances. Showing up when it seems scary. Doing things out of the norm or different from the way they're 'supposed to be'.
So when someone says "you're not supposed to do that" I just grin, and keep going.
Above is a photo of me, being audacious. In this photo, I'm surrounded by my portfolio, first draft cover letters, and pre-addressed envelopes to museum curators. I'm wearing a hat that was gifted to me that reads "Be Optimistic"
And what about you? What are you gonna do today that's audacious? Whatever it is, you can tell me. I promise to never say "you're not supposed to do that," ;)
*The mixbook link gives me a small commission, and offers you a $20 discount on your order. Just so ya know.