A new frog painting and thoughts on telling your story

I’m excited to share first of many drawings and paintings I’m making about the Amazon rainforest.

Here’s a frog I’m working on:

This is the first time I’ve touched my oil paints in over 3+ years. I usually stick to drawing, but had a nostalgic urge to pop open some oil paints and bring this frog to life. It still has many layers to add, but it sure felt good to revisit a medium I haven’t used in a while.

I hear from a lot of artists who say they just don’t know how to tell their “story”.

They know they have to create compelling content about them and their work, but a certain stage fright is holding them back.

This stage fright is usually caused by a misconception they have to do something loud and shocking to create content that get’s attention.

Good news, the requirement to be outgoing and shocking simply isn’t a requirement to market yourself.

When I talk to artists who are trying to figure out how to market their work, the more I dig down I learn they think they have nothing interesting about themselves to talk about.

Believing they have to slay dragons every weekend to be “interesting”.

But the truth is you don’t have to be “interesting” in the front page headlines kinda way.
All you have to do is share a truthful realness about anything that relates to you and your work.

Check out this humble video of artist James Jean talking about how his work is more interesting than him.

Highsnobiety TV – James Jean from LEAN on Vimeo.

The video perfectly sums up what an authentic approach to telling your story looks like.

Proving you don’t have to be some outrageously loud, charismatic, energy-burst-of-a-person in order to drive attention to you and your work.

  • You don’t need to shock.
  • You don’t need to awe.
  • You just have to be truthful and real.

You can’t avoid talking about your art

Despite hearing James Jean calling himself uninteresting. He’s still able to talk about himself and his work in his own way.

Talking about our work is something we all have to do to generate sales.
Remember though, you can talk about your you and your art in a way that’s appealing to you – and in any medium:

Just want to talk about the technical part of your work? That’s fine.

Just want to share your inspirations in written blog posts? That’ll work.

Want to only make time lapse videos of you working? Great.

You don’t have to make headlines every time you post your coffee on Instagram.

However, you have to create content about you and your work. And put this content in front of people who share your same tastes, values, and interests.

Most of my interests revolve around learning the stories of other artists and creatives whose work is fueled by adventure and the world around them. From investigative journalists in the Amazon to photographers who battle gnarly odds with nature.

Which is why I’ve decided to feature an artist every week on my blog who is inspired by the world around them – in a series on my blog called Intrepid Artists.

First up in this series is a video of Irish surf photographer named Mickey Smith.

The first time I watched it – I watched it about a dozen times in a row on repeat.

Seeing how different artists tell their stories is invaluable. It stops us from getting stuck in the mindset that the “art world” defines our audience. It reaffirms that we’re in control of who we share our story with, who collects our art, and who hires us to make awesome images.

Join my personal email list and get a new email from me every Sunday morning.

Once a week I share a behind the scenes of what I’m drawing with 12,000+ awesome people around the world.