Unless you've been living under a rock, by now, you know what an NFT is. If you don't here's a brief synopsis -
(I asked Google Bard for some help to shorten my description) - A non-fungible token (NFT) is a unique digital asset that represents ownership of a particular item, such as art, music, collectibles, or even real estate. Recorded on a secure and transparent blockchain, NFTs are ideal for certifying ownership and authenticity of digital assets.
This new concept has opened up a whole new frontier for artists, providing a platform to showcase their work and connect with a global audience. But, for many artists, yours truly included, the prospect of self-promotion and speaking about their work in public can be a scary prospect. Trust me, I've been at it for 2 years and I feel like it hasn't gotten any easier.
Imposter syndrome. Google's Bard explains it as - The feeling of inadequacy despite one's accomplishments.
This is a common experience among artists, and a lot of whom are on the NFT platform, and it can be particularly debilitating especially in the NFT space, where self-promotion is often seen as essential for success.
I'm a photographer, filmmaker, designer, and dabbler in 3D and audio. For years, I've been struggling with imposter syndrome, particularly when it comes to marketing my work and speaking about it publicly.
My familial upbringing has instilled in me a sense of humility. The constant reminder that bragging is wrong. This mindset, while valuable in many aspects of life, has hindered my ability to promote my work effectively and confidently.
The Struggle Between Humility and Self-Promotion
My personal experience is that, in the NFT space, self-promotion is seen as a necessary evil. As Artists, we need to actively engage with the community, share our work on social media, and participate in discussions about and around art and NFT's. However, for those of us with imposter syndrome, these activities can feel uncomfortable and self-serving.
I've found myself hesitant to share my work on social media, constantly fearing that I'll be viewed as arrogant or self-promotional, something I feel like I've fought against my whole life, but then, the more I look at it, the more I come to realise that at the same time, if I don't actively converse with the community, and share my stories, my experiences, my knowledge, and everything about my work.. especially my work, how else will I get noticed?
I've had a body of work on opensea and on foundation for well over 2 years now. And in all that time, I've had 2 sales. After which, I chickened out, and retracted into my shell as I was afraid of becoming too big. This is what i'm contending with, the silly notion that 2 sales will push me over the edge and make me a pompous prick who'll become self serving and won't care about his peers.
Thanks a lot imposter syndrome and stellar upbringing standards. You're the best. :|
Embracing Self-Promotion for Artistic Growth
Overcoming imposter syndrome is one hell of a journey. It requires a paradigm shift in your mindset. Instead of looking at self-promotion as bragging, it's important to recognize its value as the tool for sharing your art with the world.
When you promote your work, you're not just talking about yourself; you're sharing your unique perspective, your knowledge, your skills, your story, and contributing to the world of art.
Yes, even if you've just started. Yes. That means you've got something to share. Stop being afraid and get out there.
I asked Google Bard to help me articulate a few of my tips and here's what it did for me:
Here are some tips for overcoming imposter syndrome and embracing self-promotion:
Focus on your art, not yourself. When you promote your work, focus on the art itself, not your achievements or accolades. Talk about what inspired you to create the piece, the techniques you used, and the message you hope to convey.
Frame self-promotion as a responsibility. Remind yourself that you have a responsibility to share your art with the world. Your art has the potential to touch others and make a positive impact.
Start small. If you're not comfortable speaking in front of large crowds, start by sharing your work on social media or participating in online discussions.
Practice self-compassion. Be kind to yourself and don't beat yourself up if you make mistakes. Everyone experiences imposter syndrome from time to time.
To close, I wanted to bring a bit out about what self promotion means with authenticity. This is really important to me, as I've got to according to my own embedded principles (instilled in me from a very young age by my society. Yay society's principles), keep a balance between my humility and my hubris. It also falls in line with my sufi-esque principles of life, balancing the material with the spiritual, a sense of harmony for myself and the world I live in.
Remaining authentic and true to myself while being able to promote my work and myself is a crucial balance.
I've learnt that it is not important to create a persona that doesn't fit with your values. Keep them both in check.
Your voice is unique.
Your perspectives are what make your art special and what make you special.
Embrace your individuality and let it shine through in your self-promotion.
Conclusion: A Journey of Self-Discovery
Overcoming imposter syndrome and embracing self-promotion is a journey of self-discovery. It's about recognizing your worth as an artist and sharing your gifts with the world. As you navigate this journey, remember to be patient with yourself and celebrate your progress along the way.