Narcissism and Marketing – a live experiment

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This item cropped up in my news feed the other day – ‘Narcissistic Artists Sell More Art – For More Money’.

The gist of the article is in its title, so if you don’t have time to read it, no matter (although I do recommend it).

So, narcissistic Artists sell more Art for more money… Hmmm…  To me, this seems like the rocket-fuelled distillation of some general life advice – ‘You have to be confident and believe in what you do to be successful’.

How we interpret this advice as Artists however, depends on what you’re referring to exactly – making Art, or marketing it.  In terms of making the stuff, I think it would be fair to say that most Artists believe on some level in what they do, so that part would seem to take care of itself.

But then there’s the marketing side…

On this score, most Artists fall into the shrinking violets category – timid about proclaiming their talents; reticent about blowing their own trumpets.  Whilst at the other end of the scale, as the above article shows, there’s a minority of Artists like Picasso who make unabashed, self aggrandising pronouncements such as ‘My mother said to me, ‘If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.’ Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.’  Nothing shrinking about that.

In my experience so far on the subject of Artists and marketing paradoxes abound, but when it comes to Art marketing, this article would seem to make one thing clear – a little bit (or a lot) of self-esteem, and confidence projected is no bad thing at all if you’re serious about carving out a career doing what you love to do.

What does all this mean for From 0?  Well, over the past 5 months since I started From 0, progress has been slow.  So maybe its time for a change…?  Maybe its time to crank things up a little?!

And so to the launch of a mini-project… Over the coming months I aim to become as overtly confident as I can – a mini-Picasso narcissist if you will…  I will shout my name and work from the rooftops, and record the results in updates for you to see…

If the author of the research, Yi Zhou is correct ‘From 0’ might make some progress… If she’s wrong, a quagmire of humiliation lies in store for me at the bottom of Mt Marketing, and you’ll be wearing a wry smile.

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If you would like to share your thoughts, please do so in the comments section below.


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