This is the first in a series of interviews with successful artists. Creative people are my jam. I have been working with and, even better, friends with myriad artists and creative people for as long as I can remember. I’m drawn to the arts in general, and specifically to those who create it.
As Marketing Director and board member for Arts Alliance of Stratford, I had the pleasure of getting to know Anna. She and I became fast friends and I asked her to be my first interview. Gratefully, she eagerly agreed.
After working with The Alliance and creating workshops and other artist marketing materials, I began to realize that most artists don’t have a business or marketing background and many have to work several jobs, relegating their art to the side because it isn’t paying their bills. So, spurred on by my recent move to Philadelphia where beautiful art and murals are everywhere, I got curious about what successful artists do differently. And so, this series, How Successful Artists and Creators Market Their Work, was born.
Enjoy this first installment of the series.
To give readers a bit of perspective, tell us a little about yourself.
I am an educator, dance artist, choreographer, and the director of Mayta Fusion Dance in the Hudson Valley, NY area. I have been teaching all over the area for 20+ years now.
Mayta Fusion Dance is a business. My vision is to be creative and to collaborate with others to develop pieces inspired by social action themes and our shared humanity. I have been creating my own work as a choreographer. I go into the studio and immediately I start improvising. Improvisation is my forte and I perform improvisational thematic dance solos. I love traveling and sharing my educational programs. I enjoy performing, collaborating, and improvising with other creatives. Growing my dance company is an ongoing endeavor that is a community-building project.
I’ve created two program offerings in the last 10 years: one is Spanish language through movement since I grew up in Chile, and the other is Fusion Dance which is the blend of West African, Classical Indian, Flamenco, Modern, and Latin coming together as one.
What has been your most successful marketing or promotion to date?
The most successful marketing that has worked for me so far is cross-sharing with others and we share each other’s work on social media. I recently collaborated with Raw Spirit, a fragrance company, and they posted interviews and my dance I choreographed inspired by a scent of theirs. They posted my dance videos on their TikTok which I don’t have, their Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook channels. This cross-pollination helps my work get out into the world. I also collaborated with Rockland Arts Festival and my dance video and interview was posted on their social media accounts.
I now have a residency at Berkshire Pulse, a local dance studio, and they share my work as well. This re-sharing on others’ social media accounts is truly wonderful because it creates diversity and exposes my work to different audiences who may not otherwise know of it.
I also find that networking and word of mouth are successful. And lastly, being consistent is helpful. Having a website helps with the promotion of my work. Two years ago I settled into a better space which allowed me to concentrate and figure out out to build my first website. I am so proud of this goal being met.
What has been your least successful marketing or promotion?
At first, my social media efforts weren’t paying off. Over time, I learned that consistency is key so now I make a point to post at least once a week on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. I started on Instagram during the first year of the pandemic and it has taken me at least three years to grow my followers. I find that social media is about sharing. The opportunities and work I have gotten through social media are because I see the opportunity and pursue it.
What do you wish you’d known or done sooner to promote your creative business?
I am always looking for new creative ways of promoting my work, and this is an ongoing endeavor. In terms of promotion for a big creative project and education. I tend to do the same traditional promotional work such as fliers, mass email, mass text, social media, press releases, and networking. I am trying to figure out different creative ways to promote and not just do the same things. One thing I haven’t done yet is write a blog about my vision and theme of my work. Maybe one day!
Are there any favorite artist marketing/business/promotional resources you can share with us?
Fractured Atlas is a platform I use. They support artists with tools such as fundraising and have curated a knowledge base that’s very helpful as well. (https://www.fracturedatlast.org)
How can readers find and support your work?
Thank you, Anna.
I invite you to read the artist marketing journeys of Marcia Lorente and Melissa Benson