Here is the second article in my new series dedicated to artist and creator marketing.
Marcia is an artist and the founder of an art gallery in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. She’s also an early adopter of NFTs (I learned a lot from her about this.) I met Marcia through the B Corp, Overflow, where we are both marketing consultants. Of course, her background is an advantage, but still, she has had challenges. I’ve attended a couple of her virtual gallery shows and they are a wonderful way to experience art. In addition to her own art, she now represents other women artists and can claim author as her newest accomplishment with the publishing of her first book.
Learn more about her success in this article and why she says, “Be brave, no one knows what they’re doing.”
To give readers a bit of perspective, tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Marcia Lorente Howell and I’m an artist, an oil on canvas impressionist, a brand strategist, and the founder of Surfergirl, New York’s first gallery for emerging women artists that doubles as a branding firm. I worked in advertising for 25+ years for global marketers such as Unilever, Disney, and I Love NY. I now apply emotional branding principles, what I call artvertising, to support women artists and brands that are advancing women and protecting the planet.
What has been your most successful marketing or promotion to date?
I’m particularly proud of exhibiting in New York City and at major art fairs on my own, I recommend every artist give this a go. You can rent pop-up space and do it either as an artist or as a gallery. It’s an investment, yes, but when your art is good, it pays off and I’m so appreciative that Jerry Saltz (New York Magazine‘s art critic) gave me a good review. I’d say cut the intermediaries and put your art into the world, both online on your website and on social channels, and in person.
I also started my own art gallery and I strongly recommend that every artist sells directly if they can. Surfergirl at first was only meant to be an extension of me, my name is too long and windy to remember, Surfergirl was far more memorable for a website or social handle. Later it took a life of its own, I started representing other women artists, and I’m so glad that I did. So I’d say, cut the intermediaries and put your art on a website and on social and manage it yourself. Just make sure your name is catchy and if you need to change it, do it. Maybe it’s your opportunity to channel your higher self! Surfergirl is just my chiller, cooler self who lives in Costa Rica and surfs every morning ;-)
What has been your least successful?
Helping other artists has been harder than I thought. I realize now that my background working for brands like Disney, Unilever and I Love NY gives me an edge that most people don’t have. That’s why I wrote the book “Artvertising: how to market anything through art,” to distill and break down what I know so that my mom could understand it. I believe it is essential that artists understand their brand deeply, their emotional intent, and their purpose. I’m working on a course that Surfergirl will launch in the Fall aimed to help artists and virtually anyone with some essentials on emotional branding that they can apply to their website, their socials, and the metaverse. I’m excited about this, I believe everyone is an artist and my goal was always to help as many people as I could to live a full artistic life.
What do you wish you’d known or done sooner to promote your creative business?
Like John Lennon, my only regret career-wise is not being born in New York. Other than that, I don’t think anything would’ve accelerated my professional growth. However, I’m from the best city in the world, Madrid, and I would never trade that for career advancement. So I guess I don’t believe in having any regrets! Just know that if you’re a creative, I strongly encourage you live in New York at some point. And if you think you’re not, this is where you come to become one.
What are a few of your favorite artist marketing/business/promotional resources you can share with us?
Instagram’s been good to me but I’m looking for what’s next. I think what Spatial is doing is amazing, any artist can now be his/her/their own gallerist. Soon virtual spaces are going to replace Zoom meetings and I can’t wait to meet everyone’s avatar. I’ve also been having fun creating my own digital art, and If I can do it, anyone can, I’m a big brush artist. I’ve been playing with Canva, Procreate, Motionleap, and Midjourney. There’s something for everyone. Be brave, no one knows what they’re doing. Follow your gut. What do you love? Pursue that. I believe we’re all artists and everyone is a brand, like it or not.
I’m very hopeful for a future where everyone finally gets to be the best version of themselves.
How can readers find and support your work?
- My art: https://www.marcialorentehowell.com
- Surfergirl: https://www.surfergirlny.com
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marcia-lorente-098986/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/surfergirlny/
- Spatial: https://www.spatial.io/s/Lightness-by-Surfergirl-Gallery-647239495be64316b33b9d23?share=4893668634036257283
- Podcast: https://surfergirlgallery.substack.com
- Book: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/artvertising-marcia-lorente/1142551023?ean=9798357470164
Thank you, Marcia.
I invite you to read the artist marketing journeys of Anna Mayta and Melissa Benson