This is the sixth article in my series dedicated to artists and creator marketing. I met Zane during my tenure as Marketing Director of Arts Alliance of Stratford after he became a member and attended one of our very popular monthly member Zoom meetings. Then I had the opportunity some months later to meet him and his family in person when he was exhibiting his photography at our gallery.
Zane is the ultimate artist dabbling in various mediums including photography, poetry, music, and video. He is also a published author. I was intrigued to learn that he protects his copyrights, by registering his work with the Library of Congress.
Read on to learn why he believes that art can change the world.
To give readers a bit of perspective, tell us a little about yourself in a paragraph or two.
Hi there! I’m Zane St. Juste, a multidisciplinary artist with a passion for using my creativity to inspire, give hope, and encourage others. I was born on the island of St. Lucia, West Indies, and grew up in the Bronx, New York. I now reside in Stratford, Connecticut with my lovely wife and two children.
As an artist, I use poetry, songwriting, music production, visual arts, and photography to tell stories that connect with people on a deep level. I believe that art has the power to transform lives, and I’m committed to using my talents to make a positive impact on the world by using my art to inspire.
I’m also an author. I’m excited to share my work with the world and to use my art to make a difference. I believe that art can change the world, one person at a time.
What has been your most successful marketing or promotion to date?
I believe that my most successful marketing or promotion to date has been simply putting my work out there consistently. I see it as planting seeds that will eventually grow into something bigger. I may not always see immediate results, but I know that the more people who see my work, the more likely I am to find success.
For example, a few years ago, I shot my first wedding. At the time, I didn’t consider myself a wedding photographer, but after I delivered the photos to the client, they gave me permission to use them to promote my work. I shared the photos online, and soon after, I was booked for another wedding, then another and another. My clients are always happy with my work, some crying tears of joy when they open their photo book or view their prints. They have also promised to tell other friends and relatives about my business.
I have successfully used shots from previous weddings and other recent events as well as individual and family photo shoots to market and promote my photography on social media. This has led to future work and other opportunities.
What has been your least successful?
In 2020 I published my first book and my first music single. I marketed and promoted both, however, the book was marketed more which led to not meeting my target sales for my music single. What I’ve learned from this experience is to space out the release of my projects so they receive equal marketing and promotion efforts.
What do you wish you’d known or done sooner to promote your creative business?
I wish I had known sooner how to find my target audience and how to get my work in front of them.
In the creative world, going down the wrong path is a natural part of the process. It’s through experiences that we learn and grow. To effectively promote your work, you must have unwavering belief in your creations.
“You cannot hide a light. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14
So, if you have something that will make you or others around you shine, why would you not tell others about it and promote, promote, promote.
What are a few of your favorite artist marketing/business/promotional resources you can share with us?
I rely on various digital tools to enhance my artistic pursuits and effectively manage the business side of my creative journey. The following resources have been instrumental in connecting me with my audience and helping me evolve as both an artist and entrepreneur.
Social Media: Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube have been my go-to for connecting with my audience.
For Photography, I prefer using Capture One for photography editing due to its organizational capabilities and powerful workflow tools. Occasionally I use Lightroom. When it comes to digital artwork, Photoshop remains my top choice.
For Music Production: I used Logic Pro, a music software, to record the tracks for my debut single, ‘Lullabies,’ which I wrote and sang. I collaborated with my son, who played the piano, and my cousin, who is a sound engineer. Together, we co-produced the track using Logic Pro and other music software and instruments.
For Video Editing, I primarily use iMovie for videography and Final Cut Pro.
For Writing and Documentation, I use Pages on my MacBook Pro. My ideas are captured on my iPhone using notes and recording apps. Prayer and quiet reflection help me find purpose in each project. I use these writing tools to organize my thoughts and structure my manuscripts. To protect my copyrights, I register my work with the Library of Congress. For reviews, I seek the help of friends and family. I have also hired professional editors/proofreaders to edit my manuscripts as well as graphic designers for the layout and front/back covers of my books.
Multimedia Skills: My skills as a photographer and videographer have allowed me to handle many aspects of digital marketing without needing to hire external professionals at this stage of my journey as an artist. However, I am certain that I may need to bring a marketing/digital marketing professional onto my team in the future. This addition will allow me to focus on other aspects of my art career.
Distribution: I use TuneCore for music distribution and Amazon’s KDP Print and Blurb for book distribution.
Do you/have you ever had a set marketing/promotional budget?
Yes and no. I’ve had both monetary and time budgets for marketing and promotion, although it’s important to note that effective marketing isn’t solely about money. Being a prudent steward of resources is crucial in my approach to spending, whether it’s for marketing, promotion, or any other aspect of my creative projects. The allocation of resources varies for each project, but I firmly believe that the effort and resources invested directly influence the outcomes, for better or worse.
If you’re a visual artist, do you use watermarks to protect your work?
I used to put watermarks on my art, but not anymore. Think about it like this: what if the famous painting, the Mona Lisa, had a big watermark on it? That wouldn’t look right, would it? I’ve come to realize that in today’s tech-savvy world if someone really wants to remove a watermark, they can do it easily. What’s more important is developing a unique style and voice in your work. It’s like recognizing a famous artist – you don’t need their name to know it’s their work. I do however use watermarks on specific occasions when needed, for instance, school photography.
What are some other creative/artistic outlets you enjoy?
I enjoy spending time at the beach because it relaxes me. Every artist needs a place to unwind and recharge. I believe it helps my creative ideas flow. Additionally, I find inspiration in everyday life, whether it’s conversations with people or various situations, both positive and challenging.
This inspiration fuels my art, particularly when I’m writing poetry and songs. Additionally, I watch numerous how-to videos on YouTube to aid in improving my artistry. I delve into interviews and documentaries featuring artists I am fascinated with, especially the pioneers, to comprehend their lives and approaches to their work, be they painters, photographers, or writers.
When it comes to photography, I enjoy street photography, portraits, lifestyle photography, as well as capturing pictures in nature. It’s about seeking and telling the story visually, using the lens to capture compelling images.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Here’s a valuable insight for fellow artists: Discovering your purpose can be a journey that involves trying various creative avenues before finding your true calling. Having a clear sense of purpose is essential, as it provides direction and motivation. Equally important is having a vision that keeps you on track, keeps you focused, reminding you of your ‘why.’ This vision acts as a powerful shield against distractions and external influences that could derail you from your path to fulfilling your purpose.
So readers can support you, please list your website and any social media links where we can find you online.
Thank you, Zane.