I am an AUTISTIC ARTIST and Autism is an EMPOWERING neurotype. I aim to break down stigmas and stereotypes.
By Margaux Wosk
I’ve written about how hard it is finding a market for my art in a past article and I wanted to provide an update.
It’s truly hard to accurately represent myself. I am Autistic, I am an Artist and I am determined to get myself out in the world, one small step at a time.
I doubt my ability to be social and connect with people, I think that has to do with years of trauma and pain. But, throughout that pain I have been able to write, paint and do various other creative tasks.
I never went in to art with the mindset of wanting to sell it. I was making it for myself. It wasn’t until recently that I actually have found success with it and believe me, it’s not something I take for granted. I started creating more themed images, with my current streak being Cats.
Cats are very important in my life, I feel like I truly am able to connect with them. I look at them as these other-worldly beings with big personalities. I believe they are deeply intuitive.
I decided that I would post my art into some Cat Facebook groups, just because I found that I already connected with these people, enjoyed seeing their cats and clearly their overwhelming love and joy for their furry feline friends. It was so inspiring and I felt like i found “my people”.
I couldn’t believe it. My Facebook notifications were BLOWING UP non stop. People liked my work. They LOVED my work. They wanted to know where to buy it. They told me I needed to make shirts, cups, pillows, mugs etc and I didn’t even know how to navigate that.
Again, It wasn’t my intention to sell my art. I wanted to put it out there and I wanted to make new friends. I did all 3. I made incredible friends who appreciate my work, chat to me, compliment me, provide me with kind words of encouragement and some of them have actually supported me by purchasing my art.
I never thought this would happen. I am so humble and joyful. I have an overwhelming sense of gratitude.
I think the key thing when marketing your art is to really not consider selling it. It’s about those deep connections that you can form with people who you may have never met.
I also highly encourage that if your art is themed that you go out there and you find groups that embrace and love the subject matter.
Dragons? Find dragon groups! Cats? Find cat groups! You will find those lovely people who want to connect, want to be friends and appreciate you and your creations.
I do have to say that not everyone has been so kind—but the majority has.
The ones who I end up having a falling out with are the ones who tell me to ditch the AUTISTIC label from Autistic Artist (which is how I refer to myself) and then I have to go on a wildly long tangent about how there’s nothing wrong with being Autistic, that I aim to break down stigmas, connect with other people who may be on the spectrum or have family members who are Autistic themselves, or really just answer questions people may have.
Some people think I’m trying to vie for sympathy, or to have people feel bad for me, or that I’m putting myself down. So, I’ve learned to preface it by saying that “I am an AUTISTIC ARTIST and Autism is an EMPOWERING neurotype. I aim to break down stigmas and stereotypes.”
If someone wants to use a personally-identifying word before their profession (or perhaps something else), It’s their prerogative. It’s no one else’s place to tell someone else how to identify. It’s not nice. It will never be nice to say “oh, sweetie, you’re JUST an Artist!”
Don’t be that person.
Embrace others for who they are and what they have to offer. I think that’s such a big lesson to be learned. I also think gratitude goes a long way.
Everyday I am thankful. Everyday I am thanking these lovely people for supporting me.
Everyday is a new opportunity to create art and see where life takes me.
Visit Margaux’s sites:
I was deeply inspired by your success and most importantly, by your incredible artwork.
People in our society don’t tend to realize that art is hard work. It’s hard to “market” it as you’ve observed, and sometimes it’s just about luck. What you said about not wanting to sell your work really resonated with me, because I don’t tend to want to sell my work at all. My paintings are personal to me and I cannot simply replicate it again because it’ll be very different next time. I would have prints made if there was enough interest, but if I parted with an original, that painting is gone from my life forever. I have done that once, and will never do it again.
I also agree with you that creating is more about building social connections and experiencing emotional catharsis than anything. If one is really an artist, I believe it’s never about the money.
I shared this article to my personal Facebook profile and I hope my friends and family may notice your incredible talent.
If you happen to get a chance, feel free to check out my work at http://www.morgangiosa.com (samples of my visual art in multiple disciplines) or http://www.fakenewsbluesband.com (my jazz band). I am not trying to advertise – just curious of your thoughts on my work.
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