As an artist I have had to learn how to promote myself and my artwork in a way that will open doors and not shut them!
If you want to get anywhere in this industry you are going to have to promote yourself and your art, no one will do it for you.
But how do you do it without sounding like you are bragging? It has to be “subtle” if it is going to work. How do you do it so you don’t sound like a narcissistic idiot? One thing for sure you don’t want to portray yourself as a stuck-up, self-centered, know it all. Know-it-alls can put others down by insinuation. If they are constantly ’putting you right’ and they know ’everything‘then, by implication, you know nothing. Being around people like this can be literally exhausting. Know-it-alls thrive on a sense of self-importance. A know-it-all often feels forced to say the opposite of whatever you say. You say “black”, they say “white”. Their need to hold an reverse point of view is more compelling for them than the need to find the truth of a situation.
Many years ago I was in an outdoor art show; the booth next to me was full of wonderful art by a young man. I went over to meet him, which is retrospect was a bad idea. He was a pompous know it all, he had an opinion about everyone in the show and according to him his art was the only good art around. This person used too much violet, that person didn’t know how to use colors, the other person over the way painted like a kindergartner. He pointed out how wonderful his art was, how he had done everything just right!
He even came into my booth at started picking my art apart. I was a little annoyed but I had been in so many shows that I had met his sort of person many times before that it was par for the course. After a while you get a thick skin, or you don’t survive as an artist!
It is just fine to be proud of your work and talk about it modestly but if you are constantly trying to impress others with your knowledge you are one annoying person. An Annoying person will not be good at self-promotion.
There is a way to “brag” about you and that way is by keep the “I” out of it.
When you're talking about yourself, don't use the word "I" in every sentence. That easily labels you as arrogant, egotistical and self-absorbed. Speak more broadly about your skills. Instead of saying “I can paint with any type of medium. I have been doing this for a long time and people love my work because the way I apply the paint. I have had people line up to buy my art.”
You could say: “Because I have studied long and hard I have the expertise to paint with many mediums and I have been very fortunate to have people admire and buy my work”
It sounds much less like a braggart this way, you are just stating the facts!
Some way of bragging can push people away while modestly bragging about yourself on the other hand gets people attracted to you, they can have a chance to learn more about you, and your art plus it shows that you have a great self-esteem.
I am not saying you should be afraid to recognize your own achievements and point them out to a prospective client. Just do it the right way, a good idea is to only brag on something you would compliment someone else on, and then you won’t look like you are a self-centered jerk!
If you want to have a great way to promote your art I would suggest you have a blog. This is a free way of advertising what you do and sell. Keep it business like, I have noticed that a lot of artists seem to feel a need to brag about their daily lives. If your blog is for your business keep the personal stuff to yourself. If you need to keep in touch with family or friends have another blog for that reason.
Your business blog should not be a place to boast, gloat, and showboat. It is place where you want people to get to know you and your art, or a place where they can learn about art, not a place where all they read is about what you have accomplished.
If all you offer is a blog filled with yourself and nothing else you need to ask yourself to what purpose will this promote your art?