It’s like this for most of us – we spend hours and hours perfecting our artwork, then write an interesting and heartbreaking post for our social media , press publish, refresh the page – and nothing happens. What remains is a bad feeling, the impression to be overlooked or even ignored in the sheer mass of artists. Somehow you just don’t seem to find the people who are interested in your work. And that’s especially bad if you think that your artwork actually deserves the attention it currently lacks.

 

So, what’s the secret of these artists with thousands of followers who only have to hack two sentences into their keyboard to get people hooked? And, how do I interest people in my art? How do I get their attention so that I even have a chance to convince them with my artworks? The not-so surprising answer is: You first have to become more interesting by yourself (one of the hardest, but also best advices I have ever received).

 

At first, of course, that sounds a bit harsh –  after all, nobody would call themselves boring. But just think about which artists you follow on Instagram etc. and WHY you do it. Why are you reading their posts? What do these posts trigger in you – motivation, inspiration, entertainment? And, more easy: Why do you find them “interesting”? And then ask yourself: Am I such a person myself? Am I doing things or am I a personality that “interests” and moves other people?

(Re-)Shift your focus

In school – or the job world in general – we often focus too much on learning certain skills or on achieving specific degrees & certificates. In my opinion (and of many hiring managers) it is more sustainable to develop an understanding of one’s own self and how to improve yourself constantly. J. Maureen Henderson has summarized this in her Forbes article:
“Work on being an interesting person other people want to be around and are willing to open doors for.”

Grades and degrees often don’t really  get you far – in fact, in 9 / 10 interviews, the person with an interesting story/personality and an upright willingness to learn – in short, the person who fits better with the corporate culture – beats the candidate with the supposedly perfect CV for the job.

Same goes for the world of art and social media. Austin Kleon describes this with the [phenomenon of the noun and the verb](https://austinkleon.com/2015/07/22/the-noun-and-the-verb/). Many people want to be the noun (for example artist) without doing the verb (making art). To put it bluntly, they want the job but don’t want to do the work that needs to be done for the job. The whole thing, therefore,  is almost doomed to failure. Do not try to be something (a noun), but focus on the work you have to do (the verb). You want followers? Then be someone you want to follow. You want people to be interested in your art? Then be interesting. The “verb to do” will take you to much more interesting places than your the desire to be the noun can imagine.

Learn how to tell a compelling story of yourselfand you’ll never lack for a paying audience.

J. Maureen Henderson

Be open for the new

But you can do much more to make yourself more interesting. However, all these methods have one thing in common – first, they involve you to awaken your curiosity and desire for knowledge and an understanding of yourself, others, and the world around you. Why? Because in order to be interesting for other people, you also have to be interested in other people (and things).

Reading books, for example, is a good start. Or a new hobby like a sport or knitting. Traveling always helped me personally. You can also sign up for a volunteer service in your community. Or you’re commiting to ask three people about yourself every day and listen carefully to their answers. You can also bring two of your creative friends together because you think they could benefit from each other. The goal is to develop new skills by focusing on the things that connect people (rather than relying on boring marketing analytics).

Letzte Worte

Wie du am Ende überprüfen kannst, ob du (nun) eine interessante Persönlichkeit bist? Mal abgesehen davon, dass du vielleicht etwas mehr Aufmerksamkeit beim nächsten Kneipenbesuch mit deinen Freunden beanspruchen kannst, solltest du deine Aufmerksamkeit auf deine Mitmenschen richten. Bist du jemand, zu dem Menschen kommen, wenn Sie Hilfe oder Rat benötigen (zum Beispiel wo es den besten Latte der Stadt gibt)? Fällt es dir leicht, mit Menschen Small-Talk zu betreiben?  Wenn du das nächste Mal in einer Schlange, z.B. im Kino, stehst, versuche dich mit den umherstehenden Leuten zu unterhalten, um gemeinsam die Zeit etwas totzuschlagen. Gelingt dir das ohne Mühe, bist du auf dem besten Weg. Und es wird dir viel leichter fallen, Menschen für deine Kunst zu begeistern.

9 proven tricks to make you even more interesting

Ressources

Austin Kleon's Steal Like An Artist

Austin Kleon's The noun and the verb