Wed | Apr 1, 2020

Growth & Jobs | Find creative ways to market your craft, renowned artist advises

Published:Tuesday | May 15, 2018 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer
Ian Allen/Photographer Artist Lennox Coke at work in his Kingston studio.
Ian Allen/Photographer Some of Lennox Coke's work on display in his studio.
Ian Allen/Photographer Lennox Coke was the artist who painted the controversial dancehall scene cover of the Yello Pages directory.
Ian Allen/Photographer Lennox Coke shows off his work.
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Pointing to his 20-year longevity in the art industry, Lennox Coke said a critical element for any artist to survive and experience economic growth is to have excellent marketing skills.

In an interview with The Gleaner, the renowned artist indicated that, like anything in life, he has had to make sacrifices, but stated that he has seen tremendous reward.

"The truth is, whenever the economy goes down, things like the art industry also take a back seat. So persons have to find creative ways of marketing their work. Whatever field you are in, marketing becomes a key element in the success of your product and reaching your audience," he said.

"When I go to events, I develop a mailing list over time. So that is one of the tools I use to keep in touch with persons and keep them informed."

The artist, who is also known for the controversial dancehall scene artwork on the cover of the Yello Pages directory one year, said that his interaction with the international market continue to show that art is still relevant and needed in 2018 and beyond.

He noted that with greater support from the Government, art can contribute significantly to growth of the country.

"It's feasible, but it's going to take work; you got to work at your craft. Also, you have to work at the business aspect of your craft. Once it's your passion, you cannot lose. You are going to get reward in many different ways - personal satisfaction and financial," he said.

"We live in a fast-paced society and people want rewards now. But everything won't happen now, it's going to take time and work."

Coke added, "One of the things I do is that I have an original piece and then I make reprints. I do it in different sizes, so persons who have limited budget are still able to afford something from my collection."

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com