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East Coast Artist Washed Up in Carmel

East Coast Artist Washed Up in Carmel

Darrell Fusaro (December 27, 2012)

DON'T BE AFRAID OF SILLY IDEAS. I went from unknown to well-known with this ridiculous photo of me standing waist deep in the Pacific Ocean.


In 1993, while on vacation in Carmel, CA a good friend suggested I try to break into the art scene there.  Still a young artist I had only a few exhibits under my belt and they were in New York and New Jersey.  In other words, I was a nobody as far as Carmel was concerned.  What I did have was a large body of work ready for exhibition.  From experience I can tell you that

submitting slides of your work with query letters to agents and galleries is a waste of time, don't bother. 

But by this time I knew the best way to break in is not by a headlong assault.  What works is much easier and more fun.  The key: don't be afraid of silly ideas.  They are the ONLY ones that get noticed.

So I purchased a sport coat, dress shirt, and tie at the Monterey, CA thrift shop which had the best of Pebble Beach resident's hand me downs.  Then with my girlfriend Lori, (now my wife) we drove to the beach where I got dressed, waded out waist deep into the ocean and held up a framed abstract painting of mine.  Lori took a picture.

I sent copies of this photo with a press release titled "East Coast Artist Washed Up in Carmel."  Within three days there were feature stories about me in every publication in the area, I was even interviewed on the respected KRML Carmel's world class Jazz Radio station.  The end result: I had a solo exhibition at the historic Pine Inn and before our vacation was over I was offered gallery representation by a local gallery.

3 Tips on creating a press release that gets published:

1) The title better be attention grabbing and generate curiosity.  TITLE SHOULD NOT BE LITERAL.  That is the mistake hired PR people make.  I know because I've worked with some of the best.  If my titled was "East Coast Artist Looking for Gallery Representation," it would have been tossed in the garbage, right where it belonged.

2) Include a photo that is attention grabbing and generates curiosity.  My silly snapshot proved to be much more compelling than a professionally photographed picture of my artwork would have been.  I know because it was included with every write up.

3) Write exactly what you want them to print in three hundred words or less - because that's exactly what they'll print.  Editors and staff writers are on a deadline and don't have time to wade through agonizing bios and descriptions of your work in an effort turn it into a story; they want to be able to cut and paste.  Another mistake hired PR people tend to do is feel the need to oversell the client in the press release loading it with a long list of accomplishments.  Don't do it.  If it's long and dense it WILL NOT GET READ.

So have fun and don't be afraid of silly ideas.  They are the only ones that get noticed.

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