Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros

December 05, 2012

A Secret I've Been Keeping for 40 Years

There's something I want to share with you today that I've rarely talked about publicly. It involves something I've been engaged in off and on for four decades now but have always kept off the radar.

While this message may focus on me and what I want to share here, there's an important message about you and how you can apply this to your life too.

So please read on and hang in there with me ...

Since you're reading this blog post, you probably know me as the author and writer guy who teaches and speaks about music marketing, book promotion, and artist empowerment.

Perhaps you know that I'm also an active musician, a part-time actor, or that I used to publish a music magazine in St. Louis, MO. These are all very public activities and skills that I've chosen to share with the world.

But there's something else I've been keeping under wraps for many years.

When I was about 12 years old, I got interested in a new creative hobby. At the time I was already writing a lot outside of school and was just beginning to play the guitar (passions that would play huge roles the rest of my life).

That new hobby way back then was doing art - especially painting with acrylic. Like my other creative interests, I was drawn to it and felt compelled to create something cool. So I immersed myself into doing art.

Over the many years since I continued to play with paint here and there. I'd crank out a dozen pieces in a few months, then I might let years go by before picking up a brush again.

There was always a long list of things to keep me busy over the years (playing music, writing books, doing workshops, acting in plays and indie films, etc). So my artwork took a back seat.

This past summer, on my birthday in late June, my VSO (very significant other) Pooki had an idea. She encouraged me to get out my painting supplies for the first time in a few years and create something. So I did.

For grins I posted the first painting on Facebook. The response was immediate - positive feedback all around! The last time I seriously painted, Facebook and social media weren't what they are today. So I painted more and started sharing more images of my art as I created them.

And I didn't limit myself to the online realm. I attended a few artist events and gallery openings. I started meeting people and learning about opportunities in St. Louis. I submitted to local art exhibits and have been part of three shows in recent months.

Last week I sold my first two paintings. The first was purchased by someone I went to high school with who saw the piece on Facebook. Then a guy I went to college with bought another. It's great to know that my first two art customers and supporters were people that I've known a long time. This progress has inspired me to create even more.

So ... why am I sharing this with you? Two reasons ...

1) I have obviously decided to go much more public with my artwork. So I am creating awareness (the first step in the marketing process, for those of you who are hip to my teachings :)

I seem to have a knack for creating images that appeal to some people. So why horde that gift and keep it to myself? I've made a commitment to finally share this area of my creative life with others!

I started a simple website at to showcase my work and blog about this aspect of my artistic journey.

2) I want you to apply this example to YOUR creative life!

What creative activities and interests have you buried or put on the perpetual back burner? What talent or skill do you possess that you have been reluctant to share with people?

I don't have to tell you. You know the answers. You're thinking of them right now. So ...

What can you do to breathe life into that dormant passion of yours? Or what can you do to go more public with an artistic gift that you have? In what ways can you share this thing with people who need to hear it or see it?

Stop making excuses. Stop waiting for the perfect time. Carve out some time on the calendar and create something cool! Then take the next step and share it with people - on Facebook or Twitter, by email, in a blog post or podcast, in a video clip, or at a live event.

Don't horde your talent. Get it out there!

That's what I'm doing. And I'm loving it!

I hope you experience that same joy with your creativity!


P.S. Please check out to see my latest artwork. There you'll also find info on how to purchase available original pieces, buy prints, or commission a personalized painting of yourself, a loved one, or a favorite celebrity.

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posted by Bob Baker @ 12:04 PM   4 comments


At Dec 5, 2012, 12:57:00 PM, Anonymous Bridgitte Raven said...

I applaud anyone who has achieved as much success as you have, even in one of the things you seem to be so great at. Good for you, it's truly inspiring.

At Dec 5, 2012, 2:02:00 PM, Anonymous Tony Barker said...

What a secret to share! This is magnificent work, Bob (and Pooki's a genius)!

You've inspired me for years, but never more so than at this moment.

Your advice has been instrumental in helping me get as far as I have with music as my Day Job; Now the story is, "Create the Art, and let the world make room for it".

I wish you the very best of luck in all your endeavors, and I thank you for helping me (and hundreds of others) reach our own goals.

Your friend and fan,

Tony Barker

At Dec 6, 2012, 6:40:00 AM, Anonymous Marq-Paul said...

Thanks, Bob, for writing this blog post. Many of my friends tell me that I am doing too much, spreading myself too thin. "Jack of all trades, master of none". But I see people, others, doing similiar things that I am doing. People like you.

So, I won't give up on those other things. Thanks for being an inspiration.

At Dec 8, 2012, 7:49:00 AM, Anonymous Tony Mecca said...

Hey Bob, good story and cool artwork! Funny, I've been wrestling with this very issue for quite some time. I had suspended my music operation in 1990 to focus on earning enough money so that my wife and I could raise our 5 children. By the early-mid 90's the urge to be involved with music began to creep into my heart once again. I began producing bands at night to sublimate my musical cravings and earn a few extra bucks. But that didn't seem quite enough.

I then took up the hobby of writing "Celebratory Criticism" about the recorded output of bands from the CLASSIC ROCK ERA. A year or so after, in a strange and fortuitous stroke, a very popular writer in this genre read and really liked my work. He forwarded it to his publisher and I was on my way to a book deal. Me, a guy who was only a below average composition writer throughout my school years, a potential author! And all I'm doing is just ranting about my heroes.

Anyway, 2002 arrived and the temptation was overwhelming to re-engaged my performing/recording music career once again. While "ESSENTIAL NOISE FOR THE MAINSTREAM" was never published as a book, several installments - Gentle Giant, E.L.P. & Jethro Tull - were published in the wonderful PROGRESSION MAGAZINE. So my dilemma is whether I should make all of the installments available for perusal via my website (

My fear is that I don't want to be perceived as an unfocused artist or jack-of-all trades. But I am also very proud of my writings which I believe to be very entertaining for those interested in the subject matter. I thoroughly enjoy and respect what you do, and your thoughts are surely welcomed. Thanks! Tony Mecca


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