David Hieatt, founder of Hiut Denim Co.:

II) You are not an artist. You make things. You make things in order to sell them. The difference between you and an artist is you can’t wait years to be discovered. […] Makers are here to make. Makers are here to sell – Van Gogh had to wait till he died before he sold his first painting. You can’t. Sales after you die don’t count.

Gotta love his candidness.

Later on in his interview, Hieatt talks about the importance of quality but also that quality alone is not enough for a successful business around what you make. I agree. As I was writing and recording my audio book, or as I work on my sites day in and day out and record my podcast every day, my focus is on doing things the best that I can. And to me, that is art; that’s craft.

Slopping something together is not art, and if I allowed myself to do sloppy work then I wouldn’t consider myself an artist.

But the quality alone isn’t what brings me new readers to my site, new members, nor new buyers of my book. Quality is for the sake of my current audience. I do what I can to spread the word about my work to attract new readers, and I do my best work day in and day out so that current readers stick around because the quality is there.

Something I’ve said before regarding Apple and word-of-mouth marketing: good marketing gets people in the door the first time, but it’s a great product that gets them back in the door the second and third times.

Ten Lessons From a Maker