Promote Your Art by Writing a Novel


Rodney “Pygoya” Chang

January 5, 2006


      Funny how the mind wanders during long distance training runs for marathons.  On one such hot and humid summer run in Hawaii, I got the idea to write a novel.  I am a visual artist.


     But as you know, the artist’s life is full of hopes and dreams, challenges and strife.  So I thought that day, dragging my butt some fifteen miles while floating from a bit of heat stroke, wouldn’t an artist serve as an interesting main character in a novel of fiction?  And who’s artistic life – with all the highs and lows, did I not know better than my own!  So, over the course of 1,000 miles, the story’s setting and conflicts were plotted to a climax of the realization of life’s final success – or dismal failure.  In fiction, the writer controls results, not like in reality were talent isn’t everything.  It can be shunned by the powers of art market manipulators protecting their own best interests. Not every deserving artist can be a star.  It comes down to supply and demand in our capitalistic society.



     In “Pygoya – A Novel of Rebel Art & The Supernatural” I make a broad sweep with my pen, drawing a line between ancient Hawaiian petroglyphs and today’s digital art!  For that quantum leap, many characters pay the ultimate price.  Instead of an “artsy-fartsy” book that would generate minimal interest by the mainstream, I peppered the art life with tribal warriors, ghosts, witches, pirates, and human sacrifices.  Oh, - and spiced with conspiracy and sex.  Throw in the style of horror and fantasy and maybe readers that prefer this literary genre will digest the art content too.  But for fellow artists, I believe the book is most interesting as a depiction of one artist’s struggle to develop in style and do significant work-- in other words, give meaningful fulfillment to his life.  Turning my back on the easel to pound the laptop endlessly was a new creative challenge. As a writer it was exciting to leap into the world of fiction, where the artist can fantasize what his surrogate, fictional character’s future holds and how far his art can go. 


     The odds of having a manuscript accepted by a major publisher is 1 out of 1,000. The odds of a person who starts and completes a manuscript is 1 in 100. Bad odds. So I turned to self-publishing, or paying one’s way to be published.  It isn’t like the old days of vanity press with its type setting setup and large print edition costs.   Now, with the Internet, digital printing technology brings the costs – and risks - of becoming a published author to under a thousand dollars.  Try the keyword, “self publishing” in any search engine. Many links will emerge.  I personally went with, a subsidiary of to thereby access built-in global audience reach for my product.  The book will be available at the end of this month.


     As for whether this particular artist becomes rich and famous after death, you’ll only find out by getting the book!  Go to, type “pygoya,” and enjoy an adventuresome artist’s story within the setting of the supernatural.  BOO! 


     Dear fellow artists, consider taking your art in this marketing direction – write a book about your work within the context of a fictitious story instead of the usual autobiography.  Embellish your life, add a bit of drama.  Visualizing artistic dreams that come true in fantasy might make it seem more achievable.  I know writing “Pygoya” had therapeutic value for me.  In some other emotional dimension, I grew as an artist.  I already have initial interest among connected friends in the film making business!  Will I also be able to proclaim, like accepted American Idol candidates, “I’m going to Hollywood!”?  Only time will tell.   Having one’s art in  scene settings would be fantastic exposure!



  A summary of “Pygoya”-       

     A stunning tale of art, breaking the rules, and a creative spirit that can’t be contained, no matter what. In 1625, tribal rebel Leila defies the priests of her community by chiseling artwork in a secret cave. When she’s found out, she’s put to fiery death by lava, but her spirit lives on, encased in a volcanic stone that transforms everyone who touches it. Carried by a Spanish conquistador, taken to Salem around the time of the witch trials, the rock is finally brought to Maine. But when Leila encounters a modern-day toddler named Anthony, she decides to become his art teacher, following him into his adulthood and transforming him into Pygoya, a digital painter of mysterious black rocks. What is their incredible shared destiny, and can it free them both? Panoramic, mythical and absolutely magic, this is an unforgettable examination of how certain people at certain times are destined to move the world with their art.