As an artist, I dislike self promotion. My goal with my art is to paint decent paintings, connect with other artists, and share what I've learned with those willing to listen. I do like to eat and pay my bills, though, so marketing my artwork is important. Painting is my job, and sales aren’t just going to magically happen. I get that. But as with all other aspects of life, there needs to be balance. I grapple with certain necessary evils such as announcing awards or accomplishments, and mostly I feel awkward doing it. I think there is a fine line between, "I would like to share this with you" and, "Look at me, look at me". I prefer the vibe of the former statement to the latter and try very hard to follow the “less is more” rule.
As for marketing my art for sale, I wonder: if you focus so intently on promotion and sales, does it effect the connection you have with your art or the way you paint? I don’t know the answer to that question. What I do know is that if I just focus on the excitement and joy I am feeling in the process, the painting usually turns out ok, and eventually some nice person might buy it. I’m good with that.
The value of any experience is measured, of course, not by the amount of money, but the amount of development we get out of it. —Henry David Thoreau