Ever wonder why there are many “starving artists”? For many, creating art is the easy part; the difficulty lies in selling their art products or creations. As a result, a lot of artists toil in their studios or garage with their heretofore “creative geniuses” remaining unknown.
Art that sells are seen as artfully rendered and impactful works. However, many artists need help in bringing their work in front of their market. Here are five ways artists can find the market for their art products and creations:
1. Sell yourself.
You can sell a finished piece at a show, at a gallery, on the Web including your website or out of your studio. To get buyers to your sales venue, however, you must first learn how to sell yourself. The key is confidence and preparation. You must believe in yourself and be confident about what you do and your work. That confidence can serve you in good stead as you enter a gallery; introduce yourself and discuss opportunities for you to show your work.
2. Find Commission Work.
Commission work entails the creation of a work of art based on a client’s specification. The main difference is that you are creating an artwork, not for yourself, but for someone. Hence, the success of a commission work depends on the quality of your relationship with the client: you succeed when you respond effectively to the other party’s concerns, requests, and needs. Commissions may involve painting someone’s portrait, creating a painting or sculpture to decorate a home or public building, or completing a certain number of works for a gallery to sell.
3. Participate in Shows and Exhibition.
Showing your works and participating in trade shows can open your art to a great pool of interested art buyers. For one, the amount of traffic in one weekend show can greatly outnumber the number of foot traffic in a gallery. Art buyers including galleries carefully scout trade shows for emerging and cutting edge artists that they can feature in their exhibits.
Key cities often hold some of the most popular fine art trade shows such as ArtExpo Atlanta, Art Miami, International Art Expo New York, Boston International Fine Art Show, and others. Outside of the United States, some of the important art shows include the Art Ireland Exhibitions and the International Fine Art and Antiques Fair in Maastricht, The Netherlands.
4. Donate artwork to high-traffic or high profile areas.
For free advertisement, nothing beats donating your work to high-traffic establishment such as hospitals or office buildings. If your yard is filled with your work, try to donate some of your artwork to foundations or other areas that you think could increase your cache as an artist and your visibility as well. Oftentimes, such placements can yield high-profile commissions.
5. Employ proven marketing techniques.
Many artists are now turning to proven techniques to market themselves and their artwork. One of these strategies includes the creation of in-depth websites. Your Web site can be the showcase of your work, as well as the venue for educating your patrons. It can also be used to collect information from interested art buyers, as well as keep potential customers you’ve met in art shows and gallery shows updated with your latest work. While participating in trade shows or gallery exhibits, you can refer interested parties to your Web site, even requesting them to give you their email address to more easily keep them abreast of your work and news about you. Those who have already seen your work in person and talked to you are more likely to want to own your artwork.
Other strategies that you can employ include the printing of brochures, organizing mailing lists, and creating biographical CDs for distribution to potential collectors. Others also sell on alternative distribution channels such as online auctions and flea markets.
For many artists, the most important sales weapon is education. Particularly if you are creating unique, one-of-a-kind work, you must be able to talk to your client about your work, what it is about and how it is created. Buyers tend to respond to an artwork more if they know something about the artist, the media and the artwork’s creation. Art is just like any other product: you need to educate your clientele — and convince them that you work is worth having.
Recommended Books on How to Sell Art:
- How to Sell Art: A Systematic Approach to Creating Relationships with Collectors and Closing the Sale
- “Starving” to Successful: The Fine Artist’s Guide to Getting Into Galleries and Selling More Art
- 20 Steps to Art Licensing: How to Sell Your Designs to Card and Gift Companies
- Marketing Fine Art Photography
- How to Market and Sell Your Art, Music, Photographs, & Handmade Crafts Online: Turn Your Hobby into a Cash Machine