Recently I have had the opportunity to share my tips and tricks with local artists on the best way to promote yourself as an artist. Over the past 3 years ArtSee has worked with over a dozen local, emerging and established artists on how to best market their work. Here I have compiled 5 steps to marketing yourself as an artist.
1. Make a Plan:
For every artist having a plan and goals is necessary. Most of the artists that we work with are those that have a plan and they work with ArtSee to help execute that plan. Know what you are trying to achieve and how you hope to do this. A “plan” in this case could start as easily as setting a goal for yourself "I want to be in 2 group shows this year." Then, once you have set these goals, make a plan of how you want to execute them. What goes in to being a part of two group shows? Submissions, installation, marketing, news coverage, etc. We recommend that every artist have a plan for getting the greatest exposure possible for their artwork and any show. May your plan is a little more person and you just want to “create 1 cohesive body of work with 12 strong pieces.” Who are you going to get to critique your work? What is your concept?
2. Show, Show, Show:
This doesn't mean that every artist will have a solo show in the first 5 minutes (or even 5 years) of their career, but try! You would be surprised how many artists just think that the opportunity for the public to see their work will come to them. They're wrong! Showing your work is THE POINT of creating it! Wether it is a group show, a solo show, a fair, a competition, or hanging in a restaurant, your work is being seen; and that's the point. If you don't get these opportunities, then create them for yourself! Find a space, select a body of work and create your own show. The more people that see your the more feedback, sales and inquiries you will receive.
3. Don’t Go Green Yet:
When it comes to marketing social media, websites, e-blasts etc. are great (don't worry we'll get there), but don't under estimate a good old fashion print piece. For every show that I have done with ArtSee or my of our clients, we still produce a printed version of the artists information and works list. Why? Because this is a tangible item that someone who might be interested can take with them to remember you by. So, while the rest of the world goes green, focus on putting together a nice postcard, works list, catalogue or flier.
4. The Internet is Your Friend:
In a time when everyone is online 24/7 the internet is a real time, real way, to promote your artwork. Through your own website, general art auction and purchasing sites and social media, the opportunities are endless. However, CAUTION, do not over use the internet. You don’t want people to get tired of seeing your work. Your website should really be a portfolio, the best of your work, and information that people need to understand you as an artist. In most instances, this is the first that people will see of you. As for social media (stay tuned for a future post on this), but don’t post every 5 minutes on every platform, that doesn’t do anything! Post things that are relevant and new information. Using the internet is the fastest way to share information and images of your - it is your friend!
Communication is the key! Be sure to send regular invitations to all buyers and potential buyers on your database. Notify them of all events in which you are taking part and any new releases that might be of interest to them. Don’t have buyers? Update people that you know that are interested in your work. Let people know when are where they can see your work, what has changed in your studio practice and invite them to see the work in person. I often work with artists to create simple e-newsletters to share information with buyers, family and friends about everything going on the immediate past and future in their art world. This is a great way to stay in touch without bombarding people with information constantly. Use in person and email communication equally. Some people don’t have the time to make it to artist studios but they still might be interested in seeing your work from time to time - take advantage of that! Communication is KEY!!
Stay tuned for tips and thoughts about how to best share your artwork with the WORLD!
Bringing the Art in DC to You,