FIRST AND FOREMOST, I AM
Whether you’re a hobbyist sculptor, a part-time photographer, or a full-time artist, if you’re proud of what you create, I bet you’d like as many people to see it as possible, right? I hear a lot of artists saying they just don’t know how to get their artwork noticed. So here are some actions that you can actually put into practice today, that will help increase your audience an customer base.
As an artist it goes without saying that there are times when one needs to be exceptionally creative to keep the wheels turning. The internet has opened up so many different avenues to sell your art and is now an essential tool for getting discovered, getting inspired, and getting sales. All these avenues can quickly become overwhelming. Are you tweeting enough? Should you invest in product photography? Where should you display your portfolio?
WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH MY ARTWORKS?
Many artists sell work themselves out of their studio, online, at co-operative galleries, or even at one of the thousands of art fairs that are so popular. But just because you are an artist, doesn’t mean that you know how to sell your work. In fact most artists really struggle with sales and marketing and face consistent disappointment.
Imagine you’re beside your work at an exhibition or art fair. The pieces are arranged to catch the eyes of passers-by – and they do. A man approaches, looking fixedly at one of the artworks next to you. It takes him, perhaps, several moments to refocus and realize that you’re standing there. When he does, he breaks into a smile. “I have to have this piece!” he exclaims. “Are you the artist?” Whoah, what do? How now brown cow?
Appreciating art is a very personal experience in many ways, and sometimes, when a particular piece grabs you, you just have to have it! Selling your art doesn’t always happen that way, and it’s important not to assume that it will. Even someone who is naturally drawn to your display might not feel strongly at once about a specific work.
BE YOURSELF, THE MOST AUTHENTIC FIRSTHAND STORYTELLER
What I’m seeing now, as we move into an era where artists are “marketing” themselves online is that the most successful artists seem to be doing the same thing…being themselves, telling stories, being authentic. If you’re at an art fair, or any other place where you’re exhibiting your art, you’re in a context which is designed for art appreciation. It’s not like approaching a stranger on the street – these people are here because they want to see works of art, and they’ll be open to discussion, almost expecting, sometimes hoping for, the opportunity to reach a deeper understanding of what they see.
In a nutshell, what you should be doing and do it right now to all your artistic piece is to tell stories about them. Don’t force the feeling or don’t make people believe it’s something that it’s not. Instead, retell the feeling you had when you started on the piece, let them feel that first and foremost the piece entertains you and in turn entertain possible customers that feel moved by your passion. First and foremost, you are the artist that paints, secondly you are the storyteller that invokes imagination.