In this world we fine artists have
a problem. Art has been long considered as nothing more
than a pastime by most adults. So why should a pastime
have a business side. Because it isn't a pastime for an
artist, it is a profession. The other problem:
Original fine art cannot be sold in Wal Mart, or Sams
Club. It cannot be mass marketed. It is still sold
either from the creator or a specialty middle man. When
I think of art sales, I think of 18th century
type marketing. One maker, one seller, a select few
collectors (buyers) "Every original has only one
owner". How do you find him?
How to become a successful artist: 101
Create a body of work. A body is at least ten to 20
fine art pieces that relate to each other. A body (get
it? – body) is a group that sticks together as a group.
Start keeping records of your
work. With digital camera so cheap now, get one a take
a photo of each piece you create. Print it out and
start a note book. List the title, date finished, size,
medium, any awards it got, and who bought it if sold
Get a business card printed. You
can get one with a photo of your work on it at a lot of
online printers now, very inexpensive. It should have
your name, and under it "Painter" "Sculptor" etc.
Start a resume. Now you are ready
known in your own area - Start at home.
Join any and all art organizations
within a reasonable driving distance from where you are
now living. (What? You say you are not ready? Anyone
can join most art organizations, even if they are not
artists, as for groups that require you to be juried
into- if you are worried about it don’t do it, or just
do it anyway- all they can say is ‘no’.
Volunteer for museums, arts
councils, school art programs.. another words, get
out there get to know as many local artists people
connected with the arts as you can- go to art openings.
Keep your ears open, start conversations with artists
In any community artists tend to
find each other- they know each other, they know each
others work. It takes time to get to know them, but it
is time well spent. Local artists know what’s happening
in the community. They can help you find your way.
Once you have a body
of work, look for someplace to show. Every
community has something to offer the visual artist, from
libraries to coffee shops, to hospital walls,
businesses, banks; sometimes a local art council can be
of help for a budding artist offering show space, or
suggestions on where he or she can find exhibit space.
juried competitions- this is chancy. The volume
of artists entering shows makes it difficult to get your
piece hung. Many books I have read list this as a way
to get funds… for some maybe, but it is often like
winning a lottery, judges are subjective. What they pick
for shows varies so much; no one can count on juried
shows anymore for funds, let alone getting there work
out there. But do it anyway. If you get in, it’s one
more line for the resume.
Name recognition is what you are after. Your
name is your brand, just like ‘coke-cola’ is the brand
for a soft drink. Your name is your ‘brand’. Get it
out there. If you get an exhibition at any venue
“coffee shop’ hospital’ be sure to drop a press release
to the local newspaper. And every time you do, they
will put your name in the paper. Even if it is just a
short line in what’s happening in the community, your
name is out there.
Places to sell
As you begin to show, start adding
things to your resume. Having a resume can give you
help getting into a gallery. Galleries are a great
place to sell work, if you find the right one.
Many books have been written on this subject. But you
know enough now, to find other venues other than
galleries one book suggestion I have is the
Artist's Guide to New Markets
and DON'T GIVE UP!!!!