Are you currently an artist looking to take your work from hobby to income? If you want to make money from your artwork, then you need to generate interest in it. This requires promotional and marketing success. Keep reading to learn a few things you can do to create or find a market for your work so you can profit from your artistic output.
Start all this off with market research. One of the primary reasons that many aspiring artists wind up not making any money is just because they don’t understand what the market currently wants. It’s very easy for artists to fall into the trap that they know what they’re doing better than anyone else, so what artwork you create must have a market out there, whether anyone knows it yet or not.
Does your city have local galleries full of the particular art medium you work in? Physical art, such as paintings and sculptures, usually have local vendors you can browse. Ignore the ones that aren’t selling. Instead, try and talk to the proprietor. Ask them what sells best? Why does it sell so well? Who is buying it? You never want to compromise your artistic vision, but you might find overlap between market demand and your work where you can start building a name for yourself.
As you visit galleries, read books or stories, and listen to music, keep in mind that anything available for sale was likely created for the previous season. Try to find the trade shows where importers, independents, and publishers are covering what is going to be offered in the coming season. Even as you peruse the artwork coming up, you’re still one step behind the market direction. However, you’re going to be seeing the trends in terms of context, themes, colors, textures, and styles.
Consider where you might sell. Anyone can open up an online store, but then you have go about search engine optimization to gain any traction, and that’s a very technical undertaking to learn on top of everything else. Even building up an Amazon or eBay portfolio and seller reputation can take hundreds of transactions.
Do you plan on selling locally? There are variety stores where you can set up a booth, as well as flea markets and farmer markets that might allow for particular crafts. Of course, these might mean regular attendance is required on your part.
If there are galleries that might apply to what you do, visit them and talk to the owners. Show them your work. They are going to be honest, and they’ll give you a good idea about the likelihood of it selling in their establishment. Their wall space is at a premium, so if they do offer you a chance, even a limited one, it’s a good idea to take it, considering the premium prices that galleries will yield you, even after their commission. Still, most galleries are likely to say no if you’re unheard of, and you need to be thick-skinned enough to handle multiple bouts of harsh criticism of your work.
While the idea of personally hanging around your art for hours on end might not appeal to you because you’d rather be making more, there is something to be said for it. Anytime your work is on show, try to be there so you can talk with prospective buyers. Art buyers love meeting artists in person, so you can do wonders for your potential sales with your presence, even if it’s just on weekends.
Even with all the information and knowledge presented here, you need to remember something above all else. The first and foremost rule of creativity is being true to yourself, so never suppress your inner creativity with thoughts that you need conform your creative pieces to what others might consider to be actual art. If you don’t utilize your right of expression, regardless of what medium you choose, then you’ll never enjoy your art.
That will reflect in the works that you create, and it will ultimately keep your work from finding an audience willing to pay good money for it, regardless of how well you apply the tips presented here.