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Promoting your Artwork and Design

Updated on November 16, 2014

Promoting your Artwork and Designs

There are a lot of fantastic artists and designers around, some who exhibit a lot and have wonderful spaces where their work can be viewed and yet there still seem to be many that are not promoting their work as effectively as they could, but would like to be.

So for this article I thought that I would write a piece for those people who put a huge amount of passion and creativity into their work, but then are unsure of the next step.

Even though you are an artist, from a business perspective it is very important to approach your work with the 5M’s of marketing in mind.

Products – People – Price – Placement – Promotion.

Product and Price

One of the first things that you need to consider regarding your work is whether it works as it is intended to. Does it have any distinguishing features and a quality that will encourage a sale? Is there other work out there similar and how does yours compare?

Knowing what other artists are doing allows you to see the relevance of your own and also to help in determining the price that you should be asking. If you are trying to make a cultural statement with your work it is important that it is represented in a way that your audience will understand.

For promoting your art it is always a great idea to have art statements. Let the viewer understand the thinking behind your work and your influences and make sure that you include them in your portfolio.

If you can take high quality photos of your work and select the best ones to keep as digital files to send to prospective galleries, agents and other art exhibition spaces. And very importantly, know your worth.

When determining the price of your artwork, compare yourself to other artists. Factor in the amount of experience that you have, your reputation and the exhibitions that you have been in and sold work from. And don’t forget to also factor in the cost of your time and materials.

People

If you are intending to sell your work to provide yourself with an income, more than you would receive from just a hobby, it is important to know who your audience is. Keep conviction in your work and that it is what your audience is looking for.

When faced with doubt, remain honest to the original idea and persevere. Once the work is completed though it is important to approach the right people in order to have it exhibited and sold.

Beyond the reach of local spaces, identify businesses, galleries and dealerships that share a common thread between the types of art and design that they have and your own work. It is important to be familiar with as many exhibition spaces as you can be, visit as many exhibitions as possible and contribute to the broader art conversation at every possible opportunity and have an understanding of which artist’s exhibit in which spaces.

How do I find your artwork?

Where can your audiences find your artwork?

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Placement

It is a good idea to have a strategy of where and when you are going to exhibit and sell. Do you want your work to be seen everywhere, or are you trying to create a selective reputation. You also need to know where your work can be viewed between exhibitions. Ideally this is going to be on your website and on the websites of galleries that you have exhibited at.

Now if you don’t have a website, Facebook page or any social media strategy at all, don’t panic. Facebook is free and so is Wix.com, a great website builder that is really quick and easy to use. Start off with these and if you don’t feel confident in setting it up then ask someone to help you. Remember to keep it in line with your vision though. Additionally, if you are at that stage in your career, look for an agent, someone who can do the legwork for you, get you into galleries and art journals and bring your customers to you.

Promotion

Where you can, take your work face to face with a gallery owner or curator. It is okay to start with sending your photos by email, but you will make a better impression if you follow up with a call or a visit.

Think about how you discuss your work with people, either at a gallery level or to your audience, and thin k about how you want others to discuss your work, and remember that to a large extent, this is something that you can control through your art statements and biography.

Build up your work history every opportunity that you can and most important, if you want to be an artist as a rewarding career, approach the marketing of your work with the same passion that you approach creating it. And if it is all too daunting, just ask for help.

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