If you are setting up a marketing plan to sell your art, you will need to have an actual strategy – a plan to do so.
But is there anything else that you should know before you have a marketing plan put into place?
There are 5 emotional and practical realizations that will be helpful for you to consider before embarking on this essential part of your artistic business.
Carefully ask yourself these 5 questions that will help you to be better prepared:
1. Can You Speak with Confidence About Your Art?
While you may think you have expressed your art through the paint strokes and images that you have created – but can you speak about what you have expressed?
Remember that most of the people looking at your art often are not adept at interpreting it. Yes – they can look at it and decide, usually on an emotional level if they can relate to it and if aesthetically they can derive joy, pleasure, etc. from it. But this is often not enough to actually sell art. You need to be able to talk convincingly about your art – not only specific pieces, but the overall theme, style, genre and what you wish to convey to those viewing your work.
Whether you are seeking to ask a gallery for representation or you are attempting to sell directly to a buyer – you need to help them to truly connect with your art on a meaningful and actionable (as in buying) way. Being able to communicate verbally can also be a helpful talent to have.
2. Is Your Art Consistent with Your Personality?
You may very well have a plethora of styles and genres that you may now and over time have shown in your art – but are they representative of what you wish to show and who you truly are as an artist?
Your art – the style, subject, medium, technique, theme and even presentation – when blended together show your uniqueness as an artist. This helps to make your art identifiable as being “you” and this consistency will translate to making your art more saleable to art buyers and collectors as overtime they may wish to repeatedly purchase your art. Typically, the more consistent your art, the more it beholds you as an artist, the better success you will have selling it.
This also hold true for galleries that consider representing you. If you plan to approach galleries about displaying and marketing your art – they always look for consistency in the work that you present and they prefer the range of your work to appear unifying. This likely relates to the fact they can target a certain type of art buyer or collector more effectively if your art shows a series or body of work that relates to a specific aesthetic taste or preference.
On a more personal note, you will come closer to perfecting your expression if you are creating what you most deeply connect with. Your personality must be communicated through your art, to in essence bring to the fore your innate talents and interpretations that are distinctly you.
3. Do You Have Enough Art Ready to Sell?
If you wish to engage a gallery, art consultant or other similar party to help you to sell your art, you will need to ensure that you have completed inventory to sell.
Moreover, you need to be able to replenish that inventory when your art starts to sell. No professional will promote your work if they do not have the confidence that you will be able to supply them with art needed to meet their client demands. This also extends to your keeping records of your inventory and being able to account for it.
Therefore, you need to be organized with your production of art, where and how you safety keep it and the ability to keep inventories at a reasonable level. On a side note – you should always have an inventory list that efficiently tracks the incoming and outgoing of your art production and sales.
4. Is Your Art Ready for Purchase?
This may sound like a given – but it cannot be assumed. Consider this – is your art clean and ready to be framed and hung? Are the canvasses straight (unwarped) and the paint is of a quality so that it will remain in place and keep its brilliance? Observe carefully if the hanging wire is far enough from the top of the canvas for the piece to hang properly. Have you tried to hang the piece on a wall – does it present well?
Remember that if you intend on shipping your art, having a paper backing can become torn or damaged in shipping and handling, so use cardboard, wood or other more durable backing. Make sure the back of the art is not overly stained and messy, although a few splatters can give it character! Is the art signed and part of your art inventory list and do you have a method to track it? If you are a sculptor be sure the piece has no rough edges and the bottom is felt covered so it doesn’t scratch furniture and other surfaces.
Always think about minimizing damage and showing your work to its best advantage.
5. Are You Still Inspired With Your Art?
This may sound silly – but sometimes artists continue to work at producing art that is no longer in sync with their artistic intentions – is that you? If you can’t identify with your art you may have a challenge when you try to sell it. Why? Those viewing and looking to buy your art will detect your detachment. You need to feel and believe in a heart-felt and mindful way that you still connect with what you are creating. If you don’t believe in it – how can anyone else? This doesn’t mean that you need to abandon your current style, but maybe you need to make changes, however subtle.
Maybe it’s a case of using a different medium or colour palette or the way you are approaching composition. There are multiple aspects of this to consider – but the key is that you need to continue to be inspired with your work. Discover how you feel and think about your art as it currently is. Start with a sketchbook, journal or other medium that will help you to uncover yourself and it may point in other directions that you may wish to explore with your art.
As you have by now discerned some of these emotional and practical realizations can be easy to overlook. However, if you tune into them it will help you with the marketing and selling of your art in that you will be better prepared and more pointedly connected with these important details.
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