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Success as a Self-Promoting Artist

zentao.com trademark logoThere are a LOT of artists in the world, just like there are a lot of musicians and writers.  Where reading (as opposed to listening or viewing a fictional story) has become a niche market, the need and desire for visual art and sculpture has increased, the market broadening and burgeoning in direct proportion to the exponentially increasing world population. 

People who have the means decorate their residences and businesses with pictures, paintings, sculptures.  People collect books of the kinds of pictures they enjoy viewing.  People always need calendars.  People wear clothing printed with art.  They buy objects to hold things which may be, themselves, a work or art or might incorporate art.  Look around you. The lists of objects in our world which are art or incorporate art are too numerable to count.  What we know from this examination is that art is a valuable commodity, nowhere near the extinction threatening the magazine world.

But how does an artist gain success, and, by success, we mean commercial (Oh that dirty word) viability?

  • friends and networking
  • exposure

FRIENDS:

  • Friends in high places
  • Friends who know friends in high places who know more friends
  • Friends who know people with money to burn who have friends

EXPOSURE:

  • Getting your art known by the millions until it “catches on”

Either one and both of these methods work.  Both require time spent away from doing art.  Friends and networking means social engagements that you may or may not enjoy, usually not.  Exposure means smart marketing.

Let’s look at what worked for a friend of mine:

She paints horses…fantastically, paintings that any horse-lover would desire.  She wanted to paint at will, not to a market demand.  So, instead of selling her paintings, she had lithographs and very good photographs of them created.  The lithographs she priced high, signed and numbered each, and refused to sell for less than what she wanted.  The photographs were used to create: T-Shirts, cups, calendars.  (At the time, POD was not an option.  The World Wide Web wasn’t born.) Then she made a flyer — a one-sheet.  This she mailed to various shops around the country — small, exclusive shops, not large chains.  The majority of her mailings netted nothing.  A few, though, got her placements on a commission basis.  Those few commissions paid off.  People bought her work — the posters, the calendars, the lithographs, the cups, the t-shirts.     She recorded her sales statistics, then made a new one-sheet flyer and mailed that one out to small, exclusive shops with the sales statistics printed by each item.  She sold more.  And so it went.  In two years, she was successful.  In five, she was a made artist.

 

Originally posted by DLKeur on her art blog on June 11, 2007. Copyright inheres.

 

 

Copyright 2007 D.L.Keur &/or F.W.Lineberry, http://www.zentao.com . All rights reserved. Reprint rights granted ONLY if linked and credited.


 

 

 


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