So you are creating art on a regular basis and think maybe....just maybe you want to sell your art, so how do you make that transition to "being"an artist?
10 Simple ways to begin "being" an artist.
1. Create in Public
On the bus,on the plane, in the park, on a train....you get the idea. When you create in public people will peek and inevitably ask about your art or if you are an artist.
2. Yes, I am an Artist
this is the answer to these questions; "Are you an artist?"
"What do you do for a living?"
"Do you have a job or are you working?"
The answer to the questions is never ; "Who Me?" "Not really." "sort of" "I wish" " I'm thinking about it." "I'm trying to be" etc.
The short, confident reply is: "Yes, I am an artist"
3. What is your medium?
Some form of this question almost always follows. If you don't know, you lose credibility. Yes, Mixed Media is a Medium but it's nice to follow that statement with a qualifier specializing in portraying..women...pets...political statements, landscapes etc
4. Be enthusiastic
When talking about your art share your enthusiasm for what you create, it's contagious and will spread interest but in the same breath don't be onerous. People want to hear a little bit about your art but if they aren't asking questions or fully engaged don't go on ad nauseum.
5. Where do you show your art or What Gallery are you?
This question shouldn't send waves of panic through you. If you are not in a gallery or a coffee shop then say, I don't have a current exhibition showing, I'm currently working on my next series for my next show but if you'd like to see my art I have an online gallery, here is my card.
6. Have a Business Card
Have a real business card, not a cheesy, perforated home printer variety. A real business card that has a photo of your most popular piece of art on one side and your web address where you post you art (yes, you absolutely need a web presence, how, what, why, will be another blog post for another day.)
Yes have a business card that says Artist under your name even if you've never sold a piece of art. If you are not sure if you are an artist then see number one. I am a commission artist. I am booked out a year to a year and a half in advance with as many commissions as I can create. This means I never have an opportunity to have art on hand to show so my business cards are 4x6 professionally printed postcards featuring my art. I always carry these so I have a traveling gallery of my art. When people ask what I do, I whip them out and let the oohing and aahing begin.
7. Don't Criticize your art
There are enough critics in the world. Never, never point out what you consider flaws in your art. If you don't love a piece that don't talk about. What is a flaw to you might just be the quirk that your client adores!
If there are any quality flaws (not, your opinion flaws) in your art then don't show it to a potential client. If you are unsure of your art then find a good online group that shares ideas, suggestions etc. don't join a group of highly, critical people who will always work to find something wrong but also don't join a group where everyone is so nice-nice that you could present your 4 year olds scribbles as your own and they "love it" (yes there are some awesome 4 year old scribbles out there.) it can be hit or miss but you will settle into a good fit if you look for one. If you are not a "group" type of person then find a good, honest mentor. This is only if you are unsure of your art. If you have clear, artistic vision and confidence then forge ahead my friend.
8. Beware the Nay-Sayers
No one else can tell you you are an artist. There are many views out there of what defines an artist but they are all opinions. If you are an artist you create, you create, you create, you can't help but create if not in one form than another. You have no choice but express your creativity it flows from within and it is coming out in one way or another. Art School does not define an artist, number of sales does not define an artist, Art Critics do not define you as an artist. If it is your passion to create art and sell or not sell it then don't let anyone other than you, define whether or not you are an artist. If you believe you are an artist and that is your desire, then be an artist, create and let the others worry about the details. There will always be an audience for every type of art. Art is purchased for a variety of reasons, 1) a visceral reaction 2) a passion for the type of subject 3) because someone told them it is valuable 4) Humor and I'm sure a whole host of other reasons. If you wish to be a professional artist and sell your art then you should do just that and present yourself as that, that is the first step.
9. Brand Yourself and Your Art
I can't ingrain enough how important it is, from the beginning to bring some definition to you art and who you are as an artist for example, I am a custom, hand torn paper, pet portrait artist. I always define myself as such and every post I create is labeled, tagged and include my name and the words custom, hand torn paper, pet portrait artist. This will be important as you start becoming recognized by search engines, the more consistent and more places you put this same definition the more you will get seen. I will be doing a post soon on how to begin branding yourself and your artistic style. For now start trying to imagine how you and your art are defined. If you aren't sure then start talking to your friends about how they see you and your art. Begin a list of the types of art you create, or is most popular when you share it. Write things down as eventually you will see common tell-tale words.
10) Web Presence
Once you have defined your art and yourself and are establishing or tightening up your web presence begin by having a cohesive name you use through out different Media. For Example I am Robin Panzer Art Studio 33 with a tagline Hand Torn Paper Fine Art Pet Portraits. Here is an example of my various links:
Example: artstudio33.blogspot.com robinpanzerart.blogspot.com Robin Panzer Art Studio 33 (My Facebook Studio Page) email@example.com (My email address)
You get the idea....they are all variations on my name, my studio name and my art.
Give your patrons a way to purchase your art then and there. You don't necessarily have to have a web page. I use my Blog like a website. It is set up with tabs, a store and everything a web site has. My clients are able to purchase my art in my store right when they have the impulse or the thought that they wish to do so.
Really this is just the tip of the ice berg. I have so much more to share with you. Please take a minute to subscribe via email as I will send special tips/tricks and advice to my subscribers above and beyond my blog post. You won't receive daily spam emails from me just the occasional, well thought out and tested advice. I will never share or sell your email address.
I will have special tips and secret strategies for my email subscribers and I will never share your information so don't miss out!
Now if you have a moment please take the time to browse my custom, hand torn paper pet portraits they will bring a smile to your day! You can find my portfolio/gallery tabs at the top of the page for an easy link to view my work.
Come like my Facebook Studio Page Robin Panzer Art Studio 33 where I post my works in progress. and yes there is a Smartest Artist Page coming soon too!
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10 Ways To Sell Your Art Right NOW