How to be a Successful Artist: Marketing Yourself

So you want to be an artist.

Self-employed has become a regular thing nowadays: 15.0 million people, or 10.1 percent of total U.S. employment, are self-employed. It’s not new to find artists working for themselves and selling their own art. But it takes a lot of hard work and time to become successful and make a living off of solely your own pieces.

With social media in the mix, it is important that every artist has their own website and constant presence on all media platforms. The entire world is now your audience. If you regularly post examples of your art online and people like what they see, word of you and your art will pass on and you will gain more recognition. Promote, promote, promote. Step outside of your comfort zone and reach out to anyone you can. Literally… anyone. If more people know about you and the more networks you have, you are bound to be successful as an artist.

Most importantly, post new work regularly so people can see you’re serious about being an artist. Make sure that people remember you. Another tip would be to create a mail list so all of your customers know when you have new art available, if there is an event coming up, you name it. You may also want to send out something free (people love free stuff) whether it be a subscription to a newsletter, or samples of your work. Then people will get more excited to hear from you!

Do your research. Artist, Lawrence W. Lee says, “Part of doing research is not only searching on Google, it’s keeping your eyes open. When you go to the dentist, ask yourself what she has on the wall. Also, keep in mind a local gallery typically won’t have items on the walls that it doesn’t think will sell. You can choose to just create what you want and convince people that they want it too. However, creating art for your market is much easier”. This is great advice for when you are first starting because finding what consumers in your area are buying can make it easier for you to not only create art but also sell them faster.

Other tips: Enter competitions. Winning a competition is often a huge step forward in an artist’s career and can potentially get them noticed by gallery owners. You may even win art materials that can really help your business out! Search art magazines for advertisements.

I also recommend asking for referrals to potential buyers or local businesses that might be interested in letting you show your work. Participate in local organizations that host things like art fairs, festivals, group shows…Any opportunity to show your work in your area. Showing at alternative venues like restaurants or coffee shops are also good for getting your art out in front of the public, and this can also prepare yourself for any future gallery opportunities. In short, get yourself out there.

As an artist, it is essential that you believe in yourself and your artwork. If you are truly passionate and confident in your abilities, nothing can stop you. Even if you are self-taught and don’t necessarily have a formal art education, people will see you are dedicated and that you know what you are doing. Get out there and let the world know you are here to stay!