20 Art Marketing Tips for Selling More Art

This post on art marketing is the third of a three part series featuring information  learned from seminars I attended at the Oil Painters of America Annual Exhibition. The first post in the series featured two great artists and 20 great oil painting tips. The second post in the series featured Internet art marketing  strategies you can use. In this third post, I will present to you relevant art marketing strategies that are being used now…

"Old Farm House" Craig Shillam, oil, 12" x 16"

Art Marketing Panel Discussion

 Before I get to the meat of the article, I just want to tell  you that all I’m hoping for from this post is that you get at least one good tip that you can use to help you be more successful with your art. Whether you are a painter, photographer, sculptor, or whatever, if you can get one thing to help you in your art marketing, this post is a success. If you get two, that would be really sweet. Now if you get three or more, then we are made for each other and you should subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already.

Let me quickly set the stage: An Artist/GalleryOwner-Stephen Shortridge, (Painter’s Chair Gallery, Coeur d’Alene, Id).  A Gallery Owner-Skip Peterson(Devin Galleries in Coeur d’Alene, Id). An experienced, real live Marketing Pro-Eden Irgens. (Range NW).

These three people sat in front of an audience of about 40 or 50 artists that just want to paint and sell their work so they can live their dream. I was taking notes as fast as I could, and I share them here with you, one person of the panel at a time.

Art Marketing – 3 Different Professionals

Stephen Shortridge -Artist, Owner, The Painter’s Chair Gallery

  • “It’s important to know who you are. There is no competition if you are not copying someone else.”
  • “Identify yourself to your audience with a phrase.” Shortridge uses “Romantic Impressionism” to describe his work.
  • “You’re only as good as you are right now, and you hope you get better each year.”
  • When approaching his gallery, he prefers mail or email, because he doesn’t want to send it back. “Every Gallery really hopes that they will love your Art. They want to find art that they can sell. It’s a business after all.”
  • “An Artist has to produce enough work at a high level to sell.”
  • “Be consistent with whatever marketing strategy you are using.”
  •  “Being an original artist is better, if you can do it.” He’s talking about selling original work as opposed to selling prints. “It’s nice to sell at a lower price point, but prints are a whole different ballgame.”
  • “You can paint what you like, but you can’t make people like it.”

 Skip Peterson – Owner, Devin Galleries

  •  “Find your own place. A lot of artists are trying to mimic what’s popular. Do your own thing.” He added that artists should specialize instead of trying to do everything and what’s popular at the moment.
  • When an artist approaches the Devin Galleries, they need to look at the requirements on the Devin website. Many times artists approach the gallery with work that doesn’t fit the gallery in one way or another. If an artist would just take a minute and do some preliminary work, it would make it Easier for everybody.
  • “Artist’s should try and have a summer and a winter gallery.” This would spread out the work load and the income stream.
  • “Keep your prices consistent, whether your dealing with a gallery or an individual collector. You need each other.”
  • When it comes to art marketing and the Devin Galleries website, he does pay attention to search engine optimization  with key words, meta tags, name descriptions, and who the artist may be inspired by.
  • Approximately 20% of sales come from the internet, and most of them are already customers.

Eden Irgens – Marketing Expert, Range NW   

  •  Artists should use social media, especially facebook. “Marketing is all about eyeballs and finding people who want what you have. You have to work at facebook. Consider a contest to attract more fans and visitors to your facebook page. Give away a small painting or something. Get the email addresses of the people who enter the contest.”
  • “Create a Persona. Personal Branding. People engage in that. They like it.”
  • “Consider advertising on facebook. Keep posting and try out new things. Give an incentive. The contest concept (as mentioned above) has worked well. Keep it fresh. do it every other month if the give away is not to valuable.”
  • “Make sure what you are promoting is unique to you, the essence of you.”
  • “Select your demographic.” Eden also mentioned that one statstic that has caught her attention as of late is that people with wealth are much younger today than in the past.
  • If you have a blog, share stories of your paintings, what your working on. “Most purchases are from emotion. Most people don’t realize what goes into being an artist.”

Art Marketing – Wrapping it up

This post is by no means the be all, end all for art marketing concepts. Three different opinions by three different, but qualified individuals. Everybody is different, and everybody has their own path to walk.

Art marketing takes time and effort, just like marketing any other product. And just like any other business, an artist has to think about not only their product, but their customers, their marketing program, their brand, and their bottom line. 

Three things I especially find important from the comments above are:

  1. Know who you are. There is no competition if you are not copying someone else. If you need a little help with finding out who your really are, check this out.

  2. Identify yourself to your audience with a phrase that describes your work.

  3. Select your demographic. (I think that really can only be done after some experience).

I hope this post helps you in some way. Good luck in your own art marketing journey.  

Like this post? More are on the way. Feel free to leave a comment, or subscribe. It’s simple, easy, and free. And it doesn’t take nearly the amount of time as Art Marketing does.  

 


Comments

  1. Loved these last couple articles, some great reading that I really needed. Loved some of the quotes such as the “It’s important to know who you are. There is no competition if you are not copying someone else.” Thanks Craig.

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