Ever feel like you’re struggling to stay afloat? From selling art and tracking your work to marketing and applying to art shows, running your own art business can be overwhelming. Not to mention, finding time and energy to create the art you love.
All entrepreneurs feel like this at one time or another. So, how do you cut back on stress and stay grounded?
We got some real advice—from real artists—on what has made their careers work.
1. Develop Your Contact List
by Lisa McShane
Your contact list is really important. I’ve gathered the contact information of people from all my past walks of life. I regularly send out emails to my list with a new painting. It reminds people you're there and shows the growth you're making. I have sold many paintings through my emails.
2. Don’t Overlook the Importance of Quality Images
from John R. Math
- Label your entries precisely and consistently (At least your last name and title of your artwork).
- Before you frame your art, have it photographed or scanned (No iPhone images).
- Color correct and crop your images (There is no excuse for not doing this. There are free programs on the web that you can use).
- Do not show backgrounds, floors or easel stands (See above).
- Display a consistent body of artwork, which shows you are serious about your art. (Art galleries, art representatives, designers, and art buyers want to be sure you are a serious and committed artist).
Check out more of his advice on the importance of presentation and the business of art as a competition here.
3. Engage With Video on Social Media
from Lori McNee
Artists should be using YouTube; video is huge, especially on Facebook. Your Facebook posts rank higher with video and videos are a great way to break up the monotony. You can share tips, painting sessions, start-to-finish demos, studio tours, or make a video slideshow of your latest exhibition. The ideas are endless.
You can take videos hiking, painting, or interviewing a fellow artist. You can do a talking-head video letting people get to know you and your personality. Video is powerful.
You can also embed videos into your blog posts. There are lots of ways to repurpose content. You can turn blog posts into videos by narrating your post. Podcasts are really popular too because people can download an audio mp3 file and listen to it.
Hungry for more social media tips from Lori? Look no further.
4. Try Your Hand at Licensing Your Artwork
From Laura C. George
If you’re interested in starting art licensing, I recommend you pull your work into some small collections. It’s often more difficult to interest a manufacturer in using one of your pieces than in using a small collection of your work. So it’s important you take the time to pull together pieces that work with each other.
You’ll want to have at least one collection of work that goes together (it doesn’t have to match exactly though), preferably of ten to twelve pieces of art. When you show ten pieces of art to a manufacturer, it’s called a Style Guide. This is a standard thing in the industry. You can get licensing deals without having any style guides, but if you have one you’ll look more professional and be more likely to get a lucrative licensing deal.
Above All, Developing Your Skills Remains the Most Important Facet
From Peter Bragino
I would have loved it if my art teachers, or anyone at all, had let me know that true craftsmanship and skill is so important. The ability to draw is one of the most freeing aspects of my art today. I can draw from life, and so anything is available to me. I would have loved to have had that encouragement and advice when I was a young artist. I wish someone had told me to draw, and draw very well. Drawing from life is the main thing.
Guest Blog by Artwork Archive
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ART COMES ALIVE – NOW OPEN FOR ENTRIES
Known as the “Academy Awards for Art,” Art Comes Alive (ACA), ADC's annual art competition and exhibit, is embarking on its 10th year of helping artists get their work in front of art-industry professionals such as interior designers, art galleries, private art collectors, and corporate collections. Each year the art competition gets bigger and better, and this year over $300,000 in awards will be given to artists through gallery contracts, purchase awards, publishing contracts, and more!
Buy one entry and get one entry free on a 4-image entry only through Friday, July 12th with the code ACABOGO19 at checkout. That's a total of 8 IMAGES (2 separate entries) for the price of one 4-image entry!