Many artists balk at the idea of going corporate. After all, breaking from a 9-5 job to create artwork in your studio all day is the ultimate goal for artists. But just because you don’t want to be sitting in an office doesn’t mean your art shouldn’t be.
Tapping into the world of corporate art collections can be very lucrative. Can you just imagine your art on permanent display in a lobby or C-suite of a prominent law firm or accounting firm? Not only does this provide a huge career-boosting opportunity, but selling your art to corporations builds your reputation within the local community, and even nationally! Think about it. If your art is hanging in a corporate lobby, it is exposed to an entirely new market of buyers.
The company’s employees and clients may or may not frequent the local art scene, but you can be sure that a beautiful work of art that they see every day going into work will certainly catch their attention.
I’ve been selling artwork to corporations for over 26 years now, so I wanted to provide a little insight into the process that my clients go through when selecting artworks for their offices.
Start Selling Art to Corporate Collections
Corporations are always looking for ways to beautify their spaces and to create not only a functional work environment but an inspirational one as well. Art has been shown to lower stress levels. It also adds a sense of culture which instills a sense of creativity and collaboration among employees and visitors.
The process of selling artwork to a corporate collection can seem daunting, but there are a few key things you need to consider. First and foremost, ask yourself: Does my art satisfy the corporation’s needs? The artwork that a law firm will be attracted to will be very different than the artwork hanging in a pediatrician’s office.
Learn about a company’s artistic preferences
Many times, corporations will buy artwork from local artists to show support for the arts. But they also buy artwork to reinforce a company’s mission or brand. To learn about a company’s artistic preferences, start with some good old-fashioned research. Take a visit to the company to tour the lobby and see if they have an existing collection that you can view. Look at the company’s brochures, website, and social media channels to get a sense of its brand.
Joanne Chappell, the founder and owner of Editions Limited (and juror for our annual art competition Art Comes Alive), has been working with the corporate, healthcare, and senior-living fields for close to 50 years. She knows firsthand what they’re looking for: artwork that appeals to a large audience like landscape, nature, and abstract art. She says, “Landscape and nature-inspired art that can pretty much be anywhere. If an artist can redefine the landscape and make it more colorful, more emotional, and not just some banal photographic image, that’s what sells. Something else that carries a big interest is abstract art—especially the kinds that focus on texture and dimension.” Joanne will be giving away 4 publishing contract awards!
How Corporations Buy Art
While you’re conducting your research to see if your artwork is a good fit, you can also note who the key decision-makers are in the art-selection process. Does the company gather a committee of stakeholders, does a brand marketing manager oversee the purchases, or do they hire an outside art consultant to curate the collection?
Approaching a corporation is like reaching out to a gallery. It needs to be extremely professional, and you need to show how your art will benefit their work environment and improve the company’s mission.
But before you even think about reaching out to a company, make sure your website is updated with available artworks and pricing. Businesses often work with tight budgets and need to know the cost breakdowns for prints, originals, and commission works.
Working With An Art Consultant
As I mentioned, I’ve been in the art consulting game for over 26 years and sold thousands of artworks to corporations, healthcare facilities, hotels, and residential homes. Corporations love working with us and sponsoring artists through Art Comes Alive because we’re not limited to just a handful of artists like a traditional gallery. We build corporate collections based on the needs and the mission of the company. So, we work with artists, galleries and interior designers from across the country to find the perfect works of art for our clients.
“Art Design Consultants came highly recommended by our architect and we loved what Litsa showed us from the beginning. She really understood the look we were going for and made that happen with her knowledge and extensive access to artists from across the country.” - Kathy Begley, VP of Operations and Credit, UK Federal Credit Union, PRESENTING SPONSOR ACA.
Be Sponsored By Corporations and Sell Art
Our annual art competition and exhibit Art Comes Alive is uniquely positioned to help artists connect with corporate clients through purchase awards. Each year, our ACA Partners make dollar-value commitments to purchasing artwork from the Art Comes Alive Exhibit. We have over $300,000 in awards to give back to artists and this year $120,000 is dedicated to artwork sales!
There are three levels to these purchase awards—Presenting Partners commit to $10,000+, Platinum Partners commit to $5,000+, and Gold Partners commit to $2,500+. This means that these partners pre-commit to spending these amounts for artwork from ACA-accepted artists!
And many of our corporate clients participate each year because they love ACA and they know they’re going to purchase some great art! UK Credit Union, for example, is excited to partner again as they seek new colorful artwork for their modern space. And VonLehman is looking to select and purchase artwork for their stunning offices in Northern Kentucky.