3 Things You Should Know About Marketing Your Art + Some Resources

Fielwork is an important part of my work and it gives me great stories to tell, like getting to sketch this endangered Nene goose on the Big Island of Hawaii. People want to know how and why artists do what they do.

1. Ya gotta have a plan. A marketing plan. The process of creating one will tell you who your potential buyers are and how to reach them. It will also help you sort through all the options, opportunities and possibilities to figure out what makes the most sense for what you do and where you live.

All ready for North Coast Open Studios!

ACTION: Check out Art Biz Coach. Buy the book, take one of the classes, subscribe to her mailings. She knows what she’s talking about.

2. Time to stop whining about how you don’t want to spend time at the computer. Unless you have a Marketing Manager, it’s a hat you have to wear. And the ring you must toss it into is the internet. The good news is that doing so is, in fact, more a matter of time than money.

These days, at the very least, you must have (and use and update as needed):

– A website because you can’t be a professional artist without one and it makes your work globally available 24/7/365

– A Facebook “fan” page because there are over 800 million members who are potential fans

– A LinkedIn account because professional connections count. A lot.

– A newsletter using a service like Constant Contact, which will also be a place to maintain your mailing list. You don’t have a mailing list? See Action item no. !.

Also to put into the mix: a blog (I use WordPress. Lots of artists also use Blogger), Twitter, Google+

My work set-up. Since I use my iMac to view my images, it's also handy for doing quick marketing tasks when I take a break. But I make sure I get my painting time in every week.

ACTION: Come join fellow artist, Becky Joy, and I over at our new Facebook Page “Artist Marketing Tips That Really Work!”. We both use social media for our main marketing activities and we’ll be happy to answer your questions or find someone who can.

3. Believe in yourself. It’s a privilege to be an artist. It’s an amazing feeling of validation when someone buys your work. But you have to keep going- improving and learning no matter what. You need to be able to continue to grow as an artist and nurture your talent. And YOU CAN DO IT!

On location at Torrey Lake during a Susan K. Black Foundation workshop

ACTION: Take a workshop or a class, try a new media, work on something you’ve been stuck on (I’m going to be working on painting water).  I’ve been to the Susan K. Black Foundation annual workshop a number of times and can’t recommend it too highly.

Finally, a lot of people think that artists are magical creatures, kind of like unicorns, and what we do is the result of a gift we’re born with. There’s some truth in that, but working artists know that being the best artist you can be is WORK. The best work in the world.

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