As an independent artist, you have to wear a variety of hats to find long-term success. That includes introducing yourself to the world of marketing. Traditional marketing methods like social media, newsletters, and online portfolios are all great for getting your name and work out there, and even connecting with your target audience. But, nothing beats meeting art lovers who might be interested in your work in person.

One of the best ways to do that is by hosting artistic marketing events where you can showcase your work and make lucrative sales opportunities.

Hosting events not only gives you the opportunity to sell your work, but to develop healthy relationships with potential buyers, which can create loyal customers for years to come.

It doesn’t have to take a lot of time or cause extra stress to host an artistic marketing event. Marketing this way will help the longevity of your business. But, if you’re not sure how to get started, we’ve got several tips that can help.

Why Art Shows Are Important

Even in this tech-forward, highly digital world, in-person art shows remain just as important as ever. Hosting events allows you to show off your work with pride, and explain what each piece is about. You can give your personal stories and perspectives that could sway a potential customer who might not have understood the work beforehand.

People are also often likely to purchase art in person. When they’re able to see a piece in front of them and look at it without pressure, they can develop an emotional connection. They can see how it might fit in their home or office. Plus, when you’re there to explain your motive behind the piece, it can further their emotional investment and create a lifelong appreciation for your work.

The Art of Connecting

Talk to any marketing expert, and they’ll tell you how important it is to have loyal customers. Because art is so personal, obtaining those customers often comes from fostering relationships with them. Marketing events are a fantastic way to network with those who are passionate about the art world and ready to open their eyes and minds to something new.

Not only can you meet people who will be interested in purchasing your work, but you could end up meeting those with influence and power in the industry. They might be able to display your work in bigger galleries or help you with your marketing strategy on a larger scale. You can learn a lot from the right people, and they can help you find greater success along the way, all because you put yourself, and your work, out there in person.

When you’re an independent artist, selling your pieces is essential for continued success. If your work doesn’t sell, you’re going to experience financial issues, which can lead to a variety of mental health issues, including:

  • Stress;
  • Anxiety;
  • Depression;
  • Tension with friends and family.

One of the best ways to maintain consistency and success with your work is to keep networking. Forming relationships with customers and people interested in your art will help to ensure you have consistent buyers and fans. When you know your work will sell among your loyal followers, you’ll have the freedom to create the kind of art you’re passionate about without feeling so much pressure.

Throwing a Great Event

Hosting an event to display your work is about more than just hanging a few pieces in a gallery and hoping people show up. A great artist doesn’t necessarily create pieces for other people. They create art that speaks to them. But, if you can market yourself and your work in ways that can resonate with others, you’ll be able to draw in more guests to your events, and eventually make more sales.

Don’t be afraid to have fun and let your creativity shine when it comes to hosting a marketing event. Make sure you have the basics covered to keep people entertained and satisfied, including elements like:

  • Hor’doeuvres
  • Live music
  • Decorations
  • Multiple art prints

You should also consider serving wine at your events. It adds a touch of formality while allowing people to sip and stroll while they look over your work. Make sure you’re using the right serving glasses for the type of wine you choose. For example, flutes are typically used for sparkling wines – a great option if you’re celebrating the release of new work. But, if you want something bolder like a red wine, choose a glass with a wider bowl and rim.

Finally, a successful art show needs to have the right venue to fit the style of your work. Once you have the perfect place set up, get the word out well in advance. Send out newsletters via email. Mail postcards. Post the event all over your social media platforms.

Budget Marketing Events

Marketing events can be an expensive process, and not every artist has a large budget to do so. Here are some different tips that you can use to host your marketing event on a budget:

  • Team up with other artists: Recognize your marketing event doesn’t have to just be about you. If you are part of an artist collective, know other artists who work in your medium, or know other artists looking to promote your work, look at hosting your event together.
  • Opt for potluck over catering: If you want to have food for your event, opt to prepare your own or have a potluck style catering with other artists.
  • Craft a different kind of event: A marketing event doesn’t just have to be a show of your most recent work. Consider giving an artist process talk, hosting a teaching event, or another type of event that would translate well to an area outside of an artist gallery. You can then offer to host your event at non-profits, local libraries, or public schools to get the word out.
  • Apply for assistance: Look into grants from local, state or national level to help fund your event.

If you’re willing to put on your marketing hat from time to time, you can find lasting, continued success as an artist while enjoying the benefit of personally connecting with your fans and buyers.

Katie Brenneman is a frequent contributor to the Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery blog. She writes about a variety of topics including art marketing advice for artists. Visit her X profile to learn more about her.

 

In visual marketing, you use images, videos, and other multimedia content to communicate and connect with your target audience and bolster your brand.

People are becoming more drawn to this kind of content over written content. If you learn to leverage visual elements effectively, you can take your online presence up a notch, attract your ideal customers, and become a more profitable, successful business.

Before we guide you through how to harness visual marketing to elevate your art business, let’s touch on why it’s essential for success.

 

Visually Engaging Your Audience is a Must

There are hundreds of thousands of artists using the online space to capture the attention of people who are most likely to buy their art and products and support them. You’re probably competing for the attention of many of the same people they are.

So, the question is, how do you differentiate yourself?

Visual content

As mentioned above, people are drawn to visual content. The most popular and effective media type is video, according to HubSpot. The same report said that short-form videos under 60 seconds have the highest average engagement.

You can also engage with your online audience through images, illustrations, infographics, GIFs, and memes.

Creating this type of digital content across platforms like social media, your website, and email list, will help you evolve your digital presence. You’ll eventually have a definitive content creation style and build a recognizable presence online that helps you connect with a wider audience and, in turn, generate more leads and sales.

Visual brand identity

Think about how many times your first impression of a brand was based on their logo, brand colors, fonts, or how appealing their website design was.

If your visual brand identity is unique and polished, it will draw potential customers in. They’ll also continue to recognize your brand no matter where they encounter it because you keep your identity consistent across platforms.

This helps their relationship with you progress, which will hopefully result in them purchasing your art and becoming loyal fans of your work and business.

Harnessing the Power of Visual Marketing for Your Art Business

If you do it right, you can inspire a deep connection with your target audience and prompt a constant influx of sales with visual marketing. But if you’re new to this, where should you start? With these tips. 

Study your audience’s visual marketing preferences

You need to rely on the visual elements and marketing strategies that your audience will resonate with. This is the best way to ensure your ideal customers like what you’re doing, engage with it, and are so moved by it they make a purchase.

If you’ve yet to define your target audience, start here:

  • Who are your products for and why?
  • What kind of people are in your audience?
  • What are their demographics and generation?
  • What’s their personality and attitude like?
  • How have they engaged with your art business thus far?

You can find this information on your website and social media analytics tools. You can also refer to any one-on-one conversations you’ve had with your customers and can dig into data from social listening tools to learn more about your customers.

Learn what you can about their visual marketing preferences too. How have they responded to the visuals you’ve published so far? What colors, fonts, and logo variations have they engaged with the most? Can you find out anything about how they’re interacting with your competition's strategy?

It isn’t about what you like or what people like in general. It’s all about what your unique customer base would be drawn to.

Create a visual content marketing strategy

Your visual marketing efforts will amount to a lot more for your art business if you create a tangible strategy. You’ll have something concrete to guide you and keep you progressing toward your marketing goals.

Your visual content marketing strategy should include the following details:

  • What you want to achieve in your art business by using visual content
  • How you’ll know you’re moving toward your goals
  • What kind of content you want to create for each marketing channel
  • Information from the market research and target audience research you’ve done
  • How you’ll create visual content and who’s involved in the process

Don’t get too bogged down with the details. Just make sure you know what you’re doing and how you’ll execute your strategy.

Improve your visual brand identity

Let your creativity and originality shine in your branding, with an original logo, stand-out brand colors, and typography. You can create a branding book with all of your visual and design elements to refer to so that your identity is consistent across platforms. 

Take your efforts to enhance your brand identity to your packaging too. Thoughtful packaging will result in a memorable unboxing experience for customers. Use unique packaging, like custom-made boxes and seal stickers. Put a QR code on your packaging that directs customers to your website for an exclusive offer. You could even put a free gift inside.

Wow customers with your visual brand identity as much as your content.

Conclusion

One of the best ways to capture and keep your customers’ attention is to rely heavily on visual marketing. Provide your audience with outstanding visual content and a captivating brand identity, and you’ll be on your way to a profitable art business. 

As a regular contributor to Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery's blog, Katie Brenneman writes about a variety of topics including marketing for artists. She can be found on Twitter.

 

 

Sustainability is at the forefront of nearly everyone’s mind these days. You might already be eco-conscious about the things you consume and purchase, but what about your career? While art doesn’t necessarily make people think of waste, pollution, and emissions, there are still things you can do to reduce your environmental footprint that can also enhance your artistic career.

Making sustainable choices, from materials to marketing, can have a positive impact on your creative process and can help to get you noticed for all of the right reasons.

With that in mind, let’s cover a few practical tips that can inspire you, as an artist, to embrace sustainability and make eco-friendly choices to grow your artistry and your career.

 

Sustainable Supplies

The simplest sustainable choice you can make as an artist is to choose which supplies to work with. If you already have your own home art studio, it should be easy to take stock of your inventory, including how many supplies you regularly go through, and how much you might be throwing away.

Today, you can find eco-friendly paintbrushes made from bamboo and non-toxic paints that aren’t harmful to the environment. It’s an easy swap to make that can end up having a positive impact on the planet and your work.

You can also boost the eco-friendliness of your art studio by reusing and recycling as often as possible. Some of the best ways to give new life to used equipment include:

  • Painting over old canvases
  • Keeping packaging materials for your own shipping
  • Using both sides of paper
  • Stashing a recycling bin in your studio

If you know that some of your supplies could still be used but you no longer want or need them, consider selling or donating your obsolete goods instead of just throwing them away. You never know who might be willing to give them a new life and keep them out of a landfill.

You can (and should) also maintain any equipment you might have to improve its efficiency and lifespan. That includes everything from easels to drawing tables. Take care of your supplies, furniture, and other equipment to help reduce waste. If you’re a digital artist, maintaining your computer, printer, and any other machines you use to bring your art to life will not only help to ensure your livelihood keeps moving forward, but that you’re not harming the planet in the process.

Marketing and Making a Living

As an independent artist, it’s up to you to market yourself and your work, and build your business from the ground up. Because consumers are so interested in sustainability, using it as a marketing point is a great way to get noticed. Of course, you have to be genuine in your efforts. Don’t greenwash your personal brand or make your audience think you’re practicing sustainable habits more than you actually are.

But, if you can practice what you preach, there is value in letting your audience know you take sustainability seriously. It can boost your brand recognition and improve your bottom line. Don’t be afraid to boast about your recycling efforts or how you repurpose old materials into new things. Partner up with an environmental organization and donate a portion of your sales.

You can also open a completely digital online store to sell your artwork instead of shipping actual pieces across the globe. Opening an online store allows you to market every single piece you create, it’s less expensive than selling your work in a gallery, and it allows people to print your pieces at home rather than relying on air or freight to send them where they need to go. That will help to cut down on carbon emissions and get your art in the hands of a buyer much faster.

Sustainability is more than just a trend. But, if you’re willing to make it a priority in your career, you can benefit your business, boost your recognition, and feel good about doing something beneficial for the future of the planet.

A passionate writer, Katie Brenneman writes about a variety of topics including marketing. You can find her on Twitter.

The U.S. art market was valued at 30.2 billion dollars in 2022, outperforming pre-pandemic valuations. The increase in the market’s value shows that art is in demand. And with that demand comes more artists and products.

It also means you’re looking at a level of competition in the art market that wasn’t there before. Learning how to best navigate the competition and stand out with your brand and products is the only pathway to a successful art business.

Market research can provide you with the information you need to create unique art products your customers want and your competition isn’t making. It can also help you establish a personal brand that differentiates you from the many other artists out there.

Identify What Makes Your Art Unique

Canvas prints, framed artwork, digital art, sculptures, coloring books, and original paintings are just the start of the range of art products available to consumers. Add in the hundreds of thousands of artists producing these products, and the catalog gets even more overwhelming.

You have to figure out a way to create products that aren’t like everything else in the industry to catch your customers’ attention and keep it long enough to develop relationships and inspire purchases.

For example, let’s say you create a line of original watercolor paintings with a specialty line of watercolor paints every year. After a review of customer feedback and sales data, you find that these paintings bring in half of your profit.

You could conclude that the way these paintings are created with that specialty line of watercolor paints makes them unique and that this contributes to the high sales volume. You can then tailor your marketing to emphasize these points.

Market research can help you determine how to make your product stand out. For example, the way you make use of your artist brand voice and where and how you display your product in person can all influence whether or not someone will buy your items. Market research can also play a part in helping you understand what customers want.

Understand Customer Preferences and Demands

If you want your art products to sell consistently, you must know your customers inside and out. You need to know who they are first. Then, you need to understand their preferences and demands so that you can accommodate them.

A huge part of market research is compiling demographic, geographic, psychographic, and behavioral data on potential, current, and past customers. For example, knowing your customer preferences and collecting qualitative and quantitative data on how customers respond to different products can help you determine what types of products to offer. You can use what you learn about your customers to inform product and packaging designs and other creative brand elements that help you stand out.

As much as your art is for you, it must be more for your customers to be successful.

Understand the Demand for Your Work in the Art Market

You’re obsessed with a certain art product you’ve been creating and want to introduce it to your customers for sale. But is there a space for that product in the art market? In other words, are people looking for this product and buying it?

You could go for it regardless of whether there’s a demand for the product or not. But it will likely be a long time before you see sales rolling in if you see them at all.

Market research helps ensure you’re creating products that are likely to thrive in the market. For example, sculptures, impressionist art, and contemporary art are some of the most popular among consumers.

Even if you don’t create these kinds of art, it’s good to know what’s capturing people’s attention and driving sales. You may be able to incorporate some elements of these styles into your art to position yourself better in the market.

Use market research to understand the demand for your products and what adjustments you should make over time to help your products sell more consistently.

Final Thoughts

Many artists get buried in the vast, ever-changing art industry. New artists and products are emerging every day, making it seem impossible to establish yourself. But with the help of market research, you can elevate your art products so that they stay in demand, capture your customer’s attention, and keep it.

Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in a variety of topics including marketing. You can find Katie on Twitter.

 

Your art is more than a way to make a living. Your art is your passion and your purpose. It’s why you are here and it’s what you were meant to do.

But, at the end of the day, you still have to keep food on the table and a roof over your head. And that means that your art is still a business and you are still a business owner as well as an artist. Ensuring that your artistic business grows, thrives, and survives takes time and effort.

It requires you to be not only a creator but also a business strategist, chief marketer, and expert customer service provider. That’s a lot of hats for one person to wear, but there is a way for you to fulfill all the roles your artistic enterprise requires while still taking care of both your customers and yourself.

 

Cherish Your Customers

No matter how gifted an artist you may be, no matter how dedicated you are to your craft, the reality is that your career would not survive without your clients. And that means customer satisfaction must be a top priority.

The good news is you don’t have to compromise your artistic vision to ensure that your clients have an exceptional experience with your business. You can offer your customers the white glove treatment through the provision of perks and benefits that the general public isn’t privy to.

The key to understanding what will engage and pleasure your best clients lies in the effort to build rapport with your customers, in taking the time to get to know them, what they expect, what they need, and what they want. Once you understand what drives your clients, you can tailor your service strategies accordingly.

For example, if you have a V.I.P. collector who enjoys networking with other collectors, then you might offer a private viewing of a new work exclusively for a handful of your best customers, affording them the opportunity to meet and engage with one another. On the other hand, if you have a patron who is a bit more introverted and eschews public gatherings, you might offer a private viewing of your latest work at the client’s own home.

Focus on Marketing Reach

Ensuring that you’re offering your best customers the white glove treatment helps you build those lucrative and long-lasting relationships on which your business depends. But that’s only half the battle. You also need to focus on continuously expanding your market reach in order to maintain a steady flow of new customers and prospects.

The good news, though, is that it’s easier than ever for an artist to raise their brand awareness and connect with prospective clients all around the world. Marketing your brand successfully takes time, effort, and strategy, however. It’s best, for example, to focus on a range of media, including blogs, podcasts, and social media platforms. This way, you can engage with an entire global community of art lovers and prospective buyers, showcasing your wares through online portfolios, social media posts, and podcast promotions.

Ideally, a strong digital presence will enable your prospective clients to connect with you more easily, and the more you are able to connect with them, the more you will care about and for them!

Prioritize Self-Care

When you’re a creative professional running your own business, it can be easy to forget about taking care of yourself because you are so busy taking care of your customers and your art. However, if you aren’t able to maintain your health in body, mind, and spirit, not only will your art suffer but so will your business–and your relationships with your customers.

At the very least, taking the time each day for physical exercise, such as taking a daily walk through a local park or around the neighborhood, is a great way to boost your immune system, build muscle strength and agility, and support cardiovascular functioning. Best of all, when you get your blood flowing and your body moving, you’re going to reduce your stress, clear your mind, and spark your creativity.

The Takeaway

Being both an artist and an entrepreneur isn’t easy. However, with a bit of effort and commitment, it is possible to grow your business and care for your customers while also taking care of yourself!

Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, education, and fitness-related content. When she isn't writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.

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