How to Market Yourself as an Artist

Marilyn Monroe, Sabrina Caminiti 2012 (c)

Art and business combine to affect all artists differently. For those who like to sell their art, it is important to have a good understanding of the art world and the ways of art business at galleries, auctions, and museums come into play. But marketing art has become something artists can and do pursue individually, selling art online and creating websites that are essentially online galleries. No matter how an artist chooses to pursue selling paintings or drawings, it is vital to present oneself professionally, photograph artwork that accurately represents the work, and maintains organized inventories and records of one’s output.

No matter how groundbreaking your pieces are, you still have to cater to your audience. A business is a business, and there are some things you have to grit your teeth and do in order to pursue what you love. One of the fundamental aspects of learning how to sell paintings is discovering the true worth of your work. Assuming the talent is there, there are a number of key factors that must be taken into consideration: the size, the cost of gallery commissions and the cost of framing. A good tactic is to have a set cost per square inch of artwork, in order to keep pricing consistent.

You don’t have to be invited to show in a gallery in order to have your work seen by the public. There are plenty of options for selling without galleries, such as outdoor shows and unconventional venues.  Local businesses are often very receptive to having new art on their walls at no cost to them, and some may not charge a commission if you establish a good relationship.

Entering art competitions is another great way to have your work seen – and to generate publicity as well. Whatever road you choose, make sure you know how to prepare for an art exhibition by establishing a checklist.