The Business of Art: More Insights

Hi again! I have to laugh at myself. When I first started writing this blog/grantee story I thought to myself “how in the world will I be able to come up with enough content for fifteen or more blogs?!” It’s turned out to be pretty easy and lots of fun. I never realized how much I have to say! And this is blog number 14, so I guess I’m on a roll.

So, I’ve been thinking about my last blog “The Business of Art: Some Take-Aways” and realized that I’ve got more stuff to talk about on this subject. This blog is of course directed to other like-minded artists. First, to re-cap, it’s important to stay positive and stay focused, and not fall into the trap of self-invalidation, or worse, someone else’s invalidation of you and your art. Second, accumulate names through networking, joining art organizations, etc. and communicate (i.e. promote) to them on a regular basis. I find that a newsletter sent out about once a month is fine and gets me some positive feedback. Most of my friends who receive my newsletter think I’m sending it every week, so I don’t overdo it. I don’t want to be obnoxious about it either, and truth be told, I despise when I get onto someone’s email list, and I start receiving two to five emails a day! That’s just wrong, on so many levels. It’s then that I hit the “unsubscribe” button and never look back.

But I digress. So those are the two important points I brought up in my last blog. I think I also got into the idea of looking for venues to show your work. Given the type of art I do, I’m looking for galleries, perhaps museums, and cultural centers. But there are dozens of other venues that could work depending on your art and who your target market is. I have a friend who does the outdoor art show circuit, and she does extremely well for herself. So that is something to consider, and trust me, it’s not rocket science to figure out which venues would be good for your art and for your income.

I also send out personal invitations for my solo exhibits to not only my friends and art associates, but also to individuals in the media, the arts and local government. As a result, at my last opening reception, the newly elected Mayor of the City of Clearwater attended. A photo of me with him is shown above. That was super cool and now he’s on my permanent mailing list. 🙂

Additional Insights

Now here’s a tip. There are oodles of art “gurus” out there that will tell you that you don’t know how to market and sell your work. They do that because that’s how they market and sell their work to you, by telling you that you “don’t know” and you’ll hit horrible landmines if you don’t listen to their tried-and-true genius. If you check out their background, most of them hit a few landmines themselves and still became successful. Mind you, some of them have some great tips, some of which I have incorporated into my marketing strategies. But my advice to you is to take everything they say with a proverbial “grain of salt”. If you think a suggestion of theirs might be a good one for you, then try it. If it works, add it to your bag of tricks. If it doesn’t, skip it.

I make a point of watching the YouTube art gurus that “teach” you how to market and sell your work. One such person advised their audience to never ever promote and market to other artists. This was somehow a very bad thing. Funny, but that’s exactly what that guru was doing – marketing and selling to other artists. See what I mean? And the ones that offer personal mentorship at an astronomical cost I avoid like the plague. I probably sound a bit sarcastic talking about this. If so, it’s because I like honesty, and when the bullsh*t meter goes off, it bothers me to no end. Just the other day, I heard one such person saying something to the effect that “when you’re inside the jar, you can’t see the label”. This referred to not knowing or understanding who you are as an artist and what niche your art fits into. So, in other words, even though you’re the creator of your art, only other people can see what your art is about, or its value, or what genre it falls under. (barf bag, please). If I could have reached through the computer screen and wrapped my hands around their neck…but I digress, again.

Now, if you want to subscribe to one of these guys then make a point, as I said, of researching them first. What is their art like? Who do they sell to and through what venues? Can you relate to them, or do they annoy you? Well, if you do decide to go with them, make sure you get your money’s worth. If you’re spending more in dollars than you’re receiving in valuable and applicable information, then cut your losses and run! Remember that the financial investment you make in your art business has to reward you with some kind of remuneration, even if it’s just to break even or to gain valuable information that will result in future income. If it doesn’t result in becoming an income producing investment for you, move on.

I really hope this is of help to you, my fellow artists. Now get busy and get successful!

And I’ll see you on Thursday night, May 9th, 2024, for the opening reception of the 2024 Emerging Artists Exhibition at the Gallery at Creative Pinellas!

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