As many artists, galleries and show organizers have recently realized, things are changing in the art world, specifically from an artist’s point of view. The way in which you can, and should promote yourself is changing and there are now many more ways that you can do this. Social media is fast becoming a useful tool in marketing and promotion, but how to use it effectively is still a big question for many artists.
Galleries and Shows – While no longer the only way to get your art in front of the buying public, galleries and shows are still a valuable tool to have in your bag. The real question now though, is what they are doing to promote themselves and you.
Understand that it is important now, more than ever, that you retain control of your work and your public image. This includes making sure galleries and shows present you and your work properly and to the right places. Here are some things to consider about anyone wanting to display your work.
Location - Consider if the gallery or show is in a location that makes sense for your work. Being displayed means nothing if nobody sees it.
Online Presence - What does their online presence do for you or do they even have one? Do they take advantage of networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and others and what is their online strategy and even more importantly, will it work for you?
Money Matters – This is always a tough subject and something that is not talked about enough. Consider all the costs involved in selling, creating and marketing your work and what makes the most sense for you as an artist and your budget.
Galleries are still great if you are in the right one, or if you sell enough pieces to make it worth the commission. However, the average gallery commission is 50%, with some lower and some much higher. It may be worth the commission if you are making regular sales, but the percentage does need to be considered.
One newer trend is online galleries, but in many ways these have not been designed in a way that makes sense to a buyer. Many times, the buyer also needs to see and touch the piece before buying, but this still can be an effective introduction tool or way to sell prints and other items.
Shows get a lot of people in front of your work if done properly, but are they the right people? Will they buy something or just want to look? All of these questions and more need to be asked and answered if you plan to be successful with selling your art, but don’t be afraid to ask them!