By Veronica Baxter, Guest Blogger - Visual artists must be prepared when negotiating a contract with an art gallery. This article will discuss how to prepare for the contract negotiation. Whether you are a new artist looking to get your work noticed, or an established artist trying to break into a new space, you will find valuable tips to secure a lucrative contract in an art gallery.

Have a List of Requirements and Questions Well Ahead of the Negotiation

Regardless of the industry, you should always know what you want during a negotiation. You need to confidently articulate what you want out of the business relationship to be taken seriously from a business perspective.

This means you’ll need to ask many questions.

Questions to Ask During a Contract Negotiation With an Art Gallery

The goal of asking questions is to get a concrete understanding of the business relationship from start to finish. Your questions should be designed so that the answers clearly define your responsibilities and those of the art gallery. Your questions should range across a wide variety of topics -- from marketing to logistics and beyond.

 

Marketing questions to consider:

  • What will the art gallery do to promote and market your work?
  • What do you need to do in regards to promotion and marketing?
  • Will you need to create new exclusive pieces for the gallery?
  • Do exclusive pieces need their contracts to determine the duration of exclusivity?
  • How much will be allocated for a marketing budget?

Logistical Questions to consider:

  • Will my work be exhibited elsewhere or rotated out on a tour?
  • Who pays for shipping, handling, and insurance?
  • If I make a sale instead of the gallery, do I get the commission?
  • How are the selling prices determined?
  • What are the commission fees and what goes into calculating commission fees?

Display Questions to Consider:

  • How much gallery space will you need vs. how much they are willing to give?
  • Do I have a say in how my art is displayed?
  • Do I get to restrict who I share my gallery space with?
  • How often will I need to present and discuss my work on-site?
  • Do I need to produce work on-site?

Arm Yourself With Knowledge of the Contract Negotiation Process

The artist with their head in the clouds is a frustrating yet persistent stereotype. Yet, there are plenty of successful artists who possess strong business acumen. The artist who can advocate on their own behalf during negotiations will be able to dodge this negative stereotype more easily and secure a better contract as a result.

Here are some must-know contractual tips:

Try To Get an Escape Clause

Escape clauses are essential in contracts with an art gallery. They allow either party to nullify the contract when a clearly defined term or condition is not met. Escape clauses are not to be confused with breach-of-contract clauses.

The difference is that both parties can agree to nullify a yearlong contract if, say, there are no sales after six months. In this example, neither party breached the contract; however, a specific condition was not met. Therefore, it is in the interest of both parties to nullify the agreement.

Push For an Arbitration/Mediation Clause

This clause stipulates that before either party resorts to a lawsuit, a mediator must be brought in to settle any contractual disputes. Both parties must hire a mediator. These clauses are important to bring up in negotiations because they are intended to prevent a costly lawsuit.

Make Sure the Indemnification Clause Works Both Ways

Indemnification clauses are designed so that if one party misrepresents themselves, their work, or if one party breaches part of the contract, then the offending party is responsible for the legal fees associated with any ensuing litigation. Sometimes these are one-sided and apply only when the artist breaches the contract. Negotiate so that the indemnification clause applies to both sides.

Come to the Negotiation Table Prepared

This article is far from exhaustive, but it is intended to get you thinking about the negotiation process in the way a lawyer would. You must ask questions to lay out the responsibilities of both parties clearly. The more detail, the better the deal. You also need to familiarize yourself with specific clauses and legalese that will lead to a fair and lucrative contract.

Veronica Baxter is a writer, blogger, and legal assistant operating out of the greater Philadelphia area. She writes for Yao Law, an entertainment and immigration lawyer in New Jersey.

Promoting themselves and their art is an important element of an artist’s marketing strategy. Digital marketing has become more and more relevant in every industry and this is no different in the art world. Online and social media promotion can reach a large audience of potential buyers and collectors and artists should use all avenues at their disposal to promote and publicize their art events and art career success.

Below are five of the most effective ways for an artist to digitally promote and leverage their art career success:

1. Post an Article on Your Website

These days all artists should have a website. A website is an investment artists should make a priority in order to be taken seriously. A web domain costs less than $20 per year and basic monthly web hosting costs as low as $5 per month.

Creating and posting an article on your website detailing information about your art news and/or event can help artists drive more traffic to their websites. Research has shown that artists with art blogs on their websites, where they post articles about news, events and exhibitions, receive more traffic to their websites.

2. Send an Announcement to Your Mailing List

Hopefully, you have been acquiring names and email addresses for people and visitors to your website and social media networks. Send these people a newsletter notice, a copy of a press release or a copy of your website article post.

Invite them to view your art or the event online as well as in person.  Provide dates, times, addresses, telephone numbers, and links.  Use your winning art as a graphic for the email, newsletter, article post and the press release to generate interest.

3. Create a YouTube Video and Promote It

Create a YouTube Video (Slide Show) about the art, the art exhibition, the opening of the show, etc.  There are many free or inexpensive programs you can use to create these videos. 

Create a YouTube channel and upload and promote the video to your contacts, networks, and friends.  You have the ability to share and distribute the video directly from YouTube. 

4. Post Your Event and/or News on Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool for both reaching new fans and staying in touch with established ones. In order to announce your news, event or exhibition, post your article post, press release or YouTube Video on your social media networks multiple times at varying times of the day.  Ask your friends to “share” these social media posts too.  Be sure the post contains active links back to your website as well as to the art exhibition or event.

5. Create and Distribute a Press Release

Create a professional press release announcing your exhibition success in the third person (as if someone other than yourself had written about this event).  Then research online press release distribution companies and select someone to distribute the release for you.

As we have posted in previous articles, there are companies that will distribute a press release for as little as $10.00, depending on the type and amount of distribution that you want.  Make sure that the press release targets the art industry and contains active links back to your website as well as to the art exhibition.

In terms of expense, except for the professional press release distribution, the steps above are free, requiring only the artist’s time.  In that spirit, starting with the 10th Annual “Botanicals” online art exhibition, the gallery will be providing a new award. We will be gifting our top winning artists, including special merit award winning artists, with a complimentary VIP Membership to Art.base.co.  Art.Base produces 100,000 page views per month, 35,000 monthly unique visitors and has 10,000+ newsletter subscribers. With this complimentary account, artists can post their art news and events for free.

Also starting with the 10th Annual “Landscapes” art competition, entry fees will increase by $1, to $15 and $25 respectively. Early registration and the "Solo Art Series" entry fees will also increase $1, as we increase our awards, marketing and promotion efforts on behalf of our artists.

In the coming weeks we will be posting new and updated articles with helpful hints and suggestions for creating professional art press releases. If you are not already on the LST mailing list, please subscribe to receive our newsletter and announcements of new articles and competitions.

There are certainly additional ways in which artists can promote and market themselves and their art.  However, we believe the above suggestions are the most effective ways in which artists can digitally promote their art career success. 

By Wendy Dessler, Guest Blogger - Creating art is a personal experience, which can make it a challenge when you have to sell it. While this is true, there are a large number of artists who want to earn a living from their creative endeavors. There is nothing wrong with that and making art your full-time job is a good strategy.

However, building a business based on any kind of art is not easy or quick. You have to learn how to create an effective art marketing strategy. Instapainting suggests patience when you start marketing your art as you have to allow enough time to build a following to generate a livable income.

You can also use the tips here to help you achieve your art selling goals faster.

1. Create a Schedule

If you are like most artists, you have a process. You follow this process to create the best art possible. If you don’t have a schedule for creating art, you need to set aside time each day (if possible) and at a minimum each week. Creating your art on a regular basis is a good idea.

You will also want to outline time for working on marketing efforts, and create boundaries between this time, and your creative time. Use efficiency strategies like time blocking and the Pomodoro technique to commit to getting things done.

2. Understand Your Art

If you already have a set schedule for making your art, take some time to hone your skills. Be willing to learn new skills and find new ways to improve your art, too. The more you create, the more you will discover the type of art that you like creating the most.

By knowing your favorite style and subject for art, you can effectively market it. After all, if you want other people to love what you create, you have to love it first. You have to remain passionate about what you are creating and willing to commit long hours and hard work to your projects before you see any success.

This is all easier to do when you enjoy what you are making. When you have a passion for what you create, this is going to translate to collectors and buyers, too.

3. Stay Consistent

It takes time to build an engaged audience who takes an active interest in your work. For many artists, the slow build up can be discouraging and make them feel as though social media is a waste of time.

What you should understand is that social media (or any type of marketing, for that matter) is not a magical tool that is going to help you generate sales immediately. Marketing, regardless if you are doing it through social media or another method requires persistent, sustained effort to find success.

Remember, marketing is considered a numbers game. You have to expose your work to as many possible buyers, repeatedly, during the course of not only days or weeks, but also months and years.

4. Find Your Target Market

While this step is a bit more difficult, it is still important. You need to figure out who would be interested in buying the type of art you create.

One of the easiest ways for you to do this is by imagining that all possible collectors and clients are represented by a series of concentric circles. People who are like you are in the middle. For example, if you like drawing realistic pictures of animals, then people who like realistic art and animals are going to be the focal point of your target market.

However, you don’t have to limit yourself to only those people, but they are the best place to begin. The next circle are people who share some (but not all) of your interests. For example, they like animals but not realistic art, or the other way around. You need to market your art to them, as well, even though they are not considered your “core market.”

You can continue adding layers, but remember, the further out someone is from your core market, the less likely they will be to purchase your art.

5. Begin Selling Locally

You need to begin your efforts to market and sell your art locally. This is where people who know you are. Take the time to find and make satisfied customers in your local area. Rather than waiting to have your online marketing strategy sorted out to start building awareness, partake in a few local events to get your name out there. By doing this, you will start to generate interest and word-of-mouth marketing that will benefit your overall marketing efforts. By doing this, you should be able to sell more than only online marketing efforts are going to provide.

Sell Your Art with These Tips

If you are looking for tips and tricks for marketing your art, this list should help you get started. Remember, persistence and patience are your keys to success.

 

Wendy Dessler is a super-connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.

By Diana Nadim, Guest Blogger - A blog is a great way for all you creatives out there to show your talent to the world. You have an opportunity to show off your artwork, make your art available to a wider audience, share interesting information, and engage with your readers.

With these tips, you can approach the blogging process like a real pro. So, let’s get started!

Keep the topics relevant

The reader who comes across an art blog will expect exactly that – topics about art. Make the topics enjoyable by choosing different topics that revolve around the world of art. Giving readers different insights and keeping the topics relevant is what you should aim for.

Think about writing about your art, explaining your techniques, informing readers of important news in the world of art. Don’t forget to mention credible resources where you found all the info.

Use eye-catching titles

Blog titles are the ones that need to attract the readers and present your blog as worthy of their time. The best titles are relevant to the content and evoke curiosity. Just think about what you would click on if you were browsing for some interesting blog posts.

You can use headline generators by Sumo or Hubspot if you can't think of anything catchy. By providing you some choices, headline generators will help you get inspired. 

Be consistent

Consistency is the key to success! That is applicable for any type of project and your art blog is no exception.

Publish your posts regularly. You don’t want your readers to forget about you after one post.

“Regular posts keep the flow of your blog. It shows passion, dedication, and true interest in what you are doing. It’s as simple as that,” says Marie Fincher, the head of the content department at Trust My Paper.

Add some depth

Plain and generic content won't be entertaining for the mass audience. You need to give life to your writing. The key is to provide some variety and be as authentic as you can be. 

What you can do is to include some examples whenever they can help readers to understand what you are trying to explain.  You can also engage in some storytelling and include fun and interesting personal stories in your journey as a writer. Let’s say that one of your pieces was inspired by your trip to Cuba; share that story with your readers! 

Adding a personal story from time to time can add that special spark your content. 

What to do when writing is not your strongest side?

Even though the focus of your blog and posts will be about the artwork, how you write about it is very important. The way you describe your art can either draw readers in or push them away.

When you focus on composing high-quality content, you will present yourself as a true expert.

It is understandable if writing may not be one of your talents. In that case, you can turn to these writing and editing tools to perfect your posts.

    1. PeoplePerHour and UpWork– Both of these services can connect you with excellent writers who will help you with creating the content that you want.
    2. ProWritingAid– Use to check how readable, grammatically correct and non-spammy your content is. But don’t take everything for granted. The app is not friendly with complex phrases and expressions. Sometimes, it might suggest over-simplifying your content, which is not always beneficial.
    3. Grammarly and Hemingway Editor – For a quick fix and final check before you publish, use these online proofreading tools. Besides marking all your errors and giving suggestions on how to change them, it will also check your content’s readability. 

Promote your blog

What is the point of investing your time and effort into creating something beautiful if no one can find it? If you don’t actively promote your blog and invite readers to join your community. The easiest way is to use social media accounts. Share the word about your blog and let others share your blog. 

Get to work!

Reading about useful tips for your art blog isn’t enough. You need to put these tips to work as soon as possible if you want to see results. Besides everything that we mentioned, keep in mind that a blog is your place to express yourself and build a relationship with your readers. 

 

Diana Nadim is a writer and editor who has a Master’s degree in Marketing. She combines her passion for writing with her interest in research and creates thought-provoking content in various fields.  In addition to running her own 3to5Marketing blog, Diana works as a contributor writer for IsAccurate and provides editing services for BestEssayEducation and WoWGrade. What inspires her the most in her writing is traveling and meeting new people. Follow her on Twitter.  

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