By Rodney Laws, Guest Blogger - Every industry was affected heavily by the outbreak of COVID-19, and art is certainly no exception. So much of the art world has typically revolved around in-person demonstrations and sales. Museums and galleries have always worked through bringing in foot traffic, with money made through selling entrance tickets, refreshments, and gift-shop items. Then there are street performers (caricaturists, for instance) who have always made money through tips.
At the moment, the continued need for social distancing (along with the lingering fears concerning travel) means that even those places that can afford to open are finding it hard to attract interest. The artists, though, do have options, and they have drawn upon them (no pun intended) to keep afloat during the past year. By operating online, they can still make money doing what they love.
Trying to succeed exclusively online as an artist presents a very different challenge, though. The tactics required for reaching the right people (and ultimately prospective clients) are largely distinct. In this post, we’re going to look at four solid strategies an artist can use to grow their brand and attract some interest online. Let’s get started.
Use a combination portfolio and store
Taking client work is often the typical way of making a living as an artist, since you have clear creative direction and set terms. It is simply a matter of receiving and fulfilling a brief: you don’t need to worry about the commercial viability of what you are producing. But that doesn’t mean that should be the only way in which you make money. The more routes you have to profit, the more stable your financial situation can become.
Due to this, it is a great idea to build an ecommerce store that’s also your portfolio. You don’t even need web-design skills to create such a store these days. If you already have an art blog in WordPress (the platform that dominates blogging), you can install a free plugin called WooCommerce (take a look at this WooCommerce review) and start selling products.
Whenever you make a sale, promote it through the blog side of the store: this will reinforce your value as an artist in the eyes of prospective clients. In addition, whenever you pick up a notable client, add their testimonial to your store homepage: this will reassure potential buyers that you’re truly as good as they think you are. It’s a win-win situation.
Get into the habit of asking for referrals
You can’t add testimonials to your store if you don’t have any testimonials, and they don’t tend to appear spontaneously. If you don’t ask for them, you won’t get them — so get into the habit of asking for them. Do this carefully, of course: don’t bug people, come across as desperate, or push them to shower you with more praise than they think you deserve. Just ask politely.
It is a good idea to fold the feedback-collection process into your general client-handling sequence. When you’re wrapping up a project and ensuring that all the details have been handled, you can have an automated email go out to provide a survey (HubSpot has some good tips on this process). You can even throw in some kind of basic incentive to prompt a reply: 10% off their next commission and/or purchase, for instance.
Share your process on social media
People who don’t understand what goes into art can easily end up undervaluing it. You are likely familiar with the common effort to “pay” artists in “exposure”. It is commonplace to joke about at times, but it is a sad indication of how little people understand the difficulty of producing high-quality art. They assume (for some reason) that most artists live frivolous lives of luxury — and those who don’t, well, they should just be grateful to get some attention, right?
To help people accept the complexities of what you do, and show just how good you are, you should combine your blogging efforts with social media comments concerning your process. You don’t need to engage with social media in general, just offer some commentary on how long certain pieces of art take you, sharing progress on art you are currently working on, the decisions you need to make along the way, the obstacles you need to overcome, etc.
In addition, when you have a piece you are particularly proud of, you should enter it into some online competitions, both through social media and other sites. It won’t cost much, and the risk is minimal: if you don’t win, it won’t matter, but it will give you something you can talk about it through social media and get even more attention.
Join a forum of like-minded artists
The best artists tend to support one another because they know that great art should be appreciated and supported and the internet is full of fantastic communities that can help you promote your services. This is something that can go unnoticed due to the assumption that artists will all be hyper-competitive, eager to undermine one another. Not so.
In truth, there is plenty of demand for art, and those who produce it often end up spending some of their money on commissioning it as well. Artists can collaborate on pieces through which they can all profit, and expand their audiences through building professional associations. You also need to remember that great artists never stop learning. However much you’ll learn from your new community, the existing members will learn just as much from you.
And when someone out there expresses interest for art in the exact style that you’ve mastered, you’ll find that other artists will often point them in the right direction, knowing that you’ll do the same for them in return. Put your trust in community spirit. You won’t regret it.
Rodney Laws is an ecommerce expert with over a decade of experience in building online businesses. Check out his reviews on EcommercePlatforms.io and you’ll find practical tips that you can use to build the best online store for your business. Connect with him on Twitter @EcomPlatformsio.
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:
Logistical Questions to consider:
Display Questions to Consider:
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.
The New Year is a time for artists to look ahead to how they can grow and advance their art careers. Although 2020 is technically behind us, there are still some challenges to overcome as the world continues to work its way out of a terrible pandemic. This has been enormously difficult for everyone but artists and the arts community has been hit particularly hard. However, with the release of vaccines, there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel and it is time for artists to look forward.
At the beginning of every New Year, we post an article with ideas and suggestions for how artists can to make plans for how to kick-start and best to tackle your art career goals in 2020.
Have you set up your art marketing goals for the New Year? If not, the following are 5 things you can do to kick start 2021 and improve your chances of success.
Many of these ideas have been offered up in previous “kick-start” posts but they are elementary and consistently implementing them is not. They are critical for artists if they are to market themselves and their art successfully.
Evaluate & Update Your Website
While the past year has given some artists the time and opportunity to either create or update their websites, for many it has been difficult to concentrate amid the worry of the ongoing pandemic. However, in today’s art world, particularly with all its changes, in order to be taken seriously, it is essential for artists to have a modern, professional, up-to-date website to display their art.
The annual cost to purchase or renew a website domain is typically less than $20. The cost of basic website hosting can be as low as $3-$4 per month. A website is an investment artists need to make a priority in order to be taken seriously.
For those of you who already have websites, if you haven’t reviewed it in a while, now is the time. When was the last time that you went page by page and link by link through it? We all need to do this to find broken links, pages that do not load quickly, graphics, images and other items that have moved, along with pages with misspelled words and similar issues.
The presentation of your art is as important as creating it. Take some time to review your site and make any necessary changes and corrections. Make sure all of the images on your website are sized properly and have a low resolution (a resolution of 72 helps your site load more quickly and protects your art from being copied by unscrupulous people). The images should also be color corrected if necessary, as some cameras and lighting do no always capture an artwork’s true colors. There are many free programs on the internet for this.
Also, do you have better images or graphics to replace what now exists on your website? Do you have new artwork that you just have not had time to photograph and add to your website? Do it.
While checking your images, make sure that they are labeled and tagged properly with good image descriptions. Search engines will only index your images if they have descriptions. By doing this, your images will show up in the image search results and when the images are viewed, viewers will be directed to your art website.
Rewrite/ Update your Artists Bio and Statement
A well-written biography and/or artist statement is also essential for artists and now is the time to review and update them. An artist does not have to be an accomplished writer to create a well-written biography and artist statement, but it is necessary for an artist to have at least one. It is also important to know the difference between a biography and artist statement as many artists mistake one for the other. Please read our article “Comparing an Artist’s Biography to an Artist’s Statement” for clarification.
Also, update your CV by adding any exhibitions, new publications or other pertinent information that has taken place since the last time it was updated.
Use Social Media
Social media has become a part of our everyday lives and is an important platform for all artists to employ in order to help market themselves and their art. Why is this? In our opinion, it is easy to identify and connect with the art community when using social media.
It is also an effective medium because it is a visual and simple way in which to present your art. Particularly now, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin, Instagram and even Twitter provide artists with opportunities (if targeted properly) to reach viewers who were previously unreachable.
Read our articles “Top 10 Reasons Why Artists Fail with Social Media”, “Using the 70-20-10 Rule to Succeed at Social Media Marketing” by guest blogger James Baxter, and “How to Write Social Media Posts That Sell Art” by guest blogger Frank Hamilton, along with various other social media articles on the LST website, for further advice and instruction on how best to use social media to grow your audience reach.
Press Release Marketing
Press release marketing is a low-cost way artists can market their artwork to a wider range of potential viewers. There are many “Free” press release websites, which take, publish and market an artist’s press release copy. One such site is PRLog.org. PRLog’s free press release submission includes a PDF version to send to your mailing list, a search engine optimized page, hyperlinks in the content, and the option to select location/industry and tag listings. In addition, companies like Star One Public Relations offers press release distribution services for as low as $10.00 for distribution to 70+ press outlets. Read our article “Successful Press Release Marketing for Artists” and 6 Benefits for Press Releases for Artists to help guide you in these efforts. Also check out our article “5 Ways Artists Can Promote Their Art Online” for more ideas.
Start a Blog
Artists should seriously consider starting an art blog as a way to attract and direct additional interested viewers to their art websites. An art blog is a great way to expand an artist’s target audience. It is also an effective platform to help artists market their art.
In 2021, we hope you will make at least some, if not all, of these suggestions part of your art marketing efforts. By implementing these recommendations, artists can experience increased traffic to their websites, find more people interested in their art and ultimately, sell more of their work.
However, as with any marketing program, it is important to focus your efforts. All artists should view the marketing of their art to be as important as the creation of it and an art-marketing plan needs to be well planned and performed consistently in order to be successful. Check out our article “5 Tips for Creating an Effective Art Marketing Strategy” by guest blogger Wendy Dessler, for more suggestions.
Good luck and have a creative, successful and prosperous 2021!
By James Baxter, Guest Blogger - Social media marketing for artists includes a specific set of online actions, which provides their fans and followers with the necessary information about the artists, as well as promoting their creativity using the same resources. Such actions can significantly enlarge the target audience due to the popularity and convenience of social networks.
Art and social media can be combined. Thanks to the current development of the Internet and computer technology, an artist can be promoted using Social Media Marketing (SMM) on various social networks. SMM makes it possible to determine which social networks are the most effective for this promotion. However, you should use these online platforms wisely to achieve the desired result.
Today, a sufficient number of different marketing tools are used on social media. The most popular among them are branding, reputation strengthening, and label creation. Obviously, the more widespread a social network is, the easier it is to promote an artist and his or her work. Every artist knows that creativity can be further shared. So, posting of relevant material is one of the most useful formats of communication with the target audience.
Some painters, photographers, and sculptors are trying to sell their works of art by simply advertising themselves using social networks. However, it is not the only way to attract the attention of their admirers and potential collectors. The opposite situation can happen when artists are reluctant to promote their creativity and only the most curious fans can find out something about their recently created masterpieces.
In the both cases, the artist’s profit and potential can be dramatically affected. Earning money is essential for art development, and this is the main task of promotion in social networks. So, how to market your art? It is necessary to find a balance between sales, self-promotion, and honest communication with the target audience. Let’s consider the 70-20-10 SMM rule that can help you become a successful artist.
70% of Content Should Build and Maintain Your Brand
The vast majority of your posts should tell your story and build your recognizable brand. In this way, you can show your personality from another angle. Imagine what you would like to know about your favorite artist: this can give you some useful ideas. Perhaps you have a great sense of humor in addition to your artistic talent. For instance, you can upload an amazing video about what has inspired you to create a perfect artwork.
You can also post photos as you paint a picture or create a sculpture. If you travel from time to time, you can create an album of journey sketches. Likewise, an experienced writer can share an informative article about their amazing life experience. In short, tell people what you feel before, during and after finishing your creation. The main point is that sharing this information can create a special relationship between you and your followers and fans.
Share Information about Others in 20% of Content
This part of the content is not that voluminous, but it means a lot for building your social network and forming valuable relations. You sometimes may want to collaborate with other artists. Use that 20 percent to establish new connections with relevant people and promising artists in related fields.
If a painter or sculptor you know has organized an exhibition, tell people about it. You can also familiarize fans with a side project of your agent or promoter. If you visited a significant art event in your city, tell your followers what you think about it from your personal and professional point of view.
Everything you share with your audience should not be random and accidental. You have to sincerely believe in what you are talking about with your audience. Remember that this is not an advertisement, but a real desire to share something good and needful for your fans and to help your fellow artists gain exposure for their work. Pay it forward by helping others, and goodness will surely return to you.
10% of Content Is For Self-Advertisement
Ads on your social media pages should not take more than ten percent of your total content. Some artists start to shout out about a new work of art seven days a week using social networks. But it is hardly imaginable that somebody will pay attention to it since social media is primarily a communication place, not an advertising platform.
Of course, if you managed to create something special, be sure to announce it. But instead of asking your audience to buy a piece of your artwork, inquire of your fans and followers what they liked the most about it and why. Use this feedback to grow as an artist and to target potential collectors and buyers. Also, use social media to direct fans to your website to see more of your art and hopefully buy a piece of your artwork.
You should try to use social media for promoting your art in a meticulous way to reach your target audience. More so, if you want to use such online opportunities effectively, you need to be a sincere, engaging, and understanding professional in your field. Your target audience will see your personality and feel a much greater connection with you. Finally, do not forget to thank your fans for all their support of you and your art career.
James Baxter is professional ghostwriter and editor at write my essay, who loves sharing his experience and knowledge with readers. He has been working as a SMM specialist at the art gallery for a year. He is especially interested in marketing, blogging and IT. James is always happy to visit different places and meet new people there.
This article was originally posted in 2010 but has been updated and revised as of June 2020.
Steven Covey’s early 1990’s, best-selling book entitled “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” provided a holistic and principled approach to problem-solving, living and adapting to change by seeing opportunities rather than problems.
The book became a huge bestseller and still sells well today, even almost 30 years later. This is because the advice offered in the book still resonates. In that helpful spirit, below we have highlighted seven habits which we believe artists should follow to become highly effective and successful. Although we are detailing only seven habits, the readers of this article may have ideas on other successful “habits” as well.
The seven habits of highly effective and successful artists are:
There are certainly other habits and traits of successful artists beyond what we have outlined above. However, if artists are talented and apply these 7 habits to their craft, they will be more likely to be successful.
After reading this article, please feel free to share with us any of your habits that you feel have made you more effective and successful in your art and career.
The Coronavirus pandemic is affecting all of us. For artists, like everyone, it has led to the loss of income and cancellation of events and opportunities. No one’s lives have gone untouched by this pandemic but there are many things that we, as artists, can do while we are self-isolating. Below are 10 things artists can do to remain creative, positive and inspired during this time:
1. Continue Creating Art
This is the most important thing an artist can do. Although being stuck at home can be challenging, all that extra time can be an opportunity. Use it to jump-start your creativity. Start a new piece of art or try to finish one that has been giving you trouble. Just continue to create!
2. Evaluate and Update Your Website
At the beginning of every year, we always recommend that artists evaluate and update their websites. For those that have not had the time to do so, this is the perfect opportunity. Keeping your website current, with your current work highlighted, is essential for artists, now more than ever as people will have more time on their hands to surf the internet looking for positive things to view.
3. Evaluate and Update Your Portfolio
Similarly, like evaluating and updating your website, we also recommend artists evaluate and update their portfolios.
4. Review and Update Your Biography & Artist Statements
Life is ever changing and it is important for artists to keep their biographies and artist statements up to date. Also, update your CV by adding any exhibitions, new publications or other pertinent information that has taken place since the last time they were updated.
5. Maintain and/or Grow Your Social Media Presence
Just because you are confined to the house doesn’t mean you can’t show your art to others. Keeping active on social media is a good way to connect with other artists as well as collectors. Keep your art in the forefront of their minds so that when this is over, or even before, you might be able to generate some sales.
6. Take a Virtual Museum Tour
It is important to remain inspired and active during this time of self-imposed (and for some forced) isolation. Museums from around the world are now offering online virtual tours. Visit these museums and be inspired to create more art.
7. Reach out to Friends and Family for Support & Ideas
Physical isolation does not need to also be social isolation. Keeping in touch with others is what is going to get us through this. We need to stay positive and we need the support of friends and family to do so. Reach out and run idea for a new painting by a friend or family member. Get feedback on a piece you’re currently working on and share it once it is completed. This will not only keep you inspired to keep working but will give your family and friends something to look forward to.
8. Take an Online Art Class
Many universities, art teachers and websites are offering free online art classes right now. From Art History to painting, drawing and photography classes, there is something for everyone to get inspired, continue creating and maybe even learn something new.
9. Reach out to Your Collectors
If for no other reason, just to touch base and wish them well. Perhaps send an email and invite them to see your new work on your newly updated website (see point #2 above). They are already fans of your work and perhaps it might inspire them to purchase a new piece, particularly if you decide to offer a discount or limited-time sale.
10. Research & Apply for Art’s Grants & Small Business Relief Programs
Many organizations are now offering grants for artists and small business relief programs. There are many that are geared specifically for artists and the arts community. Apply for any and all that you think you might qualify for. The worst that can happen is they can say no.
We at the Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery are also affected by this pandemic. Like so many others, our lives and livelihoods are being drastically affected by this global crisis. Our income is dependent on entry fees and during a time of financial crisis, disposable income is reduced. Thus, the gallery’s income is exponentially reduced. Nevertheless, we are committed to continuing our work of helping artists to continue to market their art to a worldwide audience.
How are we doing this? We are continuing to host our online art competitions and exhibitions. We are continuing our marketing and promotion efforts for artists. We are continuing to support and encourage our artists to keep positive and keep creating. And we will continue to be here for all of you as an outlet to share your talent with each other and the world because we must all stick together and support each other in this time of crisis.
In that spirit, although LST was scheduled to increase entry fees by $1 starting with the 10th Annual “Landscapes” Art Competition (opening for entries on April 10th), due to the Coronavirus pandemic - we have postponed the increase in entry fees until June 2020.
While LST continues to have one of the lowest entry fees around, we still recognize that artists have a choice of art competitions and exhibitions to enter and that money is tight for all of us right now. We value and are humbled by the loyalty of our artists and we are committed to maintaining our loyalty and support of them.
Thank you again to all of our artists for being such an important part of our gallery! Stay safe and healthy!
At the beginning of every New Year, we post an article with ideas and suggestions for how artists can to kick start the new year. Now that the year 2020 has begun, it is time to review the past 12 months and make plans for how best to tackle your art career goals in 2020.
Have you set up your art marketing goals for the New Year? If not, the following are 5 things you can do to kick start 2020 and improve your chances of success.
Many of these ideas are elementary, but consistently implementing them is not. They are critical for artists if they are to market themselves and their art successfully.
1. Evaluate & Update Your Website
In today’s art world, in order to be taken seriously, it is essential for artists to have a modern, professional, up-to-date website to display their art. The annual cost of a domain is typically less than $20. The cost of basic website hosting can be as low as $3 per month. A website is an investment artists should make a priority in order to be taken seriously.
For those of you who already have websites, when was the last time that you went page by page and link by link through it? If you are like most people it has probably been a very long time! I think that if you were to do this with your website you would find broken links, pages that do not load quickly, graphics, images and other items that have moved, along with pages with misspelled words and similar issues.
Is this how you want your website visitors to see your art? Take some time to make these corrections. Also, if you have pages that do not load quickly due to large image files or due to flash and music features, these items should be corrected or removed as people do not have the time to wait on your pages to load. Otherwise, if not corrected you will be losing these valuable visitors to your site.
Make sure all of the images on your website are sized properly and have a low resolution (a resolution of 72 helps your site load more quickly and protects your art from being copied by unscrupulous people). The images should also be color corrected. (There are many free programs on the internet for this.)
Do you have better images or graphics to replace what now exists on your website? Do you have new artwork that you just have not had time to photograph and add to your website? Do it.
Also, while checking your images, make sure that they are labeled and tagged properly with good image descriptions. Search engines will only index your images if they have descriptions. By doing this, your images will show up in the image search results. When the images are viewed, viewers will be directed to your art website.
2. Rewrite/ Update your Artists Bio and Statement
Review and update your Artist Statement and Artist Biography. An artist does not have to be an accomplished writer to create a well-written Biography and Artist’s Statement, but it is essential for an artist to have at least one. It is important to know the difference between a biography and artist statement. Please read our article “Comparing an Artist’s Biography to an Artist’s Statement” for clarification.
Also, update your CV by adding any exhibitions, new publications or other pertinent information that has taken place since the last time they were updated.
3. Use Social Media
Social media is the perfect platform for artists to employ in order to help market themselves and their art. Why is this? In our opinion, it is easy to identify and connect with the art community when using social media.
We also think it is an effective medium because it is a visual and simple way in which to present your art. Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin, Instagram and even Twitter provide an artist with opportunities (if targeted properly) to reach viewers who were previously unreachable.
Read our article “Top 10 Reasons Why Artists Fail with Social Media” along with various other social media articles on the LST website.
4. Press Release Marketing
Press release marketing is a low-cost way artists can market their artwork to a wide range of potential viewers. There are many “Free” press release websites, which take, publish and market an artist’s press release copy. One such site is PRLog.org. PRLog’s free press release submission includes a PDF version to send to your mailing list, a search engine optimized page, hyperlinks in the content, and the option to select location/industry and tag listings. In addition, companies like Star One Public Relations offers press release distribution services for as low as $10.00 for distribution to 70+ press outlets. Read our article “Successful Press Release Marketing for Artists” and 6 Benefits for Press Releases for Artists to help guide you in these efforts.
5. Have Your Art Portfolio Reviewed Professionally
A professional Portfolio Review provides an artist with an evaluation of their art and a critique of how the art is being presented to others. Usually, during a portfolio review, the reviewers provide artists with additional ideas on how they can effectively market their art.
Much like art competitions, a Portfolio Review is an additional way in which artists can have their artwork evaluated and measured against other artists.
6. Start a Blog
Artists should consider starting an art blog as a way to attract and direct additional interested viewers to their art websites. An art blog is a great way to expand an artist’s target audience. It is also an effective platform to help artists market their art.
In 2020 we hope you will make these suggestions part of your art marketing efforts. By implementing these recommendations, we believe artists will increase traffic to their websites, find more people interested in their art and ultimately, sell more of their work.
However, as with any marketing program, it is important to focus your efforts and they need to be well executed and performed consistently in order to be successful.
Good luck and have a creative and successful 2020!
by Bridgette Hernandez, Guest Blogger - Every independent artist needs to be entrepreneurial. If you want to sell your art and become a professional artist, you have to learn how to think like a business person. That means you need to be an artist when creating and be an entrepreneur when selling.
If you're not sure how to advertise and sell your art, just keep reading. Here are 5 helpful business tips that every independent artist needs to follow.
1. Create a Brand
You are your own advertiser and you need to become a brand. Creating a brand out of your art and yourself is a must if you want to start making money and selling your art. To become a brand, you need to:
You need to make sure you look like a professional, and potential clients can find you easily. This way, you'll be advertising your brand the right way.
2. Charge Like a Professional
The prices of your artwork should not be randomly chosen by the way you feel at a certain moment. You need to be very precise and responsible when it comes to charging your clients.
This means that you need to:
Stay informed and ask around a lot. This will help you charge exactly what you’ve earned and still keep your clients happy.
3. Understand Your Audience
Although it's hard for some artists to create with specific goals in mind, you need to understand you can't create without a plan or a goal. If you create only when you’re inspired, or only the things you personally prefer, you might lose your audience.
This means that you need to understand the following:
By knowing the answers to these questions, you’re being entrepreneurial and smart. Now you can create the type of art that is currently in demand and sell it without any problems.
4. Get Legal Advice
Apart from knowing how to properly advertise and sell your art, you need to learn how to protect it as well. You have to ensure you know your rights. Also, you must find a way to have your clients respect those rights.
So, you could ask for legal advice about things such as:
If you want to succeed as an independent artist, you need to keep things legally in order.
5. Work Hard
Finally, there’s one more thing you need to keep in mind, on your way to becoming a successful independent artist. You have to put in the hard work and never stop creating.
But, forget the idea of the inspired artist sitting on a hill and looking at the horizon. Hard work as an independent artist includes:
It’s a job like any other, so it’s best that you start acting like that as soon as possible.
Being an independent artist means you have to be your own manager, advertiser, and salesperson. It may sound hard or impossible at first, but with the right mindset, you can do it.
Follow the business tips above to ensure you know what you’re doing and start working on your career as an independent artist today.
Bridgette Hernandez is an independent freelance writer and blogger building her career. She has a Master’s in Anthropology and enjoys combining her knowledge of human behaviors and traditions, with her experience in marketing to provide readers with insights into their customers. She works as a writer for Trust My Paper and Supreme Dissertations, and is currently working on her first book.
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 Rodney Laws, Guest Blogger - Global e-retail sales totalled $2.8 trillion in 2018, with most of that money spent via online stores. The economics behind online selling is so powerful that even industries that have traditionally made most of their sales face-to-face via physical stores cannot afford to ignore the appeal.
Although many artists make a living from selling their work in galleries, there are so many benefits to selling art online that make opening an online store a serious consideration.
From being less expensive than selling your artwork in a gallery to providing a place for you to exhibit every piece of art you make, read on for three powerful reasons why you should sell your art online.
1. It is less expensive to sell your art online than in a gallery
It is really simple – the purpose of an online store is to sell things (the hint is in the name), so the most obvious way artists can benefit from opening one is to sell their art. But it is not just that an online store makes it easier to sell, it is also less expensive than selling your artwork in a gallery.
Although “bricks and mortar” galleries always have and will serve an important purpose in the art market, they charge a commission for letting you sell your art in their premises. This is even true of places like cafes, restaurants, bars, and pubs. You may also need to pay a rental fee to secure a residency. This is not the case for artists who well their work via their online stores.
The only fee you need to sell your art on an online store is a monthly subscription fee. WooCommerce, Magento, Shopify are all popular store builders and how much you pay depends on which provider you choose. For instance, if you create an online store with Shopify, you will pay a flat monthly fee of $29. This means that instead of paying a commission to a gallery, you can make one payment a month and keep all the proceeds from your sales.
2. It is easier for people to find & buy your artwork when it is online
One of the major upsides of selling your art in a gallery is that you can lean on its reputation and location to increase the chances of people buying it. But the downside of using a gallery is that people have to travel to it to buy your artwork. Selling your artwork online makes it easier for people, worldwide, to find it and buy it.
Online stores are designed to make it simple for people to find them. How? By being made with an eye on keeping Google and the other search engines happy.
Online stores do this by coming with their own hosting services, ensuring the site runs faster and increasing the chances of it ranking well on Google.
They also come with built-in SEO optimization features. What does this mean? That your online store will give you a preview of how all the pages for selling your artwork appear in search results. This allows you to make sure that all the information is correctly displayed, making it easier for Google to put your artwork in the correct search results and simpler for your customers to find it.
You can take this a step further by adding an SEO plugin or app to your online store. One of the best you can opt for is Yoast. This is perfect for artists because it gives you the ability to optimize your images (among many other facets of your online store). This will improve the chances of your art ranking well in search engines and being found by potential customers.
3. You can exhibit & market every single piece of art you make
While the main reason for you to open an online store is to sell your artwork, that’s far from the only benefit you get. By launching an online store you are able to exhibit and market every piece of art that you make.
One of the brilliant features of an online store is that they often come with in-built marketing facilities. Once you have added pages to exhibit each of your art pieces, you can create a marketing campaign to let people know about them. Some of the built-in marketing features you can expect from your online store include:
While the use of these features is free, you will need to pay for your ad campaigns. However, you can often increase your budget gradually so you do not need to pay more than you can afford.
Your online store will also come with a range of free apps or plugins that you can download. These give you an even greater range of marketing options, allowing you to reach more people and to do so in the ways that are most likely to catch their attention.
One great example of a plugin you can add to your online store to help your marketing efforts is Mailchimp. It is renowned as the finest email-marketing tool on the market and the free version comes with a huge range of features you can experiment using without any investment.
While I have picked three of the most powerful benefits that artists can get from opening an online store, they are far from the only ones.
There is also the fact you can use customer data to create more engaging artwork, and that they are more environmentally friendly than a “bricks and mortar” gallery.
However, that does not mean you should take everything to do with your art online. You can connect with fans of your work by using in-person experiences, such as participating in art competitions and exhibitions (both online and offline), placing an advert at an art market and opening-up your studio to the public.
Recommended reading: 10 of the Best Sales Tips for Successful Artists
Also, check out this great YouTube video for some tips on how you can build an online store and then start to reap the benefits of selling on yours.
Rodney Laws is an ecommerce expert with over a decade of experience in building online businesses. Check out his reviews on EcommercePlatforms.io and you’ll find practical tips that you can use to build the best online store for your business. Connect with him on Twitter @EcomPlatformsio.
Driving more traffic to their art websites is the number one challenge for new and emerging artists who are just starting out. However it can be done. It's not difficult but takes time and commitment and it can be free.
Having an art website does not guarantee artists will sell their work since an art website will not sell art by itself. An art website needs targeted traffic which is the real beginning of the overall sales process. The following are eight free methods in which artists can begin to bring more traffic to their art website.
Promote on Social Media – Artists need to at least have the following social media sites: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. Besides being a member of each network, be active, have a full and interesting profile and join as many groups as possible. Network inside the groups and post interesting content.
Guest Blogging – Offer to create and share new and interesting content to other bloggers in the art industry. At some point, a blogger runs out of content ideas, time to create or both. Offer your services and give them some ideas that would fit with their target audience. Find out what their article specifications and parameters are. Also, have a 1 paragraph biography, along with your website URL for all guest articles that you submit.
Responsive Website – Estimates indicate that more than 60% of all search traffic is from a mobile device (Phone or Tablet). Is your website responsive? A responsive website automatically resizes pages, graphics, and images to the device which is being used by the visitor. This allows a website visitor to read and navigate your website and content properly. If your site is not responsive, you may be driving 60% of your visitors away by having an “unresponsive” website.
Post Content to LinkedIn – By being active and involved on LinkedIn through their groups, this a great platform in which to post your own content and other interesting posts created by others. By doing this consistently, you will not only increase your professional network but also your visibility.
Commenting – If you see and read an interesting art blog post or article post and you have a positive opinion or something more that you can add to the content, do so, in an upbeat and positive manner. Add your website with your name. This will create an active link and hopefully more traffic back to your website.
YouTube Video Channel – 25% of all Google searches are through YouTube. If you do not have a YouTube Channel you are missing out on a very large percentage of visitors. As with all social networking, make sure that the profile page is attractive, done well and is complete. At every chance, have a link back to your website, along with links back to your other social networks.
Directories – Research and join as many art directory sites as you can. These sites offer various ways in which to promote your art, art website, art blog, art events, etc. They also have many ways in which an artist can network.
Post to Pinterest – Pinterest is a perfect platform for visual artists. What do you see when you go exploring on Pinterest? You see beautiful pictures of everything, especially of art. Besides posting your own blog posts and art, whenever you see something beautiful that you think that your networks would enjoy, post and comment. Also, be sure to like and comment on other’s postings as well.
Search Engines - Make Sure Your Site Can Be Found on Google, Bing, Yahoo – This will cover 97% of all Search Traffic on the internet. Each search engine will tell you how to submit, register and have your website indexed.
Facebook Groups – Much like the paragraph on LinkedIn (see above), join as many groups as possible and be an active and positive member. In doing so, you will eventually attract new viewers to your art website.
As you can tell from above, there are many ideas and all do not have any cost to them in terms of driving new or more traffic to your art website. The only expense involved is the artist’s time and effort.
If you are serious about the art business and about creating more traffic to see and buy your art, then all of these ideas mentioned above will help.
If lack of time is an issue in doing this, here is a post that will help you discover platforms which can help to get your posts out to multiple sources, “21 Tools To Help Distribute Your Content.”
Every month we receive many “untitled” artworks for our online art competitions. Because of this, we suggest that artists title all of their artworks. Titles provide a judge with a better understanding of what the artist wanted me to see and feel.
When artists titles their artwork, the title also helps the viewer distinguish that particular piece of art from all other pieces of artwork.
There are additional reasons for titling an artwork. Here are a few of them:
Here are a few helpful tips when titling your art:
Some artists title their art after the piece is completed and others title their art prior to creating it. In the end, it really does not matter. Have fun with this procedure on your own or try involving family, friends or other artists in the title making process.
For our art gallery’s monthly art competitions, artists are required to provide the gallery with an Artist’s Biography and an Artist’s Statement as part of their submission.
During a normal year, we see and review more than 7,600 biographies. We have seen great biographies and terrible biographies with most being somewhere in the middle. Through this process, we have been able to identify common biography mistakes.
Perhaps you will see yourself in some of these examples and be able to correct or improve your existing biography. Here are what we see as common artist’s biography mistakes:
1. Writing the Biography in the First Person
Many artists write their biography in the first person (i.e., “I did this…”, “I was influenced by…”, I intended to…”). Stop! Your biography should sound like it was written by someone else about you. “She did this…”, “He was influenced by…” She intended to…”. Also, use the third person when creating a press release. It sounds more authoritative and professional.
2. Being Boring – Tell a Story
Tell the reader of your biography your story as an artist from the beginning of your pursuit of art until now. Your creative journey has been interesting. Your biography should be too.
A well-written artist’s biography should include the following:
Anyone or anything that has influenced your artwork.
Your education or training in the field of art.
Any related experience in the field of art.
A short description of what you would like to achieve with your art.
3. Confusing an Artist’s Statement with an Artist’s Biography
Many times an artist will substitute an artist’s statement for their artist’s biography. Or, midway through their biography, it will become an artist’s statement. I believe the reason for this is that most people find it easier to talk and write about their art than to talk or write about themselves. For artists, writing, in general, is difficult enough, but writing about themselves is twice as difficult.
4. Providing a CV (Curriculum Vitae) Instead
A CV is a chronological resume of an artist’s experience within the art field. A CV provides the reader with a list of the artist’s education, experience, solo and group exhibitions, teaching experience, texts, and awards etc. It is not a biography, it is a resume. This is not what someone wants from you when they request an artist’s biography.
5. Other Common Errors
Writing a biography that is too short or does not contain enough details about the artist.
Having a biography that is too long. In today’s fast-paced world, a reader will not spend a lot of time reading an artist’s biography. Make the biography concise and easy to read.
A biography that contains spelling errors is really bad. Be sure to spell check yours before you send it in or add it to your artist’s portfolio.
There is no excuse for a biography to have poor sentence structure or poor grammar. Have someone edit it for you.
Forgetting to provide contact information. Name, address, telephone number, email address and a website should all be included.
If you lack experience in the art field (See Number 2 above), no problem. Go back and tell that story about yourself and explain how you have gotten to the point of calling yourself an artist.
Experience, no matter how little or how much, may be important in some areas of the arts, but for artists who want to create, show and sell their art, it is overrated. Its all about the art!
There is a whole generation of “Baby Boomer’s” who started out wanting to be in the arts but life came along an interrupted their dreams. They have 40 or 50-year gaps in their biography. Embrace that gap and tell us how your artistic dream was derailed but not forgotten. Be open and be honest as all of this is part of your artistic journey.
As artists, we all had to start somewhere in our artistic quest. Some artists are just setting out. Other artists may have a great deal of education and experience in the art field.
In life, we all have different paths. This is as true in the arts as in any other endeavor. Your biography should be personal and portray the enthusiasm that has brought you to this point.
By Jacob Smith, Guest Blogger – Maybe you’ve heard a success story or two through the grapevine of an artist selling tons of their work on Etsy. It’s not so uncommon, considering Etsy.com receives nearly 180 million visits per month.
But the real question in the back of your mind must be “how”? We’ve all heard the stories of success selling on marketplace platforms -- think eBay, Etsy, Artfire -- but getting down to the nuts and bolts of how it’s done seems elusive.
In this article, I’m going to walk you through a process for getting your Etsy shop in position for success, showing you exactly how to put your art in a position to be found, purchased, and loved.
Ready? Let’s start: (I’m going to assume you already have an Etsy shop up and running. If you are looking for instructions on how to start a shop, just visit Etsy.com and they will walk you through the process. It’s very simple, but you will be required to enter bank account information and pay a small “listing fee” for each item you choose to display. )
Selling successfully on Etsy is mostly common sense. As a rule of thumb, always consider what your potential customer thinks when they are looking at your portfolio. Does your work look like something valuable? Is the presentation professional? If you can say yes to those questions then you are halfway there. Follow the four steps below to get past the other half.
Show Your Artwork in an Attractive Setting
Again, put yourself in the shoes of an Etsy customer. You are browsing Etsy, thinking about that space in your foyer that could use a piece of artwork, so you click the “artwork” section, and take a look.
The first thing you notice about each image is how it looks. I don’t mean just the art, I mean the entire photo. In other words, is the piece of art shown in context (also called “in situ”) or is it just the artwork itself.
If you show your art “in context” that customer can easily start thinking what that artwork would look like in his or her home. If you show your artwork in an attractive home, your customer can start to imagine how attractive his or her home would be with your artwork in it.
In other words, show your artwork in an attractive context to help your customer visualize how your art can become part of their home. Deep down, your customer wants to create some beauty in their space with your work. Give them the opportunity to visualize that by showing your work in an attractive setting.
Material Details Are a Must
Think like your customer again, let’s say you like the look of a piece of artwork, but you want to make sure it is worth the price...how can you tell? This question -- what is art worth -- has bedeviled artists and art appraisers for many years.
As an artist, you want to communicate the craftsmanship of your work. You can do this in two ways.
1. Show detailed photos of the brushwork and canvas, which communicates the amount of detail the piece has.
2. Explain the canvas material, paint used, and steps for care directly in your description.
Customers love to hear stories about how things are made, so even boring details can be interesting if you present them in the right light. For example, maybe you use a paint with a color that wasn’t invented until the 1800s. That’s an interesting fact and a detail you can include to show your knowledge about art history, inspiring confidence in your customer.
The art world, as we all know, is still very old school. One of the biggest signs of value is an affiliation with a gallery. Anytime your work is part of a gallery collection, make sure you get at least a photo or two of the piece in the gallery context. Moreover, mention that a piece was shown at "such and such" gallery in the listing description.
This is very low hanging fruit and is a simple, effective way to inspire confidence in your customer.
From the minute you sell your first piece of art, make reviews a central part of your focus. Especially if you are selling at a higher price point, reviews are absolutely the best way to build trust with potential buyers.
There have been a few studies done on the Etsy user-base that have shown reviews to be the #1 (by quite a margin) way to gain more sales. It’s an absolute must if you are serious about selling your work.
The simplest way to get a review? Talk to your customers about the process of working together. Sometimes people will be very open about things you can improve on...this is a great opportunity to take that advice and provide a better customer experience. Likewise, if the experience was positive, most customers are more than happy to leave a review.
I always make it a point to send a quick convo (conversation) through Etsy to all my customers after an order has been delivered. It’s simple and 99/100 customers appreciate the effort on your part.
About Jacob Smith
Jacob Smith is a designer and retoucher living in Chicago, Illinois. ProductViz is Jacob’s illustration studio, focusing on digital imagery and branding. Jacob has developed the Visual Intelligence method of presenting art. Visual Intelligence is the name coined to describe this process: turning a jpg (or other image file or your art) into a professional photograph in the context of a beautiful interior, gallery, or setting. www.productviz.com
By Aletta de Wal, Guest Blogger - “Can’t I just hire an agent who will sell whatever I paint and handle the negotiations, details, and paperwork?” In a word, no.
You are always in charge of your art business so you can hire anyone you want to but you, not they, are ultimately responsible for your art sales results.
There are people who can provide help for artists who want to sell their work and collectors who want to buy art, but they do not “take over,” nor should you want them to do so. Some of their services overlap but most have special talents and distinct specialties. Do your research on the person before you make the first contact to find out if they would be a good fit for you.
To assemble your dream sales team, begin by building a stellar career that indicates that you and your work are worth promoting. You cannot usually “hire” arts professionals; if they notice you enough, they make “take you on.” After all, they only make money if you have saleable art that people want to buy.
Titles can be confusing so here is a brief description of several different types of art sales professionals, as well as explanations of how they typically work and for whom.
Art advisors, also known as art consultants or art appraisers have in-depth knowledge of art, art history, and the art world.
Corporate Art Consultants
Some art consultants purchase or lease art for government departments, financial institutions, healthcare facilities and other business organizations in the public and private sectors.
Art curators advise private collectors, museums and sometimes galleries on acquisitions and loans of art. Art curators are similar to art advisors, but (like art appraisers) tend to have formal training and longer résumés.
Note: Art Advisors, Corporate Art Consultants, and Art Curators perform services for art collectors, corporate client, collectors, dealers and museum clients, not for artists, but they are always looking for artists and art that might fit their client base.
Art Licensing Agents
Art licensing agents represent artists whose work is leased by manufacturers for use on products. Art licensing agents may do some or all of the following tasks:
Select work that is appropriate for licensing.
Identify the appropriate retail channels.
Create a sales and marketing plan to promote the artwork.
Promote the art of their contacts in the market.
Negotiate licensing contracts and royalty payments.
Administer contracts for licenses.
Keep up to date on current licensing trends and themes.
Artist representatives are private dealers who represent artists (similar to how a music agent would represent a popular singer) by creating opportunities to sell artwork in exchange for a commission from the artist for each sale.
Artist representatives provide the following services for their artist clients and collector base:
Promote the artist to individual collectors and set up meetings where the artist can meet their collectors.
Advise collectors on the suitability of the artist’s work for their collection and on the value (and potential value) of the artist’s work.
Arrange and produce exhibits for the artist.
Work with the artist to place their art in galleries and museums.
Develop relationships with other art professionals, gallery managers, and owners, and use these relationships to promote the artist.
Work with big names in the art industry to sponsor and hold significant events.
Advise the artist on public relations, coordinate public relations for events and ensure that the artist participates in public relations as part of their marketing strategy.
Provide marketing services for the artist, issuing press releases or writing about the artist and their work.
Arrange promotional support and put together promotional materials that feature the artist and their work.
Gallery dealers are retailers who present quality works of art while guaranteeing its authenticity and archival quality. Dealers cultivate collections usually for a particular type of art. Their connections and relationships are as important as the art they collect. Dealers vary widely in how active a role they take in promoting individual artists and helping to develop their careers.
Gallery dealers and their staff provide the following services to their collector clients:
Share their expert knowledge with collectors.
Exhibit and store an inventory of specific artists or art periods.
Seek out and exhibit the work of artists whose art fits a specific niche audience.
Use a fixed exhibit space or a “pop up” temporary space to demonstrate their expertise and exhibit their art inventory in exchange for a commission percentage of each sale (typically 50%).
Promote selected artists’ work in order to attract new collectors to the gallery and increase sales.
Art Agents and Retailers
Be careful of offers to represent your work for a fee. There are many enterprising “vanity representatives” who charge an upfront fee for exhibits, online galleries and collector publications. This is certainly a valid retail business model but is not always guided by an experienced art professional. The value you receive from such an agreement may vary, but remember that most legitimate art professionals make their money through commissions on work sold, not shown.
And, while it is sometimes difficult to hold back (especially when you are enthusiastic about building your art career) next develop a relationship and get to know people you’d like to work with on a personal basis.
"If an artist is really ambitious, they have to ask themselves 'What is going to make me stand out?' The answer is always the same: great work.
The Internet hasn't changed everything. To have a real career as an artist you still need to find your way into the very intense hierarchy of the art world, and critics, curators, and collectors are still the gatekeepers of that world. They are going to find you if your work is outstanding.”
~John Seed, art explainer
So, show up at their events, but do not approach them as an artist who wants representation or introductions to their clients. Be part of the audience so you can understand whom they serve and whether their audience would be a fit for your art.
Aletta de Wal is the author of “My Real Job is Being an Artist”, she is a successful Artist Advisor and a Certified Visual Coach. Aletta de Wal inspires fine artists to make a better living making art in any economy.
Aletta works with part-time, emerging and full-time artists who are serious about a career in fine arts. Aletta makes make art marketing easier and the business of art simpler. Equal parts artist, educator, and entrepreneur, Aletta has worked with over 4000 artists in groups and 400+ individually.
Through her coaching, seminars, and books, artists in the vibrant online community learn to be focused, organized and confident in all art business matters. Her clients agree that she inspires them to do the work to be successful, provides the detail to take specific action and supports them through the ups and downs of life as a working artist. Her website is www.comistcareertraining.com.
In The Four Agreements, the bestselling book written by Don Miguel Ruiz, he reveals the ideals and tenets of the ancient Toltec wisdom and teachings.
The ancient Toltec people were located in Southern Mexico and they viewed science and spirit as part of the same entity. Their belief was that all energy, material or ethereal, was derived from and governed by the universe. The Toltec teachings were the basis of a way of life and a code of conduct for everyone to follow.
As artists, we can learn much from these Toltec traditions and apply Ruiz’s The Four Agreements to our art businesses. The Four Agreements are in Bold and are Ruiz’s statements, followed by how artists can incorporate these teachings into their art business.
1. “Be Impeccable with Your Word” – In all of your art business dealings say what you mean and mean what you say, as the truth will always prevail. This also holds true when you speak about yourself. We are our own worst critics and we can be brutal with ourselves. If we are not positive with ourselves how can we ever achieve anything worthwhile?
Listen to the “voice” and when it wants to take you down the wrong path or that voice wants you to feel bad about your art, gently correct the voice with your word and your truth that you are a good person, you are successful and that you are a talented artist.
2. “Don’t Take Anything Personally” – When we don’t get that important art exhibition, when we don’t make that certain sale or when we do not receive the recognition that we think we deserve, we take it personally. In those times, our voice begins to tell us all of the reasons why we don’t deserve to get what we want. In reality, those decisions and actions by others, that did not go your way, we're not about you.
Those actions were about them and their reality (whatever that was) and not about you. Once we realize that the opinions and actions of others have no importance to our true selves, we then will not needlessly suffer anymore. This realization then brings us back to our art and our creativity and the fact that we do not have to please others, only ourselves. This is a liberating experience and one that ends up being extremely good for our art!
3. “Don’t Make Assumptions” – When we get into a disagreement or misunderstanding with someone, we are making assumptions about what that person means, based on our beliefs and our experiences. During these times it is important to ask enough questions of the other person in order to clarify the true meaning of what they are trying to convey to you. It is communicating as clearly as possible, not only to understand that person but also to avoid future misunderstandings as well.
In addition, we also need to express our feelings, wants and needs of the other person, otherwise, both people will be making assumptions about the other and that will eventually lead to problems. An artist who does not assume what the other person means or wants should do well in their art business dealings, or at least, they should not have any misunderstandings, angry disagreements, and drama if communications were handled in this manner.
4. “Always Do Your Best” – Everyday we try to do our best in all our endeavors but, depending on circumstances, how we feel at the time and other influencers in our lives, our definition of doing our best will vary from day today. Because of the changes to our definition of the “best”, we then judge the past or project ourselves into the future. By just doing our best, regrets about the past and anxiety about the future are dissolved.
Just being the best artist we can be at that time, is all that we need to be. By accepting our definition of the best self-abuse and unhappiness disappears if we just do our best in each circumstance.
These Toltec statements and truths expressed by Ruiz are good for artists, for anyone in any business and in our personal lives too. We will be better artists and better people if we followed The Four Agreements in our daily lives, to the best of our abilities.