Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Business of Art? Not So Scary After All!

by Stephanie Allison
18 x 24 Oil
I've been spending a LOT of time lately on the Internet, reading all sorts of material on the art of marketing.  Some of it I sort of knew, but chose to ignore because it meant stepping out of my comfort zone and actually communicating with people! Not that I haven't talked to people about my art, I have...but I'm not good at it. At all.  My sales pitch most often goes something like: "Would you be interested in buying one of my paintings?  No?  Okay, thank you for your time." And then I would slink away feeling miserable. Or when someone asked "what do you do?" I would hesitate before saying "I'm an artist," as if I were ashamed.


Some of the changes I'm making are out of necessity (my recent retirement) and some are because I started thinking about the fact that I've been painting for years, selling more often than I realized, and, most importantly, I love it!  So why not focus on doing something I love and maybe actually make money at it? Like so many other artists, I thought art was something to do in my spare time; the real money came from having a real job. And maybe I can do this now because I am an empty nester (although my dogs and cats and husband might have a different opinion on that)--but one thing I'm learning is that you really can make a living from your art if you know how to do it--and you don't have to be famous! The key is finding out what you love to do, do it, and, most importantly, share it with others!


The Internet has made it so easy to connect with people and get your art out there.  It seemed scary, at first, and  overwhelming.  But I found a wonderful site, The Abundant Artist, that has been instrumental in helping me become more business savvy in terms of my art.  What did I learn? It's not that difficult!  Social media seems to be the key:  a website, a blog, and as many other social spots you can find: Facebook, Etsy, Pinterest.  So I've been ramping up my presence on those sites, and surprise! it's working.  No sales yet that I can link directly to my new efforts, but something even better:  I'm finding so many other artists out there who share my interests and some whose work is completely different, but fascinating to look at!  And by connecting with them, my own work is being seen more and I'm making like-minded friends.  That alone is worth the effort!

I'm still wading through a ton of information on art marketing, and I'll be glad to share in future posts.  Meanwhile, I'd love to know what the rest of you are doing to promote your art and whether or not it's working.  Feel free to comment  below!

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