Top 10 Tips to Grow Your Art Business
“Art Business” is not an oxymoron. Artists can plan to make a living doing what they love, with
some simple business tips.
- Be Visible. Whether you work out of your home studio or have a place in a gallery downtown, your artwork must be visible – and you should be, too. Plan to have “gallery hours,” when they are open to the public. Participate in the community shows where you can both display your art and demonstrate your process.
- Be Accessible. Have business cards, photo cards, and flyers, and place them everywhere that will let you. Make your name (or your business name) easy to remember.
- Be On the Internet. Have a website. Register a domain name. Even if it is a free blog-style site, put yourself and your artwork on the Internet. Many artists sell more work online than from a studio. Investigate eBay and other online sales portals as a way to display and sell your art to the world. Document your daily art routine, complete with pictures. Your patrons will be more likely to purchase your art if they can witness the creation.
- Be Involved. Join art groups to both network with similar artists and to become known in the art community.
- Be Charitable. Strategically donate art for worthy causes. If you can get exposure for your art at an event, and if the “final product” results in a prominent display of your work in a public space, use this opportunity as “free” advertising.
- Be Festive. Participate in local fairs and festivals that encourage artists to display and sell works. [Note, however, the difference between “professional” and “amateur” events, so you are not mistaken for a talented amateur instead of a paid professional.]
- Be Instructive. Supplement income and build a following for your art medium by teaching classes. This gets your name in the community, as well as examples of your artwork displayed.
- Be a Partner. A business partnership with a like-minded or aligned artist can increase your visibility and patron base while allowing you to more effectively leverage your business dollars.
- Be Realistic. Artists can have great creative ideas but might need a reality-check on a risky business idea. Find a friend who can help you weigh the pros and cons of new ideas before you invest, and be sure you have a plan to overcome obstacles.
- Be an Artist. Don’t forget why you started your business – don’t get so wrapped up in the “business” that you forget to MAKE ART!