Whether you went to school for fine arts or are self-taught, you likely want to take your skills and talents to the next level. The stereotype of the "starving" artist can make you believe it is impossible to make a living from your art. With the right mindset and knowledge of how to diversify your talents, you can cash in as a professional artist.
Start Building Your Brand
Brand recognition is critical, especially for an artist. The more people recognize your brand, the more likely it is they will buy your work. You should start with a website as a way to showcase your portfolio. Since many of your pieces may be on a canvas or in another large format, you will need to rent or purchase a camera to capture clear pictures of your work. Make sure you take the time to place a watermark on your photos. Although this will not completely discourage copyright issues, it can help reduce theft.
Include a contact form on your website so it is easy for potential customers to ask you questions. You should also start building social-media accounts in relation to your business. Choose the best platforms to showcase your work, such as those that allow photographs and video. This is the fundamental setup to start networking and building an audience.
The power of networking, including business start-up connections, cannot be underestimated. A good place to begin is finding forums and groups related to the fine arts. Most communities will not allow you to directly market to other members of the community, but they may allow you to leave a link to your website in your signature. Try to find communities with other artists where you can showcase your latest piece. Just the act of showing off your latest project will make others curious about your work.
Be an active member in communities that are not directly related to art but are interesting to your. For example, you may enjoy baking desserts and have the opportunity to show off your hyper-realistic drawing of another group member's cake. Although it may sound silly, discreet ways of marketing yourself can help you establish professionalism and also build brand recognition, but this takes time and patience.
Teach Your Craft
Although teaching in-person classes may not be your forte, teaching in the online environment can be critical for marketing yourself as a fine artist. The most important reason for that is that online instruction can help you build an audience. Your audience is the people who will eventually invest in your business. Online instruction also helps you build credibility. Even if a painting took you days to complete, your showing your progress over several minutes at high speed is more important to your audience than a finished piece. Unfortunately, in the age of digital art and other tactics, it has become much easier to pass yourself off as an artist even if you have no skills or talent. Your audience wants to know how to complete a piece and techniques for using different media. Instead of always telling your audience what to do, show them.
Turn Your Audience into Investors
In the early stages of your fine-art business, even small contributions can mean you need fewer commissions to pay the bills and buy more supplies and that you can focus more on passive income strategies. A popular strategy once you have an audience is to use platforms that ask them for a small monthly contribution in exchange for a membership benefit. For example, some artists have tiers of membership, with which people at the introductory level may see a real-time version of their artwork being created. Otherwise, they would only have access to the sped-up version. As people pay for higher tiers of membership, you might offer a virtual critique of their work or several virtual critiques as they work on a single piece.
The initial stages of building a brand for your fine-art business can be the most challenging, but it can also open doors for other ventures in the future. Start by focusing on brand recognition and building an audience before leaping into more costly business ideas.Share
14 September 2016
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