Painting can be an oasis of calm in a hectic world. I get so much satisfaction from simply being in the creative space and making a nice painting that when I do sell a painting, the sale is actually just the icing on what's already a very tasty cake. However, if I don't put on my marketing hat as well, there will inevitably be a log jam of paintings cluttering the studio, and that doesn't feel good.
The emotional reward of having someone appreciate my painting so much that they decide to swap it for some of their hard earned cash (ie, their time; a portion of their life) is a very real encouragement and impetus to create more paintings. So what sort of things do I think about when I put on my marketing hat? Wellll, there's a lot.
Here are 6 steps you can take to sell more paintings...
STEP 1 : Assess your current situation.
Take a look at your existing inventory and evaluate the quality and style of your work. Consider what changes you can make to improve the appeal of your paintings.
Assessing the quality and style of your paintings involves examining several key elements of your work, including:
Composition: Look at the overall composition of your painting, including the placement of elements, the use of color, and the balance of positive and negative space. Consider whether the composition is effective in conveying the mood or message you intended.
Technique: Evaluate your use of brushwork, texture, and other technical skills. Consider whether your technique enhances the composition and overall impact of your painting.
Subject matter: Consider whether your subject matter is interesting and relevant to your target audience. Is it unique or does it stand out from other similar works?
Emotional impact: Think about how your painting makes you feel and whether it has the power to evoke emotions in others. Consider whether the painting is engaging and memorable.
Consistency: Look for patterns and themes in your work, and consider whether you have a consistent style and approach to your painting. A consistent style and approach can help establish your brand and increase recognition among potential buyers.
You can also seek feedback from others, such as fellow artists, friends, or art enthusiasts. Ask for constructive criticism and be open to suggestions for improvement. Consider taking courses or workshops to improve your skills and gain new perspectives on your work. eg. Find Your Style in 7 Days.
STEP 2 : Build your online presence
Building an online presence can help you reach a wider audience and sell more paintings.
Create a professional website: Your website should showcase your portfolio of work, include biographical information, and provide contact information. Make sure your website is visually appealing, easy to navigate, and optimized for search engines. I use and recommend www.fineartstudioonline.com
Use social media: Create profiles on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to promote your work and engage with your audience. Share images of your paintings, behind-the-scenes footage, and updates on your exhibitions and events.
Participate in online communities: Join online communities related to art and connect with other artists, art enthusiasts, and potential buyers. Share your work, participate in discussions, and engage with others in the community.
Optimize your online content: Make sure your online content, including images of your paintings, is high quality and optimized for search engines. Use keywords related to your work, such as your medium, subject matter, and location, to make it easier for potential buyers to find you online.
Utilize email marketing: Build an email list of people who are interested in your work and send them regular updates about your latest paintings, exhibitions, and promotions.
Leverage the power of video: Create short videos showcasing your work and the process of creating your paintings. Share these videos on social media and your website to give potential buyers a more personal and in-depth look at your work.
STEP 3 : Build your offline presence
Networking and reaching out to potential buyers is an important part of selling your paintings.
Attend events and exhibitions: Attend art fairs, exhibitions, and other events where you can meet potential buyers in person. Take the opportunity to network, introduce yourself and your work, and make new connections. Although daunting, this can actually be one of the most fun parts of being an artist.
Connect with art galleries: Consider reaching out to local art galleries to see if they would be interested in representing your work. You can also research galleries that specialize in the type of art you create and reach out to them.
Consider other outlets: Cafe's and specialty stores can be good places to place artwork and adverts, especially if you form a good relationship with the owners, who will then be more comfortable talking about you and your work with customers.
Ask for referrals: Ask friends, family, and current customers for referrals. Word of mouth is a powerful tool, and people are often only too happy to help out creatives like yourself. Written referrals can be used online but also in offline promotional material.
STEP 4 : Price your work appropriately
Research the prices of similar paintings and make sure your pricing reflects the value of your work. Be open to negotiating, but don't undervalue your work.
STEP 5 : Email marketing
Building an email marketing list is a great way to connect with potential buyers and promote your paintings. Here are some steps to help you build an email marketing list:
Add a sign-up form to your website: Make sure your website includes a sign-up form for your email list. Make it easy for people to subscribe by keeping the form simple and straightforward.
Offer a sign-up incentive: Offer a special promotion or discount to people who sign up for your email list. This can be a great way to encourage people to give you their email address.
Collect email addresses at events: Whenever you attend art fairs, exhibitions, or other events, make sure to collect email addresses from people who express an interest in your work.
Utilize social media: Promote your paintings on social media and encourage your viewers to become followers. You can also use social media to drive traffic to your sign-up form on your website.
Ask for referrals: Ask friends, family, and current customers for referrals. Word of mouth is a powerful tool, and people are often happy to help artists they admire.
Offer exclusive content: Provide exclusive content to your email subscribers, such as behind-the-scenes footage, sneak peeks of upcoming work, and early access to new paintings.
Make sure to send regular, relevant content to keep your subscribers engaged and interested in your work.
STEP 6: Seek feedback and continually improve
Seeking feedback and continually improving your paintings is an important part of the artistic process.
Ask for feedback from others: Seek out the opinions of other artists, art enthusiasts, and potential buyers. Ask for constructive criticism and be open to new ideas and perspectives.
Join an art group or workshop: Consider joining an art group or workshop where you can receive feedback from other artists and instructors. This can be a great way to learn new techniques and receive constructive criticism.
Attend online or offline critique sessions where you can receive feedback on your work from other artists and art professionals. This can be a great way to get an objective perspective on your work. Get an online critique from me here: https://mypaintingclub.com/lessons/220-Critique-Service
Review your own work: Regularly review your own work and critically assess what you like and what you would like to improve. Consider keeping a journal to track your thoughts and ideas.
Experiment with new techniques: Try out new techniques and styles to expand your artistic skills and keep your work fresh. Don't be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and try new things.
By seeking out feedback and continuously experimenting and improving, you can grow as an artist and create work that resonates with your audience.
Of course, you may be one of those rare and beautiful individuals who doesn't need the encouragement of sales to be fulfilled in your endeavours. Personally, it's a big part of it for me. Perhaps it stems from my encouraging parents, always quick to praise. Perhaps it's just that I enjoy food. Whatever it is for you, I hope you find some of that helpful or encouraging.