Two of the most common adjectives attached to artists are “struggling” and “starving,” even if people like them put their heart and soul into their work and do not get the kind of recognition they deserve during their lifetime, especially in the financial department. But, why is this? Is it common for artists to be underpaid? One of the reasons could be that they don’t know how to market themselves.
But why are some people capable of making a proper living wage working as full-time artists? Well, some of them have galleries and curators representing them. Some are also good at marketing. But for some artists, a talent in creating and a talent in marketing themselves don’t go well together.
The Art of Marketing Art
Most artists are indeed underpaid, causing them to be starving and financially struggling. But the reason they are not skilled at marketing themselves is a myth that needs to be debunked, especially with the number of strategies they can do to get their names out there. Here are some of them:
This is easier said than done because some artists are also known to be introverted people. But, having a circle of like-minded individuals from your art school or your local art scene isn’t that difficult. You’re probably wondering how this can help you if you’re in a circle of other people who are also probably starving and struggling. Well, they can help by advertising you through word-of-mouth and getting you to become more sociable. And that brings us to the next marketing strategy.
Expand your social circle
Once you’ve gotten out of your shell and have some connections, then you can let your circle grow bigger and expand your market more. It’s essential to have a network outside of your circle by being involved in different communities and groups. Among these people, you’ll meet people who may not be notorious art lovers or collectors but would still want to support you in different ways.
Keep expanding your social circle
Yes, we are on the third tip, and so far, it seems repetitive for an average reader while it keeps getting scarier for an introverted artist. For this one, we mean for you to expand it digitally. There are various social media that you can use as platforms to get a following. If you’re willing to spend a little, you can also buy a domain and create your website.
If you’re not very skilled at this, you can always hire or partner up with a reliable web design and development company to make your website reflect the kind of artist you are.
Increase your visibility
People love mystery. If you’re the kind who is a mysterious person, then it could be good for your image since artists are also known to be recluses. But don’t overdo it to the point that you forget about the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd tips.
You can go to a friend’s art exhibit, meet people and potential connections. Or you can also utilize your social media and website. Keep posting photos of your process and recent work. Instagram and Twitter would be perfect. Make sure to use the appropriate hashtags so you can outsmart the social media algorithm. Don’t forget a caption that shows your personality; put your feelings about your current projects and other topics of interest.
Having a blog and regularly maintaining it would be extra work, but it also wouldn’t hurt to have one because it would add more to your visibility.
Send out newsletters
Once you’ve already identified and found your connection and market, it would be amazing to let them in what’s new with you. Sure, you’re already doing that with your social media, but people would appreciate something more personalized. Make sure that it doesn’t sound robotic so that your newsletters wouldn’t go to the Spam or Trash and that you find some time to respond if they replied.
Break Out of the Starving and Struggling Artist Stereotype
In people’s minds, there is an image of an artist that exists. It can be funny, but if you think about it, they are stereotypes. Yes, many artists fit in the mold of this image, and some even romanticize fitting in that stereotype. But it’s time for you to break the cycle. Would you want to be the next Vincent Van Gogh, who only got the recognition he deserves posthumously, or be Andy Warhol, who was rich and famous while still alive?
Your answer should be the latter. But a better answer is “no” because you don’t have to be the next version of someone else. You would want to be you, a talented and financially stable artist.