Insider Tips on Exhibiting and Selling Your Art

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Tips for Promoting Your Art

Showing Your Art

As an artist you want to create and be proud of the things your hands can do with paint, clay or wire. You want people to love what you do and pay money for a piece of your handiwork. The problem is the distance between your art and the public. If they don’t know about how fabulous your designs are, how can they buy them?

A good starting place is to look for alternative places to display your work. Ask at locally owned restaurants and check with the professionals you do business with – your doctor’s office, the dentist, law offices, private clubs, churches, and bookstores.

Label Clearly

One of the benefits to having your work in public places is to get your name out there. But you can’t do that unless you are deliberate about placing your contact info. After clearly stating that your work is for sale, prominently display the following;

  • Title
  • Your Name
  • Phone number
  • Email
  • Website

Restaurant Displays

The restaurant I deal with frequently began inviting artists to display so that their walls wouldn’t be bare. They get free decor and the artists get free publicity. This has turned out to be a very wise decision for them. Every time an artist shows their work, they invite their family and friends to check out their show so new customers are continually walking through this restaurant’s door.

  • Introduce yourself to the restaurant staff. Be friendly and give them a little information about the art and show them where your business cards are located. The truth is, people buy art from artists that they like. If the wait staff has nothing nice to say about you, then you are already behind in the game.
  • Offer a commission on any sale that comes your way because of their effort. The staff will become surprisingly helpful after the first sale.

Local Businesses

Contact local business owners. Create new places to show your art and get more involved in your community. Rather than having to follow certain rules regarding how your art is shown, you have more control.

  • Negotiate with the business owner and make the deal advantageous for both of you. At the same time, you will have more responsibility for getting the informal shows known.
  • Send out notices to all of your contacts and be excited about having them check out the exhibit.
  • Ask them for feedback and learn from these early exposures. It will serve you well as you approach other venues.

Often times, the local business will be game to having their facility used for an art show if the idea is proposed to them correctly. Be sure to explain how you will be bringing new people to their facility and will be submitting press releases and getting their name out their along with yours. News coverage could even be possible. The media is always looking for good public interest stories. Exhaust your resources. Be proactive and well prepared.

Charity Events

Another idea for breaking into the art world is to donate a piece of art to local charity events. But don’t just give it and disappear. Use this as another platform to establish your name in the public eye.

These events are attended by people who are interested in buying items to help the charity. You will become associated with the charity and that could lift your status in the public eye.

  • Again have your information clearly displayed and be sure your name is on your artwork.
  • Submit a bio for the auctioneer and be yourself. That might be simplistic advice, but nameless pieces have been donated and it’s difficult for the busy auctioneer to try to come up with something to say for a piece without any information submitted.