Tips, Tips, Tips for Artists

February 17, 2011

Remember who you are: don’t try to be someone you’re not, EVER!

What’s your brand? How do people identify you or what you make? How is that different from what’s out there already?  This is your brand.

Always get GREAT photography of your work. Don’t let poor snaps portray your work.  You want the best presentation at all times.  This is critical.

Have business cards everywhere you go.  No exceptions.

Show your best work only. Don’t ever throw in that piece you did as a student or whipped out just to “have enough pieces” to show.   This works against you.

Never apologize for your work. Never point out flaws.  Never mention “this is an old piece”.  It isn’t old to your viewer.  Don’t taint your own work.

Always present and finish your work professionally. A great painting in a salvaged frame so you could cut costs isn’t a great idea.  I’ve actually seen artists do this thinking it’s just fine… what?  As a buyer,  I don’t want to pay for your moldy frame!  I’d rather get my own frame then, thank you very much.  If you’re doing this sort of thing, ask yourself why you’re sabotaging your own work?  Figure it out.

Know the value of your work: all of your experience to this point has gone into each piece.  That is your life and it must be worth something, right?

Make a good impression. Always put your best foot forward: contact people in person, call if you can’t do that.  Email as a last resort wherever possible.  Do what you say you’re going to do.  If you can’t do it, don’t say you will! The complaint I hear most often about artists is that they don’t follow through.

Pricing: ask what you believe it’s worth.  It should cover your cost of materials and your time.  Pay yourself a salary.  It’s okay to make money on what you create.

Pricing Again: This is a fluid subject.  There is no simple formula because most art work is one-of-a-kind original work.   There is a market for everything and if it’s not selling in a particular venue your choices are to go somewhere else or re-price the work.  I would go somewhere else first. Dropping the price of a work creates a perception of de-valuation.



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