6 Things You Can Do To Promote Your Art

As a working artist, it’s not enough to produce art. You need to promote it as extensively too.

13709852_10153785494502336_8274352929999571493_n
Facebook
GOOGLE
http://www.agora-gallery.com/advice/blog/2016/08/25/promote-your-art/
TWITTER
LINKEDIN

As a working artist, it’s not enough to produce art: you need to promote your art as well. Your artistic path may be more about your inherent need to create and leave your mark on the world. However, this won’t help introduce your work to the art community. Making sure that your work reaches the right audience and potential buyers is crucial to achieving success. If you don’t make an effort to get your work out there, no one will be able to tell you how much they love it – or purchase a piece.

Promoting your art should not feel overwhelming. You don’t have to do everything at once. In fact, one of the important things about successful promotion is that it is targeted to the specific aims you have in mind. This means that the very first step in promoting your art effectively is to decide what you want to achieve.

promote your art
Artist Madai Taylor discussing his work with gallery visitors.

If you have only just begun your art career, then you may want to concentrate on building up a reputation and a collector base in your local area. On the other hand, you may be ready to move on a national or international scale. Perhaps you want to make your mark within the community connected to your medium, or to develop the interest felt by people interested in the theme you specialize in. Evaluate your current position in terms of your art career and connections, and decide on the goals that you would like to achieve. Promote your art accordingly.

At Agora Gallery we understand that promotion is an aspect of an artist’s career that should develop all the time, just as the art itself does. Here are some tips from the experts at Agora Gallery on the best strategies to promote your art effectively.

#1 – Use Your Portfolio to Promote your Art

In developing a strong artist portfolio, your goal should be twofold. You should be able to both develop your brand and package your art. Your portfolio should make it easier for you to submit to competitions, post on your website and develop marketing material. One of the most important elements here is the visual reproduction of your art, as this will be what attracts the viewer and what he or she is most likely to be moved by.

promote your art
Gallery visitors examining an artist’s bio.

Here are some general guidelines for portfolio development:

  • Each high exposure photograph should be well executed and visually compelling. Remember, in marketing art it’s the visual that will count the most.
  • Each image should be accompanied by succinct and captivating text. Details such as size, media, and title should be included, as well as a brief description of the work. One of the best ways to catch a potential buyer’s interest is to tell the story behind the artwork.
  • A strong bio should also accompany the work. If you manage to get a potential buyer’s attention, they will almost always take a new interest in your work as well. Don’t be afraid to share your story: your background, how your art developed, what inspires you the most, and what you hope your art can give to the world.

Useful Article: How To Create A Professional Portfolio

#2 – Promote Your Art with a Strong Internet Presence

In every industry, digital marketing is becoming more and more relevant, and this is no different in the art world.

promote your art
Artist Riya Sharma in her studio.

Digital marketing can take several different forms:

  • Online galleries like ARTmine are becoming the norm and provide a great venue for promoting your art by attracting the attention of new collectors and art enthusiasts.
  • An art website or artist page on a popular website is also a must-have to promote your art. It provides an easy and convenient way for fans to find you online and view your latest work. Include the website’s address on your business cards, and in emails you send out to your mailing list.
  • Social media has become a powerful tool for both reaching new fans and staying in touch with established ones. Setting up business accounts/pages on such sites as Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest is a great way to generate and maintain interest in your work as it evolves.

Oresegun Olumide, a Nigerian artist, had not been very regular with posting his works on social media. However, once the hyper realist painter did become regular, his works went viral almost immediately. In February 2016, his imgaes on Facebook were shared over 50,000 times and he went from 800 followers on Instagram to more than 27,000. There are countless examples like this in every creative career. An internet presence can truly make a huge difference.

#3 – Art Competitions Can Promote Your Art

For the emerging artist, art competitions provide one of the most effective ways to gain exposure in the art world. In fact, art competitions are renowned for discovering and showcasing noteworthy emerging artists and even, sometimes, launching their careers. Here are some of the main benefits of art competitions:

  • Art competitions enable you to display your work among your peers. Experts agree that this is one of the best ways to push yourself as an artist. Any feedback you receive will give you new insight into your art and enable you to grow as an artist.
  • They get your work in front of gallerists, curators, and editors, who can in turn positively impact your career. In fact, winners of art competitions almost always benefit from extensive promotion efforts from the hosting gallery or organization.
  • Your work will receive invaluable visibility. Even if you don’t win, participating in the competition can yield dividends in terms of getting your work out there. In fact, this is considered one of the most cost-effective ways for beginning artists to gain valuable experience and build their resumes.
promote your art
Esther Huser, winner of Chelsea International Fine Art Competition, 2016

Choose which competitions to enter based on which would best aid your current career goals. If you are working on making a name for yourself in your medium and want to impress your fellow water color artists (for instance) then water color competitions might suit you best. Similarly, if you are interested in taking your career to the national or international level, competitions with awards which will help you do that are the most sensible to enter. The Chelsea International Fine Art Competition, which Agora Gallery sponsors every year, is a great example of a competition with awards which are designed to help artists to increase their exposure and develop their career.

#4 – Network, Network, Network

Building a robust network in the art world is one of the most effective ways to promote your art. In addition, a network can expose you to new art opportunities that you might not have otherwise known existed. There are a number of ways in for artists to promote their art through netwrking and building contacts.

promote your art
Nadia Lassman at her exhibition opening.

Art Organizations

Remember that your art is a business, and just like any business, networking is an important part of making your work relevant within the art community. . The best ways to network on a professional level is to become an active participant in art organizations. Not only will you be able to make friends who in themselves can become enthusiastic promoters of your art (and you for theirs), but these organizations offer a wide range of resources that can help strengthen your business model and give you support in promoting your work and building your brand as an artist.

Community Events

Locally hosted art fairs, street shows, and open studio events provide a unique opportunity for you to connect with other artists in your area. In addition, as you become a fixture at these types of events, you will build a presence in your community and start to be recognized as a local artist. Remember to also bring print materials like business cards and flyers to these events. Don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth – chat with people and if they are interested in your work, respond warmly.

Follow Up

Another important aspect of networking is following up with existing buyers. Your old clients know your work and have already expressed sufficient interest. Instruments like artist newsletters or even phone conversations can be used to keep them updated.

Don’t ignore the benefits of networking with artists, or putting time and effort into friendships with art professionals. The value of these relationships is obvious, from providing support and inspiration to introductions to key members of the art scene. At Agora Gallery, we frequently hear our artists talking enthusiastically about how the influence of the other artists they met at their opening receptions at Agora has impacted their work and their ideas.

#5 – Getting Active in the Community can Help Promote Your Art

When you volunteer to use your artistic abilities to benefit your community, you build your reputation as an artist and can gain unexpected opportunities to promote your work.

Some of the best types of community outreach include:

promote your art
Norwegian artist Lars Aukrust painting outdoors.
  • Charity events: Donate your work to a local charity auction, or volunteer your services at the event yourself.
  • Local schools: Volunteer your time to go into classrooms and teach students about your particular method of creating art. Teachers love to host visiting artists, and this is a great opportunity to build your reputation in the community.
  • Community projects: Many towns and cities are taking art to the streets via community mural projects. Volunteer your skills and expertise and you will leave a visual reminder of your presence in the community.

Remember, a critical part of promoting your art is about taking advantage of unexpected opportunities as they come up. If you are painting as part of a charity event or working en plein air in the local park and someone approaches you and inquires about your art, take that opportunity to give them your business card and perhaps even add them to your mailing list.

#6 – Finding the Help to Promote your Art

If all this seems a bit overwhelming to you, know that there is help out there. Promotional galleries like Agora are attractive to artists for precisely this reason. Working with us can be an effective way to strengthen areas of your marketing plan that you feel less confident about.

Some of the services we offer our represented artists are:

  • Press Releases and Artist Statements: We have a staff of professional writers who are able to develop compelling content focusing on your work and on you as an artist. We can also promote your art in our biannual publication ARTisSpectrum Magazine.
  • Digital Representation: We have two well-established gallery websites agora-gallery.com and ARTmine where we can feature your work in a sales-oriented forum. You will have your own URL connected with our site that you can link to on your website and on any social media forums you are active in.
  • Advertising Exhibitions: Promotional representation includes participation in a collective exhibition with an opening reception. We will help with the development and distribution of online exhibit announcements and also other promotional media surrounding this event.
promote your art
The Agora Gallery, Chelsea

Remember, the world needs to recognize your art and you as an artist. Paying attention to the promotion of your art can help you reach the right audience that will benefit from getting to know you as an artist.

Tell us how you promote your art! How has promotion online or in the community helped the advancement of your career?

This post is also available in: Spanish

33 comments

  • From my experience of running an online art marketplace, I can tell you that the biggest issue I see with artists is that they are intimidated by the sheer fact of building an online presence.

    I would suggest start out small. Build your own Facebook page and start displaying your works there. Add family and friends to the page. Art is a medium that people really appreciate, especially people close to you. Build that confidence first.

    Then slowly venture into the realm of website creation and other social media. Position yourself well, it is important to invest in your own branding. This is a fantastic guide, I need not add more.

  • Thanks for sharing it, I am looking for this kind of stuff on Internet, finally found it here with the full guide and keep writing.

  • hi
    I am Kenny and I am running art centre with lots of different artists in SA . I just want to know how can I feature the beautiful work of my artists?

    • Hi Kenny,

      Have you thought about creating a Facebook page to showcase the works of your artists? You can look through some of our other tutorials on the blog about promoting art on Facebook.

  • Dear Agora Experts,
    I live in Australia and want to help promoting an artist from my birth country Romania. I love his work, but I would very much appreciate your expertise in evaluating a talent.
    An advice would be much appreciated
    Cristina Telechi Pavalache

  • Many thanks from Germany…

  • Hi – I liked the article very much. It helps a lot. I promote my art by my website (www.susannefritsch.de) und by mails. Sometimes I make flyers to my exhibitons. 3-4 I have a year. Once a year I make an exhibiton in my home with my paintings and my painted sculptures (chairs, commodes and other things…) too.
    I paint since 17 years and made 50 exhibitions.
    I would like to come to NY , but I think to fly with the paintings will be to expensive ….
    Perhaps later ….
    I have seen the gallery 2012 when I was in NY – fantastic…!!1

  • I agree…thanks for compiling this advice into a concise lesson.
    I’m in Ottawa,Ontario, Canada. I’ve been exhibiting my paintings(oils and watercolours) for the past 38 years. I’m mostly a landscape painter and have shown my work successfully in galleries across Canada, but also in Japan and Italy.
    Although, I’ve shown some pretty important galleries across Canada and I’m in some pretty important collections, I’m still waiting to be “discovered”. Galleries, in my past, have approached me but I’m always suspicious of their motives. For example, one gallery in Vancouver said that they wanted to carry my oils but discovered that what they really wanted was to charge me for framing my paintings, and then keep them in storage until I asked for them to be returned. In order to get them back, I had to pay for the framing job AND for the shipping back to me. Sure, I sold them myself within a month or two, to my own clients, but I was “out-of-pocket” expenses to retrieve them from Vancouver.
    I would appreciate your thoughts. By the way, I did visit Agora Gallery, when I was in NYC last Summer and had a very good first impression.
    Sincerely

    • Dear David,
      Have you considered using Social Media to promote your art further? It is becoming increasingly popular and in fact important for artists today.
      Also, if you would like to know more about representation at Agora Gallery, please visit our website for more information.

  • Thank you for so brilliant POST. I am drawing a lot of pictures, but doesn’t have idea how to promote
    them I feel like in dark forest or watch puzzle front me. At the present moment i found the great and
    successful 6 ways of promotion and my PUZZLE turned on in CLEAR WAY!!!

    Regards,
    Leor Maxwell
    Abstract Artist
    Fine Photographer

  • Thank you from Seattle. Much of what you wrote I try to practice! I just started selling my metal sculpture in January of this year 2016. The response has been wonderful. As I slowly further my involvement in promotion and networking and funding I will keep your services close in mind !
    Thanks!
    Kevin
    http://www.KevinAMooreStudio.com

  • Thank you for your valuable article! It helps a lot!

  • Thank you for your valuable article!

  • This post is a priceless resource for artist. I learned a lot and will be incorporating a lot of what has been advised in your article.

    http://www.jean-baptiste.com

  • I would add Artblr.com as a good social media to promote our art.

  • Thanks for sharing. In addition to these wonderful ideas, I thought about building a community of introducing artists and their amazing artwork by some people who can write about them. I just started my art blog: artwellprinted.com and have been sharing some articles and I’ll be posting about interesting artists soon. I really hope we all can introduce hidden artists worldwide.

  • Very good tips for artists/art gallery marketing!
    Thanks a lot!

  • it is nice

  • Hi Agora team, Thank you for these great articles, I particularly like the ones on donations and teaching children. I occasionally get asked to donate paintings to charity and am happy to do so, however I don’t always ask for promotion or a reserve price for auction, this is great advice. I also get a lot of joy out of teaching and am about to take this up again. In 2012 I was asked to exhibit with Agora Gallery and my art and my self belief sky rocketed to be showing in New York! I have since shown in Miami and Italy, and of course, Australia. After appearing in a TV episode of Colour In Your Life here in Oz, my career has blossomed once again, with workshops all over the country, and You Tube episodes in the pipeline . I am deeply thankful that after showing with Agora I feel confident in myself and my art career. Thank you.

    • Lyn,

      It’s great to hear of your continued success! We loved having your works in the gallery, and it’s really wonderful to know that we were able to contribute to your recent successes. Be sure to stop by Agora Gallery next time you are in New York; we’d love to catch up with you!

  • Hi AgoraExpert.
    Thanks for your advices but I’m afraid it’s only good for those artists equipped with an outgoing personality. What about those artists who are socially-challenged like my spouse? I would like to help him promoting his oil painting pieces or his art photos but he is your typical cliché artist with mood swings and temperamental, period of frustration with period of great production. He has misbelieves on his own work. It took years before I finally convinced him to build his web site and have a facebook page.
    Is there anybody out there that can post me some suggestions?
    Thank you

    • Hi Louis,

      Of course, many artists have very different temperaments, and their marketing strategies have to be modified to suit them. Your spouse is lucky to have you helping him with his web presence. Many artists who do not like talking about or promoting their own work often hire outside agents to do this. Or, of course, they ask their loved ones for help in this area.

      Your spouse may benefit from having an agent or gallery representing him and his work. This takes the promotion out of the artists’ hands and frees them up to only work on their artwork.

  • Hi, Please send me some information about the membership. Thanks.

  • Thanks a million for these tips. Many artists are very ignorant of these ideas.

    • Your welcome! I am glad that you benefited from the advice. 🙂

Join the discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *