If you are going to sell your art it would be useful to know who your art is really for. That way you can concentrate you marketing and promotions efforts on the people most likely to buy it. Is your art for the locals in your town? art collectors? industry bigwigs? home decorators? cat owners? football fans? sci-fi geeks? tourists?
Define your audience
Make another list of where and how you might be able to meet these kind of people.
Actually use your list and get out there and talk to people.
When you are out and about take note of any unexpected audiences for your art and adjust your list and strategy accordingly as you go.
For instance, if you are hunting the top-end of town money people who can afford your rare and beautiful art you are going to have to think of how you can reach them personally and strike up some kind of personal connection. Are they business owners? Then try and infiltrate a large business networking meeting. Are they rich ladies of leisure? Then attend charity fund-raisers where these people flock and are looking to chat with other people. When you start thinking about it there are probably lots of opportunities for you to get out there with your art.
“But Stuart”, I hear some of you say “I’m quite shy, and I don’t like talking about my art, I just like people to see it and let it speak for itself”. If thats how you feel I suggest you get over yourself pretty quickly. Nobody is going to turn up to your exhibition unless they somehow get to know about you and your art in some way. In my experience when you are just starting out the personal approach works wonders.
As George Michael sang…”You gotta have faith-a-faith-a-faith!” (baby)
When talking to people you have to believe that your art is good and important in some way. You must have an unshakeable faith and have confidence that what you have created is valuable if you expect others to place value on it. There is no room for shrinking violets here. It’s not just an art exhibition, this is show business!.
My wife is the most brilliant example of a ‘reflexive networking promoter’ I’ve ever seen. She’ll just sit down somewhere and before you know it she’s chatting to the people at the next table and inviting them to be on her exhibition invitation list. How does she do this? She is genuinely interested in other people, absolutely loves them, and has an unshakeable faith in her art and enthuses others with her passion.
When faced with filling an empty exhibition venue with a crowd some beginner exhibition artists come up with the brilliant idea, “I know, I’ll invite all my friends along and then I’ll instantly have a huge crowd, and because they know me they’ll buy my art”. Beware, your friends and family are not your real audience, at least not if you intend on having an ongoing profitable art career.
In my experience all your friends will do is come to your exhibition, tell you how clever you are, eat all your food and drink all your alchohol! Yes, you’ll have a great party, but you are potentially setting yourself up for double dissapointment because nobody buys your art, and all your friends see that nobody bought your art.
There is wisdom in the quote “a prophet is not recognised in his own land”. Do yourself a favour and actually invite people who have the means to appreciate and buy your art from outside your immediate social circle.