I've recently learned that quite a few artists follow me on Instagram, which is SUCH a fun fact since I thought my following them was one sided. But considering I have this audience AND an informed point of view on the art buying process , I thought I’d share some unsolicited advice for artists who enjoy selling art.
Importantly, this is geared towards artists who are NOT represented by a gallery and who are effectively serving as their own agent in getting their artwork out there. It’s not easy. Hopefully these tips will lighten the load, and if you’re not in the mood for said advice/offended by my offering, CLOSE YOUR EYES. Otherwise:
1. On your website, clearly show available work with details - materials, dimensions, and pricing (if you can stand it).
This sounds obvious but it’s not done often. Sharing what work is available and what that work actually IS just makes it easier on the buyer. Bonus points for indicating whether its framed, where it’s located, and if it’s viewable in person. You wouldn’t see a clothing store keep sizing information to themselves, or hide their store locations RIGHT? People will be more likely to reach out when you make information readily available.
2. Organize available work on your site under one headline called "Available Work".
Again, this seems obvious but SO. MANY. times I see artwork organized by series name with sold and unsold pieces all together. This makes me so sad. If I’m discovering a new artist, I have no idea what these series names are and what they mean, and reading them across a 10+ long navigation bar does not make me curious. Put it all under "Available Work" and list the series name in the description if you want.
3. Avoid the "Contact Form".
Contact forms are rude. If someone is trying to learn about your artwork, throw them a bone and give an email address. Maybe even a phone number, an IG handle, and the city where you live while you're at it. The impersonality of a contact form is not enticing and when someone is inquiring about something as personal as art, it's just nice to be accessible.
4. Another note about pricing
I know many artists don't like to publish pricing. I've never understood why this is a secret but one fun fact is that I am SO MUCH more likely to source from galleries and artists that post their pricing on their website. Why? Because seeing the pricing saves me a ton of time and effort -- I no longer need to send an email or call (or God forbid submit a note through a contact form), wait for someone to check the pricing and get back to me (sometimes pricing is a secret internally too, apparently), and eventually get an image and details. I like efficiency and efficiency likes me.
I am not an expert in marketing for artists, and clearly none of this is required, BUT I do know a thing or two about art buying. And since we’re building this community to bridge the gap between artists and buyers and share artsy ideas and inspo, I’m hoping this furthers that goal. And artists: I'd love to hear from you! Are these tips helpful or useless? What challenges do you have with marketing your work and how we help!?