Thursday, April 17, 2008

Selling art - artists perspective

Check out this article from Businessweek that talks about "Best Practices for Artists" from interviews with artists themselves. Interesting business advice for painters, sculptors, photographers, craftspeople and more

View Best Practices for Artists Slideshow

Read business advice for artists article

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Networking for Artists

Meeting people. One of the most important elements to success in your endeavor of promoting and selling your art.

Of course, one can meet many friends and family, but these contact can go just so far. You have to get out there and meet NEW PEOPLE to get your stuff known.

It's quite difficult to just jump into a room full of people you don't know and engage in conversation, but it's essential to do so in order to further your artwork. This art of meeting new people is commonly referred to as "networking".

Why is networking great for artists?
Remember: it's not who you know that counts in the end, it's who knows you! If you make a sufficient impression on somebody, they will be able to think of you when some kind of opportunity arises within their activities.

Once you develop your network (which will surely be filled with like-minded people as well as more business-oriented contacts), they will be able to refer you to potential clients. Think of it as your own marketing team always ready to promote your artwork and abilities to interested parties.

Where to network
This word of mouth can be accomplished in many different ways, you can physically meet people at events, virtually meet them online or through contacts of contacts.

Great places to network include:
  • Museums in your home town
  • Art associations
  • Art-related events and conferences
  • Seminars
  • Galleries (especially during art openings)
  • Alumni associations
  • Online forums
  • Blogging
  • Other social websites

Networking etiquette

Before the event
Once you have identified a good event to attend, you must prepare for it:
  • Dress appropriately for the venue
  • Bring business cards (note your contact info and website address on them)
  • Have a goal (so that you can then identify if you have succeeded in accomplishing it - measuring your effectiveness)
  • Eat prior to the event
During the event
Once you arrive, the fun really starts. But keep in mind the following tips:
  • Be polite and relaxed
  • Don't hesitate to someone who seems alone. Or join the conversation of a group of three other people (it is much more difficult to jump into a two-way discussion)
  • Ask open questions (not "yes" or "no" questions)
  • Keep conversations short and sweet
  • Offer to exchange business cards at the end of the conversation
  • Don't eat too much of the food or drink too much wine
After the event
Once the event is over doesn't mean the networking is over:
  • Take notes about event participants (on their business cards)
  • Follow up with interesting contacts by email or phone the next day
  • Plan to meet at least one new contact for a coffee
  • Find another event to attend


Networking might seem hard at first, but once you get the hang of it (and start recognising familiar faces at events) it becomes more natural.

As an artist, you probably are more introverted and fear rejection a bit more than the rest of the population because your art is often very close to your heart. But if you get over your fear of rejection, you art business (because as an artists, you are in the business of selling your art) will benefit immensely from the word of mouth that networking provides.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

International ExpoArt Festival of Montreal

I just found out about a new art event in Montreal's Old Port: ExpoArt Montreal.

This high profile outdoor artistic and cultural exhibition presents more than 600 artworks from national and international artists and hopes to become an internationally renowned yearly event recognized by the art world.

Probably a great place to network or get inspired for local artists!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Is being an artist and being an entrepreneur different?

Bill Strickland, an entrepreneur from Pittsburgh, was recently quoted in "FastCompany Magazine" of saying the following: "Artists are by nature entrepreneurs, they're just not called that (...) They have the ability to visualize something that doesn't exist (...) Entrepreneurs do that. That's what makes them different from businesspeople".

I suggest you reflect upon this citation and re-evaluate your relationship with being in your own business as an artist.

Check out the full article at

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Adobe Lightroom Beta

If you're a photographer, chances are that you use Photoshop to organize and optimize your photos. And if you were a windows user, you couldn't have access to Adobe's new "Lightroom Beta" program. Well, you don't have to wait any more! Check out to download it to your PC! (note that it is in beta and not the full version yet)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Are you on yet?

A recent study by the Globe and Mail shows that, the social networking site, has surpassed Google and Yahoo! as the most popular site on the Internet. (check out this article in MarketingVox for the complete article).

MySpace is a great place to promote your artwork, there are actually a couple of virtual groups dedicated to visual arts! Who knows who you might meet... A interested buyer, perhaps?

What does this mean? If you are an artist and don't have a MySpace Profile Yet, Sign up now and build your online network! At a minimum, it will be another page with your name on it on the world wide web - and more visibility will definitely help you sell your art.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Pricing artwork for success part 1: How not to lose money as an artist

When considering how to price your work, you must start with a basic thought in mind: you must not be loosing money in this proposition. If creating your piece of art costs more than what you sell it for, you're art career won't last very long!

Let's pretend we're businesspeople and evaluate this with numbers only. There are two types of expenses: variable expenses and fixed expenses.

Variable expenses
are different depending on the amount of artwork you create. For example, if you're a painter, each painting you create will require more paint, another canvas and more time.

Fixed expenses don't depend on the quantity of art you produce. This generally includes rent, phone, internet, advertisement costs, insurance, professional fees (your accountant and/or lawyer), taxes, etc... Fixed expenses roughly correspond to your regular cost of living.

Now, the most important equation: your expenses (variable and fixed) must not exceed your revenues (achieved by selling your artwork)!!

Now, let's put this into perspective with an example.

Let's say that you're able to sell 40 pieces of art in a year and that your yearly fixed expenses are 10 000$. If the cost of creating each artwork sets you back by about 50$ (50$ x 40 pieces = 2000$), your yearly expenses equal 12 000$. Now, divide your total yearly expenses by the number of sales per year (12 000$ / 40 sales = 300$/sale). The quotient of this equation is the MINIMUM PRICE you should sell each item. If you price your art lower than 300$, you will be LOOSING MONEY.

Not losing money is of extreme importance, and recognizing this is the first step towards effectively pricing your art. Join me in a few days for part two of "pricing artwork for success"!