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How Artists Actively Promote Their Work

Barb appreciates and helps to promote local art in California, especially in San Luis Obispo County. She visits local art galleries often.

Learn how to market and promote your artwork with the advice in this article. Professional artists are interviewed, and their insights shared.

Learn how to market and promote your artwork with the advice in this article. Professional artists are interviewed, and their insights shared.

Learning How Successful Arts Promote their Work

An effective way to learn how to promote your artwork is to ask successful artists how they market their work. Since I have met a number of successful artists in the past two years, I decided to ask them to share their methods. I will combine what I have learned from them and my own research to give you some useful art marketing tips.

In the video above, I've asked one of my favorite artists, Laure Carlisle how she has promoted her work. She has been an artist for about 30 years. I met her right after Studios in the Park in Paso Robles opened in 2009. She was one of the few original artists at Studios on the Park but has finally moved into a studio closer to her home.

In the video, she explains the costs associated with entering art shows, how she exhibits her paintings in a local restaurant and how that happened, how allowing returns has clinched some sales, how she got licensing work, what to include on a website, and how she successfully uses rack cards she designed on Zazzle to market her work.

Laure Carlisle Explains How She Markets Her Art

Near the end of this article, I included a video interview with Anne Laddon, founder of Studios on the Park. She gives tips on choosing a gallery, pricing your work for your market, and being businesslike, as well as other advice for beginning artists.

Meet Anne Laddon, Founder of Studios on the Park

Anne Laddon in her studio, December, 2011/

Anne Laddon in her studio, December, 2011/

Advice From Other Artists

In the past three weeks, I've spoken to many of the artists at Studios on the Park in Paso Robles about how they market their work. They all agree that you need to learn your skills very well before you start trying to market them. Most suggest that you join a local artists group, such as your area's art association. The input from other artists may help you determine when you are ready to enter juried exhibits where your work can be seen and judged.

Renée Besta, a photographer I talked to at Studios on the Park, cautioned people against exhibiting their work in "vanity" galleries that anyone can exhibit in for a steep price and a steep commission. Because there is no standard of quality, you may not be in good company and the gallery might not attract the sort of art patrons you want to see your work.

Almost everyone I talked to mentioned the importance of being businesslike. If you are a professional artist, you need to be professional in the way you conduct your business. In the video below, Anne Laddon stresses this. If you want to get your work into a real gallery or art exhibit, do your homework, as Anne suggests.

First, find a gallery where your work would fit well. Anne Laddon mentions how to determine this in the video. Once you have targeted a gallery, find out what they require before they will exhibit your work. Have a CD with some of your best work, a professional resume, and anything else the gallery requires. You can usually find out what a gallery requires on its website or by calling them.

The important thing is to make sure your work is seen. If you cannot yet get into a gallery, participate in some of the events in your community where artists and craftsmen can have booths. We have several in our area. One of them is Templeton's annual Day in the Shade where people often shop for Mother's Day gifts. Another is our annual Festival of the Arts in City Park in Paso Robles.

We also have a Wine Festival, a Lavender Festival, and an Olive Festival, in addition to the weekly Farmers Markets where many craftsmen display what they have created. Whether you are a jeweler, a silversmith, photographer, work in fabric arts, paint, draw, fuse glass, or create some other art form, there is probably a local event where you can pay for a booth if you meet the event's standards.