by Artists Network Staff
So you want to take your passion for art up a notch? We couldn’t agree more! You have already nailed the first step: deciding to take a leap of faith when it comes to your art. But what’s your next move?
To start, it is all about thinking differently. You are not just an artist. You are an artistic entrepreneur, and your art is your big business. As CEO, it’s time to take a note or two from the owner’s playbook of art business and marketing on developing your brand identity. Basically, you want people to recognize your art, as your art. Here are some simple ways to do just that.
Ready to take the first steps toward successfully building your brand as an artist? Enjoy!
1. Define Who You Are
Who are you as an artist — what is your artist’s statement? What are you trying to say through your artwork? What does your art mean to you? How is your art unique?
Answer these key questions and share more about who you are as an artist. Muse on what your art brand really encompasses and how your art is distinctly different from the work of others. This helps people relate to you and your art on a more personal level. It makes you memorable, and it makes your art more accessible.
For example, the Liquitex brand is on the forefront of innovation when it comes to acrylic paints. They have created the world’s first cadmium-free colors, offering artists a safer option in their practice with no compromise when it comes to color strength and brightness. Their brand messaging is clear and memorable and has something to say. Artists, take heed!
The more prospective buyers and collectors can connect with you and your art, the more likely they are to want to invest in your brand. But investors don’t buy in blindly. You have to show them who you are and what you stand for.
2. What Do You Want to Accomplish?
What are you hoping to achieve with your brand as an artist? Do you want to simply share your art publicly and garner more exposure as an artist? Or do you want to start selling your art part-time? Do you want to turn your art into a full-time career?
You need to determine what you want to accomplish, so you ensure you are taking the right steps to achieving your goals. Basically, in business terms, decide what your return on investment is, and then start developing your game plan so that goal becomes a reality!
3. Get the Word Out
Why not see if there are opportunities to collaborate on art projects or to help one another reach more people? Or, see if established artists in your community are willing to share words of wisdom from their personal experiences. You can be the one that brings the artists in your network together.
In addition to connecting with other artists, why not try to create relationships with the makers of your favorite art supplies and materials? If you really want to get more exposure for your art, then what better way to do it than by partnering with those who make your art possible?
Art supply often partner with artists as a way to evolve and create innovative products. A good first step in building a relationship with your favorite art supply brands is to stay up to date on their products and social media channels.
For example, if you use Liquitex acrylics, tag your art with #liquitex for a chance to be featured on the company’s Instagram page. This provides “instant” exposure of your brand to the company’s many followers.
4. Be Accessible
Regardless if you prefer in-person or online interactions with your audience, you need to make sure you are accessible. Whether you own a physical storefront or a virtual one, you have to make sure people can easily find you.
For starters, take advantage of powerful online tools like social media. In the hustle and bustle of today, many people turn to social media as a way to stay connected. If you haven’t already, create an account and/or page on the platforms that your followers spend most of their time on.
As an artist, you especially want to take advantage of those social media platforms that offer more of a visual experience: Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram. Start sharing your art with friends and family; create a “business page” for your artistic brand on Facebook to provide more information on where people can find your art — whether you own an actual storefront, sell your art via your website, or you utilize other online resources like Etsy. Share regular updates on your latest art projects and if you have any artwork for sale. Create boards on Pinterest with your different art subjects and media you use. Keep your Instagram updated with beautiful images and videos of your art.
If you prefer in-person interactions, stay active in your community. Exhibit your work at local and nearby art fairs and events. Offer to do a painting demonstration of the small businesses in your area. Nothing draws a crowd like a working artist, and that means contacts for you and for your neighboring small businesses.
5. Keep Them Coming Back for More
Now that we have covered the basics, you have to keep your fans and collectors coming back for more by building brand loyalty. And, believe it or not, brand loyalty does not begin and end with trying to sell or share only your art with your audience. You want to share a bit of yourself, too.
As mentioned previously, you want people to relate to you and your brand as an artist. One easy way to do this is to stay connected with your customers on a more personal level through social media.
After all, if your followers are there for the art, they likely share a similar passion and appreciation for art as you do. Share what inspires you to make art, quotes that motivate you to create, any noteworthy art news and trends, as well as tips you can offer other artists. You can also follow a similar approach on your website, if you have one, by starting a blog or a newsletter or creating a page with links to great artist resources.
Bonus Tip: What to Do When You Hit a Wall
Stuck in a rut, or hit a wall with your art entrepreneurship? The answer is simple. You re-brand. Where your brand starts does not guarantee where it will end. You can always pivot, change and reevaluate how you share your artistry with others.
And how do you re-brand? Start at the top of this list and work your way down. It is as simple as that, and once again you’ll be headed down the road to success.
Bonus Tip 2: Always Lead with Passion
Never forget that your business is your passion. If you hold true to that, you can never go wrong. If you are passionate about your art and ready to take the next step, go for it. Onward, artists!
Art Highlights (and More) is a blog about what's going on with me and my photography, what's going on in the art world, and what's going on in the world in general.