There’s no question that marketing yourself as an artist has changed in the digital age. The industry is changing. People reach out to you differently, you have access to your fans in a way artists have never experienced before, and you have endless opportunities to grow your talents and skillset.
So how do you market yourself differently? How do you relate to an industry that is fundamentally different than what it was a decade ago? It’s actually pretty fun, and you get to be creative with it! And isn’t creativity sort of your thing?
You can easily take advantage of the art world as it exists today. You have unprecedented access to others’ work for inspiration, and other people have access to your work. You have new, inexpensive ways to broadcast your work and to study different artistic disciplines. The opportunities are basically endless!
If you’re willing to work on your social media, explore new avenues to inspire and be inspired, up your interpersonal skills, improve your art, and cater to your fanbase, you’ll be able to market yourself, no problem.
The Endless Opportunities Of The Internet Can Help You Market Yourself As an Artist
The Internet and social media have really changed the art world. Being “internet famous” used to be relatively unimportant. “Industry famous” was the real goal. Now, the lines aren’t so clear.
The art industry is taking advantage of how easy it is to access new artists and increasingly moving towards freelance work. Here, internet clout really gets you where you need to go. If you have a big enough following to have some name recognition, you’ll pop into people’s heads the next time they want to commission some art.
Now you have a couple of different ways to showcase your art. We can basically divide these into three groups—your website, your online forums, and your social media.
Think of your website as your semi-permanent portfolio. This is where you post your best work and your completed projects. You can update it to include new work whenever you want, but for the most part, it stays the same.
Online forums are way less formal. This is where you can show your unfinished work and work in progress. It’s cool to show your followers your artistic process, and forums are a great place for doing just that.
Market Your Art on Social Media
Now, social media is the game-changer. You can have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and more set up to show your work and grow your following. Social media is really where you show your work in-the-moment. Try including posts of you working on a piece with your hands in the frame. Maybe try a timelapse or progress photos.
With social media, you have to stay consistent and post regularly. Since a big part of your social media presence is trying to market your work or your talent, make sure you break up your promotional material. You can include new art, personal photos, older art, and the work of other artists along with promotional posts. This way your account is more interesting, dynamic, and personal.
A good way to get your promotions some more love is to use your own artwork in promotional posts. This way, people might actually share your promotions because they like the image! Free advertising, anyone?
Hop onto online trends and movements by using hashtags! Tags like #sketchdaily will get you on people’s feeds and introduce you to new audiences. If you know that something with a lot of cultural weight is about to come out, like a much-anticipated new superhero movie, prepare some art in advance! That way, you can release your work on social media with some relevant hashtags and get swept up in the fandom.
Social media is also a great way to build online relationships with other artists! Share other people’s work and get the ball rolling. Not only does this allow you to network in a casual, accessible way, but those artists might also appreciate your support enough to share your work with their following, too!
There’s no denying how important social media is to dozens of industries, and art is no different. Putting yourself out there is great, but when you give your social media some extra thought and attention, it really has the potential to accelerate your artistic career.
Get Your Show On The Road and Network Yourself As an Artist
Yeah, this is the digital age and social media is blowing up, but good old fashioned leg work is a huge part of marketing yourself as an artist. Put yourself out there! There are tons of exciting opportunities to interact with other artists and people looking for some new talent.
Social events like conventions, for example, CTNX and San Diego Comic-Con, can give you a physical space to show your work and meet with artists you love. Smaller workshops and online art classes let you network with industry professionals in small, more personal settings in a way that big exhibitions just can’t measure up to.
Big or small, it’s so worth it to travel around to show off your skills and maybe even learn some new ones. Along the way, you can make friends, be exposed to new ideas and inspirations, and get noticed by people who may want to work with you in the future.
Improve Your Artistic Skills And Evolve
Do you know how sharks have to keep swimming forward to stay alive? Art is a little like that if you switch “staying alive” with “staying relevant.” No matter how good you are at what you do, you have to keep working on your skills and moving forward.
Maybe you have a niche that really works for you—that’s great! However, so few artists can be truly successful throughout their careers by only doing one thing, no matter how well they do it. If you really want to be a marketable artist, you have to have range.
Consider dedicating some time, money, and effort into learning a new skill. Maybe you love to draw and paint but have always wanted to go digital. Maybe all you do is digital art but you’ve been dying to try sculpture. If you really commit to it, you get to show potential clients that you’re good at a bunch of different stuff, not excellent at one small thing.
When you invest in yourself, how could you fail? At the very least, you’ve rounded yourself out as an artist a little more. At most, you’ve attracted a whole new pool of clients by expanding what you’re capable of.
Make Amazing Art Worth Creating a Buzz To Create Great Word of Mouth
Say your client commissions some work. Should you just do what you’re asked and stop there? No! Always try to do what’s asked of you and then a little more.
What better way to show your range than to literally show it to clients? Prove to them that you have more than one skill by including it in the work you present. Do you mainly draw characters? Add a gorgeous background. Now people who maybe would have brought in someone else to do backgrounds already have your name in mind for their next project.
Going above and beyond also makes you more marketable because you’ve created a reputation for yourself as someone who doesn’t just do the bare minimum. The next time your work comes up in conversation, maybe your old clients will happen to mention how thoughtful and talented your work was.
Cater To Your Audience To Market Your Art Effectively
Let’s say you love a certain genre of art, and you’re really good at it. Maybe you love drawing fantasy characters, and one day, you realize that some element of your work is getting a lot more attention than others. Maybe people really love how you draw fantasy woodland creatures.
Yes, you love all fantasy characters, but think about focusing on those super popular woodland creatures. Maybe you’ve accidentally stumbled into a niche that has the potential to shoot you to internet fame! Dedicating extra time to that niche can help get your name out there than your original focus might.
Find a happy medium between what you love and what your audience loves, and you’ll be able to stay true to your passion while marketing yourself and your art.
Lastly, think about how you interact with others. Your online persona is undoubtedly an important part of your marketability, but how do you act in real life? Try to create a good reputation for yourself by being pleasant, thoughtful, and professional, especially around potential clients or industry professionals. If you’re introverted, make a real effort to put yourself out there. It may take some practice, but it’s so worth it to make a good impression.
Get Creative and Come Up With Some Great Marketing Plans For You and Your Art
It’s easier now than ever before to market yourself as an artist. You have opportunities online and in real life to present your work and your professionalism, and dozens of ways to grow as an artist and become even more marketable.
Whether it’s riding the wave of a new hashtag or working on your people skills, marketing yourself and your art can start from a dozen different places. It’s all a matter of putting yourself out there, and of course, getting creative.