Above: one of Andy Warhol’s “Dollar Sign” paintings.
Being a successful Artist means different things for different people. For some, just being able to make artwork they love is enough. Others, however, also want art making to be their profession. In other words they want to sell their Art.
If you want to sell your Art, there is one important, relatively simple thing you can do. To better understand this, however, we first have to look at how artwork is often sold.
It often goes something like this:
You show your Art to a friend. Then this friend tells one of their friends about you. After repeatedly hearing about you, this friend of a friend might come by your studio to see your work. These visits often end up with them purchasing or least becoming more interested in purchasing your Art.
It works the same way for a gallery. The director is simply spreading the news about your work to collectors, and friends of their friends.
The key here is not who is referring your work, but the fact that your work is being referred. People tend to trust the experience of others. If we see others liking something, it is human nature that we presume it has value. And, in actual fact, if everyone is interested, there usually is something of value present. If many people are talking, liking something we tend to trust and share that sentiment also.
If most sales of your Art come from the casual conversations and referrals of others, then it makes sense that increasing them will proportionally increase the sales of your Artwork.
Which leads us right into the single most important thing you can do to sell your Art. Build an email list.
How to Build an Email List.
Maintaining and building an email list of everyone who has ever expressed an interest in your work is now, because of the Internet, extremely simple.
• All you need is 2 pieces of information. The name and email address of those who express interest in your work. Always try to get this information whenever you meet someone who engages with your work.
• If you have a website, make sure the second thing people see after your Art is an easy way to sign up for your monthly newsletter.
• Over time add names to this list and every 4-6 weeks stay in touch by emailing a monthly newsletter or a jpeg of what you have been making.
• Use a monthly list serve service such as Constant Contact or Mail Chimp to make the ongoing building of this list, and the monthly email blast as effortless as possible. (see automated list builder link).
• Be consistent. Whether you have 50 or 5,000 people on your list, it is important that you consistently stay in touch. If you do, your list will quickly grow.
The consistent email to all those who like your work create not just a reminder but also an impression that your work is flourishing. It is current, and for today at least it is the most exciting thing in their inbox. This opinion, awareness of your work must be cultivated, consistently expressed in order to generate sales. They come as a natural reaction to the growing awareness and favorable perceptions that you are fostering by a simple email once a month. It just simply works. And it is something you can start today.
Always remember that this list, these people enable you to do what you do. Literally, they make it all possible.
Whenever you can, appreciate them.
In Gratitude, Nicholas
the founder of Art2Life.
With over 20 years experience as a working artist and educator, I’ve developed a systematic approach that brings authenticity, spontaneity and joy back into the creative process.