5 FREE ways to get your art hung up in your community to start SELLING your art
Let's Sell Some Art!
Are you ready to start selling your art? Have you been thinking about it for a while? Where are you in your journey? Just started dabbling in art? Do you just paint to enjoy your own art and the creative process? Maybe you paint every day and the canvases are building up with no place to put them. Or maybe, you give your art away as a gift and hope they hang it on their wall. Or maybe, just maybe, you are ready to start selling your art. I will never forget the first time I sold a painting to a complete stranger who was willing to give me the price I was asking for the painting. I was so honored that she was going to buy it and put it on the wall in her home! Wow that was such a great feeling!
So, are you an artist who is trying to take your next creative step and begin selling your art? One of the best ways to sell art is for people to see it in person. There’s nothing like seeing art with your own eyes. Am I right? And, sometimes, it can be really hard to capture a really good picture of your art to post online. Remember~having your artwork in your studio isn't going to sell art. No one is going to knock on your door and magically offer to purchase your paintings.
What's a good first step? People LOVE to support local artists. There are a lot of art collectors out there who want to own original local art. Once you get someone to buy your art, often times they will want more to add to their collection. Have you tried hanging your artwork yet on the walls of public places around where you live? If not, give it a go! What have you got to lose?Here are five ways to get your art on the wall for people to see it and BUY it! And, this can be a perfect way to get started selling your art, because most places will allow you to hang your art FOR FREE and WITHOUT PAYING COMMISSIONS!
1. Keep your eyes open for blank wall space when you're out and about in your town or city.
I love going to places and looking around. When I see a wall with nothing on it, I get really excited! Especially at places that have a lot of traffic every day. This is a HUGE opportunity for you! When you see walls with no art~like in restaurants and tasting rooms, inquire about whether they would be willing to feature your art. Of course, you can always sell them art. That would be nice. But, if they don't have a budget for artwork (hence the blank walls), then there's a good chance they would be willing to feature your art for you to sell it in their establishment. Think about it~they get cool artwork on their blank walls FOR FREE. So don't be shy! Ask them, because if they're willing you're doing them a service. It really is a win-win for you and the owner. Go Team!
2. Get out and visit places where you would like to hang your art.
First, keep in mind, you need to ask yourself~who is your target audience? What kind of people are going to be interested in your art? Age range and gender can play a part if your art is suitable for certain ages and whether you think women would like your art or men or both. That may impact the kinds of places you're going to see success in selling you art. Trust me, there have been places where I sell ALOT of art and other places where I've only sold one. The good news is I haven't been skunked yet. :) Let’s all knock on some wood, please! :)
Also, your pricing will impact your target audience, as well. If your pricing is on the lower end, then you will have a larger target audience. If you're more on the high end, there will be places where potentially you won't experience a lot of sales. Definitely get to know your target audience and get your art where it will SELL. And, always consider how you should price your art based upon the clientele of where you're going to hang it. Pricing is a whole other ball of wax that I will cover in another blog post down the road. The one thing I will say about pricing is to experiment! You’ll figure out that sweet spot where you are selling the kind of volume that makes you happy. If you’re not selling enough, a consideration is to lower your prices. If you can’t keep up with demand, then you might be that lucky artist that needs to increase their prices. Once you figure out your target audience, go hang out at the places that you want to sell your art. Get to know the people that work there, and ask them who makes decisions on what art is hung. When you are a customer of an establishment and you build a relationship with them, they are way more likely to grant you permission to sell your art there. They will want to support you like you are supporting them!
3. Figure out what the regular art events are scheduled on a regular basis around your community!
For example, in my community we have a monthly art event called First Friday. Every month on every first Friday, establishments in the city where I live put on a First Friday event. The art opening includes a featured artist and live music. Most people who live in our community know about this event. Establishments who put on First Fridays love it, because it brings people in to their restaurant or shop. The places who hold these events monthly are ALWAYS looking for artists to hang their art. They have a calendar and are always open to adding new artists to the lineup. Don't be shy~it can be challenging for them to fill up their schedule. So, again, think of it as doing a service and don't be afraid to ask. The worst that can happen will be that they tell you their schedule is full. The cool thing about this event in our community is that your art is hung all month until the next First Friday. Which means a ton of exposure for you as an artist! So pick up the local paper to find out what art events are going on in your community.
4. When you hear of a brand new restaurant or shop opening up, go visit them!
More often than not, they tend to have blank wall space. In their rush to get open and potentially not having a budget for extra things like art, they probably aren't going to have a lot of art on their wall when they first open. This is a HUGE opportunity for you to ask them if you can hang your art. Go for it! It's definitely worked for me! Always look for new places that are just opening up. Again, this can be a win-win for both the artist and the owner!
5. Use social media to your advantage!
Is asking people (who are often strangers) to help you sell your art hard for you? I get it! So many people who are creative don't always have the skill set or desire to get out there and sell themselves. It can be hard to force yourself to get out there and can be intimidating. So, what's an easy alternative if you're feeling too shy to approach people? Get on your social media! Look for restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms and shops and private message them. Come up with a template that you can use to ask people for their interest in featuring you as an artist. Don't know what to say? No worries! Email me at the address below and I will send you some sample messages you can send. You definitely want it to sound professional. I promise you, if you send out enough messages to different businesses, you will get positive responses. Usually, they will want you to send them pictures of your work. So, make sure you have some good photos ready to go. I always refer them to my social media pages where I feature my art, as well. Another good thing to do is to let them know what your experience is in exhibiting your art~places you've hung art that they are going to be familiar with. If you've never displayed your art, don't worry about it. All artists have to experience hanging their art for the first time. You're not alone!
Need a cool shirt for your artist events? Here it is! Everyone will know who the artist is and they will want to meet you!
Well, there you have it. Five ways to sell your art for FREE without paying commissions to boot. Happy selling!
What else? What other ways are there that I haven’t covered in this blog? What are your ideas for selling your art for FREE? How did you get started marketing yourself and your art? Inspire others with your ideas and stories in the comment section below! I would love to hear from you! And as always, if you like what you just read, please share on your social media. Just click on one of the buttons below!
Rachel Tibbits is the author of this blog. She is an artist herself, as well as an Artist Agent. She represents several talented artists and helps artists market their art~online and in person. She regularly displays her art at First Fridays, art festivals and different art events within her community. Interested in an Agent to kick start your art business? Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find out how you can get started with an Agent for free. You can also go to www.thedesigntank.com to see the cool artists she represents and the products and art that she sells.