PART 3: Marketing and Selling Your Art
Social Media and Online Networking
Post your art online several times a week. You don't have to share every aspect of your personal life, but your art should be floating through your friends' feeds constantly. Wherever artists you admire are to be found online, you should be there, too.
Start a mailing list and send out a newsletter periodically, even if it's only to a very small list at first. Make sure people can sign up for your mailing list easily.
Every time you teach a class or finish a commission or any paying, art-related activity, post about it, so people know you do those things.
Want your Art to be Found?
If you spend time searching for new artists, you will learn how to be found. Look for new artists all the time. Make your work visible in the same places where you found their work.
Build a personal list of living artists you admire enough that you would be proud to hang your work next to theirs in a group show. Emulate their careers: Note where they show and how often they show. Read their bios and CV's. Apply for the grants and awards they list. If possible, go to their openings and introduce yourself. Say you admire their work but don't gush or worse, sound competitive or insecure. Imagine how you would act if you already showed in the same gallery, and act like your are pleased to meet an inspiring colleague.
Offer sales of all your practice sketches and painting studies to friends and family, online or at your studio. Price them affordably: Start with an amount your friends and family members might spend on a special gift for someone they love. (You might find that you make more offering sales like this twice per year than what you make from selling more developed work in galleries.)
Visit galleries that show work you would be proud to hang with, and who are selling work in a price range you are willing to part with for your work. Go to their openings and meet the artists and gallery owners. Give people your business card or a postcard of your work. People always take stuff you hand them. Galleries choose new artists based on who they already are aware of, or by recommendations, far more than by cold applications, so networking is key.