Finding an audience for your art

Find your art audience

Whether you are a hobby artist, a professional artist or an emerging artist. The chances are that we all share the same ambition to eventually find the right audience for our art. Finding an audience for your art is tricky and it may take several attempts. Focusing on a few key marketing strategies will save you a lot of time. Making it easier for your audience to find you.

If you have artwork that is struggling to sell. It could simply be because your art is not in front of the right people.

Save time by having a clear objective of how you wish to promote and sell your work. By reducing the trial and error process that many artists go through. You will open up more time to focus on producing excellent art. So for this, I recommend doing a bit of research about your own particular niche market. Take into consideration location, pricing, experience as well as uniqueness. Does your work stand out in the crowd amongst other art in your particular niche? And are your potential followers seeing enough of your work?

Here are five things you can try today to find the right audience for your art.

1. Location, Location, Location

It does not matter how talented you are in your area of expertise. If you are showing your work in the wrong places, your art will not sell. Figure out where your audience is and hang out there. This goes for online and offline opportunities.

Attracting positive attention

More so now than ever before, we are living in a fast-paced visual world of information. Your work is competing for visual space and navigating through media and marketing overload. The attention span of an online viewer can be as short as a few seconds. If your art is in a gallery you might have longer individual viewing attention. But it is limited to a short period of time. The most exposure you will have is during the opening night. And that’s when you need to shine!

Placing your art in the right location is essential to putting the ods on your side.

For example. If you are a car enthusiast and your passion is to draw and paint vintage vehicles. You could approach car dealerships. Simply ask them if they would be interested to use some of your paintings as decorations in their showroom. Buy exposing your art in a place of common interest. You increase individual viewing attention substantially. Focus on targeting dealerships with frequent new customers. Such as new car dealerships. Aim to expose your work at their reception or sitting area. Propose to include your artwork for free in some of their marketing media.

You can apply this strategy to other industries such as Restaurants, hotels, sports clubs, schools, and shopping malls. Provided the location of choice makes sense for the audience you are looking for. Restaurants are always looking for trendy attractive art. Why not propose your services for a live painting session or better still a permanent mural. Restaurants have plenty of wall space with high traffic, especially in touristic locations.

Being in the right place at the right time. It is essential to finding the right audience for your art.

Be constantly on the lookout for opportunities within your style of work. Then make sure you are involved or participating when it counts. Retail stores constantly need to update their shop front and brand accessories. Why not offer free mural designs to your favorite stores. Make sure to leave a stack of business cards on their counter for good measure.

2. Pair your art style with other artists who share a similar audience.

A great way to grow your network and promote your art. Is to find some artists with whom you have similar interests and propose to collaborate on projects. For example, if you are a book illustrator, consider approaching a writer to collaborate on a story. If you prefer installations or sculptures then connect with architects to propose your services. Invite artists to work with you when possible so that they can return the service in the future. There are endless ways to collaborate and finding your art audience might not happen straight away.

Maybe drama or set design is your thing. There are plenty of dance and music studios. Gym clubs and social clubs around who would jump at the opportunity to have some art on their walls. Be prepared to work for free sometimes. Use this as a marketing tool rather than focus too much on your short term income.

3. Volunteer your art expertise and get noticed for free.

Find an organization that inspires you and volunteer your services. Volunteering is not selling yourself short, consider it as another form of personal marketing expense with potential for rapid growth. Generally, the organization or body that you are helping will provide you with all the materials you require. So essentially you are lending your expertise in exchange for additional exposure. Be selective with your projects and try to find causes that are dear to you. Spen your time wisely with people who share the same values and interests as you.

4. Get your art into a local magazine or newspaper. 

Share your story by using multiple media channels. Newspapers need stories so they will generally promote you for free. Start out by contacting smaller publication houses, this will give you a chance to understand the system. Make sure you explain to the newspaper clearly what your intentions are for the publication. Make good use of the last minute empty pages that are available. Before you approach a newspaper or magazine though. Try to identify if their audience is a good match with the one you are also targeting.

It takes a lot of time and effort to present yourself in a professional manner. So don’t risk being discredited from appearing in a publication that does not fit your line and style of art. To avoid this. Prepare a shortlist of magazines, newspapers and digital media platforms to earmark as your preferred exposure channels. Then get in contact with all of them. There is however a caution to consider when relying on publications. You are not in control of the publication dates and where your article will fall inside the magazine or newspaper. So definitely consider this as an option.

Keep in mind that your publication might not always reach your desired audience. If you have doubts. Rather let the opportunity go in favor of waiting for a better chance at reaching your potential clients. Finding an audience for your art requires intentional decision making. Know your process and avoid costly, timely mistakes.

Treat this like a job interview with your portfolio and be prepared.

5. Reach out to Home Owners and Real Estate Agencies to place your art in homes

If your art fits more into the home and decorative market, why not show your work to real estate agents. You can offer to hang your work up in their boardrooms or client meeting areas for free exposure. Try your luck in the short term, holiday rental market. See how your work can bring value to their business with a mutual exchange agreement. Consider any insurances or liabilities that may be required if you decide to head down this path. So many houses are being bought, sold and rented on a daily basis. That your artwork could be used for photoshoots and home decorations in media campaigns.

So there you have it!

5 key promotional ideas that may bring you steps closer to finding an audience for your art. Remember that the art market is as small or as big as you decide it to be. One thing you can be certain of! The art market is ready for your art when you are.

It will not be easy for you to sell your art. Virtually impossible unless you are willing to try different options. So I encourage you to put a few of the following tips into your action plan. Finding more buyers and ultimately the right audience for your art will definitely contribute to more sales. Making you a happier artist.

David Lagesse

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