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Effective Communication Helps Sell Art

Mary McCullah on
Effective Communication Helps Sell Art

Just as we communicate with our art, we need at some point, to communicate in writing to connect with potential buyers and sell our art.  Whether you are entering shows, have a website, deal with galleries, market your art on social media, or do commissions—there will be written communications that become a necessity.   Then of course there is verbal communication with YouTube, videos, speaking to groups, teaching and speaking with clients!!

Wouldn’t it be a dream if creating our art work was all we had to do and the rest just happened by magic!

At a bare minimum, a working artist needs to have an up-to-date biography and artist statement.  Aren’t they the same—NO!  Why do we need them?

  • When entering some shows you will be asked for an artist statement and/or biography
  • If you are doing a solo show you will need both
  • If you have a website you want a bio for the “about the artist”
  • Want coverage in the press (yes we still have print newspapers and magazines as well as online)—you will need to furnish a bio or artist statement or write a press release
  • Approaching a gallery? You will need both
  • And on and on

Potential buyers want to know about YOU and you want to relate to them—make that personal connection.  Often selling art is not all about the art—it’s about the artist.  Buyers want to know about your inspiration, your techniques, “some” of your life story—they want to make that personal connection.

The GOOD NEWS is today you have more help than ever before!  Need to know the difference between a bio and an artist statement, how to write a press release, etc.—just ask your computer.  Do a search and so much help pops up from videos to articles to templates!  This certainly reduces the time it takes to get the job done. 

Just for example: From LightSpaceTime here is a list of what to include in your bio:

  • Where were you born and where did you live after that
  • Where are you currently based
  • What has been your artistic inspiration? Why?
  • What is your favorite medium? Do you use any special techniques?
  • Did you have formal art education or were you self-taught?
  • What art exhibitions have you been a part of?
  • Is your work in any collections?
  • Name any art organizations to which you belong.

Renee Phillips - The Artrepreneur Coach presented an article by John R. Math – 5 Artist’s Biography Mistakes and How to Correct Them. Here are the 5 MISTAKES

  • Not telling your story
  • Presenting your biography in the first person (Use third person)
  • Substituting an artist’s statement with and artist’s biography
  • Providing a CV (chronological resume of experiences in the art field) instead of the bio
  • Poor spelling, incorrect grammar, too short or too long, forgetting contact info    

Beyond these two bare necessities there is a host of reasons to learn to communicate effectively.  It’s one thing when you are emailing your family and friends but quite another when writing business emails to clients, galleries, and business contacts. Help is there for even this task.  Janson Horejs’s owner of Xanadu Gallery and editor of RedDotBlog, January 2019, touches on this very subject—Crafting Professional Emails for Better Art Business Communication.  In this communication, he lists several good points to consider:

  • Come up with a good subject line.
  • Use a friendly but professional greeting.
  • Keep it short and to the point.
  • Watch your tone.
  • Use an appropriate sign-off.
  • Don’t use emoticons.
  • Double check spelling and grammar.
  • Make sure any promised attachments have actually been attached.

ENOUGH you say—quite right.  We could go on with business cards, websites, blogs, videos, and more.  Maybe another time—let’s make this the start of talking about “marketing” tools.  Effective communication will take you a long way in any marketing strategy.  Start today! 

Let us know what has worked for you!  Do you have a marketing plan? Just contact: mmccullah@kingartco.com or scroll down and leave a comment!!  Let’s start a conversation. Kingart wants to hear from YOU.


KINGART FEATURED PRODUCT

Gouache is a form of opaque watercolor.  This set provides you with 24 artist quality creamy, rich pigments.  This medium dries without a shine making it great for photographing any illustrations.  It is also a wonderful medium that can be used like a watercolor, however it is opaque making it possible to paint light colors over dark colors.  Works wonderfully on watercolor paper as well as other painting surfaces where watercolor is not successful.  Brushes such as Kingart’s Premium Gold and Finesse work great with gouache as would Equinox brushes.


RESOURCES:

RESOURCES:

AGORA GALLERY—Writing An Artist Biography—https//www.agora-gallery.com/advice/blog/2016/09/15/writing-artist-biography/

Artsy Shark—Carolyn Edlund  carolyn@artsyshark.com  blog post—How Artists can Approach the Press

Guerilla Marketing for Artists by Barney Davey—marketing and networking strategies

The Artist’s Guide:  How to Make a Living Doing What You Love by Jackie Battenfield—marketing promotion, grant writing and more.


Blog editor: Mary McCullah

Mary works from her own photo references painting primarily in acrylic and watercolor. She has been painting for over 40 years dedicating over 25 years to teaching and designing educational material. Having lived across the country, Mary and her husband now reside in North Augusta, SC where she divides her art time with her horse time! Want to know more about Mary: www.marymccullah.pixels.com.

Contact Mary at mmccullah@kingartco.com

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