A quick comment- My secret weapon is the book "How to be a Famous Artist and Still paint Pictures"
Its on Amazon. The Author breaks down step by step what can be done though some things are really hard (mentally) to do, like cold calling people. Highly recommended
Thanks for the book. But what was really looking for was a few feel good success stories. As an example; I recently sent out an E-mail to collectors that bought sculpture from me last year and asked if they had any questions about cleaning them. One collector purchased additional work as a direct result of the E-mail blast.
ok, one thing that brought me a lot of clients was painting in a mall. I painted in an art and frame store for over 2 years in the largest mall in maryland. People always stopped by to see what I was doing and that would usually lead to business.
I just got back from Main Street Fort Worth. The show was a little disappointing for me. I thought that I would do better than I did. It seemed to me that those who could sell for less than $150 did pretty well. Those selling limited edition prints unframed for under $100 moved a lot of prints. Sculpture can be tough because I can't get much cast for under a $100. There was a guy selling critters made from welded scrap for under $100 who did well. That kind of work just doesn't float my but but the crowd snapped it up.
As Derek mentioned, regular exposure is definitely a help. Doing pen & ink makes my work very portable so I've tried going to coffee shops. People are always interested in watching others doing something they admire or wish they could do, i.e. playing music or break dancing(if you're up to that)... so conversations can start up very easily especially if your approachable. I have pictures of my work that I don't mind people handling and business cards to hand out if interested. It has brought some business but I've moved and have to reestablish myself to a new area. You never know who will walk in the door.
I submitted work to local galleries. I'm in three on a regular basis, but there is one that sells the most for me That one gets high tourist traffic in the warmer months. (A hospital bought one painting for its third floor lobby.) I network with other friends in the arts. One works for the local paper, and I asked if she'd do an article on my murals. That got me a client. I try to do art in public venues (There's a project here for art in the downtown skyway that I successfully applied for). It has a small stipend but getting your name out there is the point. I donate art to charitable organizations for their silent auctions. I direct as many people as I can to my website, and I've gotten commissions that way. I get monthly newsletters from places like The Art List and try to find shows to enter that match my style. I join groups like this, and sometimes that leads to contacts you might not expect. I spend a lot of time, even on vacation, scouting out galleries for the ones that might be receptive to my style
and artistic level. (i.e., my pretty florals might not do well in a space that sells mostly abstracts, and I'm probably not going to get into a gallery that is showing Renoirs.....) That saves a lot of effort and unnecessary disppointment. Not every place is a good fit for your work, even if your work is good. I know people who have had success with blogs and being a "daily painter". (Someone who posts a work a day and blogs about it.) I could probably blather on, but you get the idea.
I recently donated a small piece to Rocky Mountain PBS. The auction is still open and I was just out bid. I decided to bid on my own piece because the starting bid was less than what it would take to replace it! I sent out and E-mail blast to everyone In my address book and have had a good response. If you want to check it out the link is:
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