Once a week I take some time to educate myself more on how to market myself. Here’s the thing about artists, creatives in general, and anyone who’s got a talent or skill that they are trying to make a living at. The hardest part is letting people know that we exist, and communicating what we have, what we can do, and what we have to offer.
I know so many talented people in Columbus, folks who if the national stage got a whiff of what they were doing, they’d be successful. However they haven’t had the exposure yet. Folks in their own town that would be their market doesn’t know about them yet. How I put it, people who typically buy art in this region don’t buy from local artists. They go to Chicago, or NYC, or go to art fairs in Florida, North Carolina, or wherever they vacation. Maybe they go to the Columbus Arts Fest. Many local artists do vend at fairs, but not all. Right now I’m not (and it can take a few years to find the right fests to vend at and get established). Most of the emerging local artists that are dripping with talent do a solo show roughly once a year, often in town. Maybe they take part in a few group shows, maybe they do regional galleries or events. This is a shitty business model. I’m not knocking the local shows at all, but the reason why it’s shitty is the people who buy art aren’t coming to the places where folks have shows to buy art, and most of the time the venues aren’t able to connect with those buyers. The venues connect with the lovely bohemian creative scene we have (and it really is rockin’). Shenanigans are had, conversations alight, people meet and connect… honestly I don’t get why more people don’t use art events as a dating thing,… but anyway. The issue to me is, for artists to sell at at a living wage, they need the people with the buying power to have access to them. To know that there is good strong talent that happens to be local. Or even not so local.
My rant is about the problem all start up businesses have (and if you’re selling art you are running a business), is to let people know that you exist and what you have to offer. To connect with the people who want to buy your stuff. Young artists often underprice their work because the market they currently know, skeptical parents/family and their friends that are just as broke as they are, can’t afford to buy their work for what it costs to make it. By cost I’m not just talking materials, but you got make sure you’re getting paid for your time and skill.
So, writing all this because this is a problem I’m working on for myself. Because I like to help others part of this here bloggy blog is documenting this journey so you can learn what I’ve learned and laugh at my mistakes (AND I’M MAKING SO MANY MISTAKES). But meanwhile here’s something you might find useful:
Talking about educating myself about marketing and getting the word out, one of the Youtube channels I follow is The Futur. It’s more geared towards designers but there are some useful inspiring ideas I’ve found from a creative business standpoint. There’s lots of content on the channel and they actively engage and work to educate their audience. If you’re a business creative I’d suggest you have a poke.
The video I’m sharing has some good ideas on how to use social media