How to sell your art locally
Selling your art is more about allure than effort, similar to the relation between a bee and a flower. Just as the flower captivates the bee, as an artist, your work should draw in potential buyers. The flower doesn’t chase the bee! Here, you are the flower, the artist. Your role is to comprehend your potential art admirer – their taste and desire. To do so, fostering a sense of empathy is vital.
In this article, we will see many approaches to selling art locally, just as a flower blooms in its environment.
Why should you sell art locally?
Selling art online has been one of the most prominent trends in the past years. However, the pandemic, the war, and soaring energy prices have significantly impacted the transport and logistics sector. Shipping your art to your collectors might be the most expensive and complicated step in your art business.
That’s why more and more artists are going local. In the city where you are based, you get more support from family, friends, and others in your social circles. Meeting your customers in person helps you build a strong network, make meaningful connections, and understand better what your customers want. Plus, selling art locally is more sustainable and eco-friendly than selling art internationally.
Where can you sell your art locally
Working with a local gallery is the first choice among many artists. It takes a lot of work off your shoulders so you can focus on making more art. Most galleries nowadays don’t ask for exclusivity – however, they would appreciate it if you work with only one gallery per city to avoid conflict of interest.
2. Open studio
Turning your home studio into a gallery space is cost-effective. You don’t have to pay more if you already have a studio space. It doesn’t have to be picture-perfect, as long as it is safe for people of all ages to come in for a visit. You might want to keep your sharp tools in a locked cabinet.
3. Art Pop-ups
If you work from home and don’t have gallery representation, receiving customers could be tricky. There is a solution: you could rent a commercial space for a short period, like a week or two. The best time to make this pop-up gallery is when your city has a major art fair. You could attract collectors from everywhere in the world who happened to be in town.
4. Art fairs, Art shows
Art fairs could be expensive, and usually, they are not open to individual artists. However, we see a new art fair trend where artists could participate without a gallery. They are a lot cheaper and accessible for young artists.
5. Restaurants and bars
Do you have a friend who runs a bar or restaurant? Those alternative spaces are not ideal but better than not showing your art. Some artists are becoming very creative – they made exhibitions in their garages, in the garden, on public streets, on the beach, and even in an abandoned building! Any space could be a potential exhibition venue, as long as it is safe for you and your visitors.
6. Art Co-ops
Joining an artist cooperative or a shared studio space in your local area can be an innovative approach to showcasing your work. Here, you can collaborate with other artists, learn from each other, and perhaps hold joint exhibitions. Art co-ops often cultivate a rich, diverse art community, which can attract more patrons.
7. Public Art Projects
Engaging in public art projects or murals can be a powerful way to make your mark on the local scene. These projects showcase your art to a broad audience and contribute positively to the area. Beware of the art washing: Many corporations or institutions could use your art to hide something else.
8. Art Classes and Workshops
Art classes or workshops can also serve as a platform to showcase your work. You demonstrate your expertise by teaching others, allowing students and other participants to appreciate your work more deeply. This method often leads to word-of-mouth recommendations and, potentially, to more sales.
How to sell paintings locally
You cannot make it all but consider some points below as your strong ones and work on them:
1. Formalize Your Art Practice
Consider establishing your art practice as a legitimate business entity. This formalization adds credibility and often facilitates certain tax benefits and business opportunities.
2. Work on your Local SEO and Geolocation Apps
Maximize your exposure by optimizing your online presence for local searches (Local SEO). Utilize geolocation apps to promote your work to the local audience effectively.
3. Balance Local and International Branding
Think about having a branding approach that appeals to both local and international patrons. This balance will broaden your reach while maintaining a strong local identity.
4. Network and seek collaborations
Engage with local art communities, attend events, and seek collaborations with other artists or perhaps even businesses. Networking can open doors to opportunities you may have yet to discover otherwise.
5. Prepare a Compelling Portfolio
Develop a cohesive portfolio that showcases your best work. Better to show it on a tablet, or have a handmade printed and easy to carry. It gives potential buyers a taste of your work and can secure sales.
6. Offer Commissions
Offer custom artwork on commission. This personalized approach can appeal to local audiences looking for unique pieces, and word of mouth can often lead to additional commission opportunities.
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