Get my art seen by the right people
Who are the right people in this question? I guess there are several possibilities:
- The right collectors who can buy your art,
- the right curators who can bring you to a show,
- the right agents who can mentor your career.
You need different strategies to attract different people. No matter who you have in mind, you can try your best to increase your chances of being seen.
3 rules to help you get seen by the right people
The first rule, traffic is the key! If you want your art seen by the right people, you have to get your art seen by enough people. If the right person is one out of a million, you need to get a million views! Only having your art in a small local gallery is not enough. You can ask the gallery owner, or check yourself, how many people are coming into the gallery every month? A couple of thousands at most, I guess? And the visitors might not pay attention to your work. Go online instead! There are a lot more people out there. Get them to visit your website and follow you on social media.
“The big change in growing your social media platform is in brief thinking why you’re there, why you are using Facebook or Twitter or whatever it is you’re using. Ask yourself what can I do to serve or assist those who are following me. That change in focus will make all the difference in the world”
The second rule, know your target. Who are the right people? Are you trying to get in touch with collectors, gallerists, curators or other artists? What do you know about them? Where do they go? What do they like to do?
According to a study, on average people spend 5 years in a lifetime on social media websites, more than eating and drinking. So I would catch them on social media instead of going for some networking cocktail parties.
Meet them on their social media. Perhaps some of you don’t like Facebook or Instagram, but you need to meet them there! If you don’t want to do it ‘organically’, you can pay for a campaign targeting at specific groups.
Last rule, be patient. It takes years for a business to build a customer base. Artists are no exception. You put your website online, it takes time for it to show up on Google. You make a social media account, it takes time to grow.
Restaurants are expecting to lose money for the first two years until they get known by the local foodies. If you are serious about your art venture, you have to be willing to spend that money and time. Perhaps you will be spending the two years building your online presence, which you will be able to cash out later.
The fishing metaphor
I would compare this to fishing. First rule, traffic. You need to go to a place with a lot of fish so you can catch a big fish. The second rule, target group. You need to know the habits of this fish you intend to catch and offer the right bait. Last rule, patience. Even for an experienced fisher, it takes time to catch the right kind of fish. The fish is gonna bite the hook when it feels like, regardless of how long you have been waiting for.
You do need to put a lot of effort into your communication, but also you need be a bit ‘zen’ about it. I mean, being patient. Do what you can and leave the rest to the algorithm.
One artist answer with eager:
‘No work of art is ever entirely finished. Stop tweaking it when it’s about 95% done.’
Another artist answered:
‘When it stops getting better and starts getting worse.’
Another artist compared making art to cooking a piece of meat:
‘There is a range between bloody and well done. You don’t want to serve under or overcooked meat.’
The 80/20 Rule
My personal take on this would be the 80/20 rule. It is also known as the Pareto Principle, this rule suggests that 20% of your activities will account for 80 per cent of your results.
Sometimes it also means 80% of your activities will account for the rest 20% of your results. I would call it the inverse 80/20 rule. We often spend a lot of time trying to reach the last bit of perfection. When you paint for 10 hours, after the first two hours it was already fine. But as a perfectionist like you, you went on and spent 8 hours tweaking it. No wonder you don’t have time for anything else!
Don’t wait until it’s perfect to share your work. Do it when it’s 80% perfect. If you can be less of a perfectionist, you will save so much more time. Use that time to learn new things, create new works and market your art.
-Mario Velardita aka Plixit
Share the Process
There is another important thing when it comes to sharing your art. It has been said by several artists on Youtube: ‘Share the process of making your art’. Like if you are sharing the ‘making of’ behind the scene videos of a film. Put a time-lapse camera over your drawing desk, and share these videos. It’s fun, it’s spontaneous and you don’t have to go out of your way to make such videos.
Many artists are worried about sharing the ‘unfinished’ work when they are not ready. Think it as a process of your journey. Today’s work is like a step in your overall artistic life. Share your work every day, then you will look back after 10 years, you will be able to demonstrate how much you have grown. Each day is like a frame in a movie that tells your story.
Share it now
There is never a better time to share your work than right now. Because it takes time for other people to discover you and your art. The sooner it is online, the more chances you have to get the right people to see your work. If you don’t feel ready, just put a caption saying ‘unfinished work’ and share it on social media instead of your website. It shows that you are working on your art every single day.
Where to post art in 2019
‘That’s the million dollar question right there!’
It depends on two things: your goal and your style.
#1: Your goal
Let’s first talk about what is your goal of sharing and posting your art in 2019? Do you want to sell your art? Do you want to gain influence on the Internet and get the right people to see your art? Perhaps you want to get some feedback from other artists? Write them down so you can keep track and plan your communication with strategies.
Selling your art
To sell your art, you can post your art in these places with payment methods. You can use Saatchi Art or ArtFinder, and pay 40% commission. Or post your art on social selling sites like Facebook Market. You will be selling your art alongside with other stuff, like secondhand furniture and clothing. I am not sure if you want to do that!
Is there a place you sell without commission?
Yes. By selling your art than on your own website. Once you set a webstore, you are good to go. You don’t pay commissions and you have total control over when, where, to whom and at what price you sell your art. You can collect contact details of your potential clients and keep them informed of your upcoming events.
“If you’re happy with your art, and you’re putting it out there as a kind of gift to people, rather than putting it out there for validation, you can adopt a kind of take it or leave it attitude, where the people that follow you are the ones that really care and you’re building a community, not just a following… you know”
If you want the right people to see your work, you need a lot of people to see your work. Therefore, you have to post your work on social media websites which most of the people are using, such as Instagram and Youtube.
The numbers don’t lie
More than 3 billion users are visiting Instagram monthly. Over 25 billion users are visiting Youtube, not to mention the shorter URL Youtu.be also contribute to an additional half a billion. Post your artworks on Instagram and your timelapse videos on Youtube, there is no ceiling for your success.
There are many places you can share your art for peer review, here are two: Reddit and Facebook. On Reddit, you have the ‘artist lounge’ and ‘art crit’ for art critics. On Facebook groups, you have so many different groups. In general, Facebook groups are very encouraging, they mainly point out the positive points. Reddit is a bit more critical.
#2: Your style
The platform to share can be very different from one niche to another, like manga art to street art. For example, if you do political art, you can post your art on Twitter. If you focus on growing your fandom, Tumblr is a better place for you. If your art sells well on Etsy, use Pinterest. There is no magic formula for all. Look for special platforms, do plenty of research in your niche. Don’t rely on generic information because your case could be very different from others.
Where is the best place to post my art regardless of my goal or my niche?
Is there one single answer to this million-dollar question? The best place to post your art is definitely your own website. Because your own website works like an airport, where all your social media channels, sales channels, and your brand identity meet. People can go to different destinations passing through this portal. You are the air traffic control, and you are in full control.
This question is asked by someone who would like to share his or her art but doesn’t want to spam those who don’t want to receive the information.
5 tips on how to share your art with people who would like to see your work, without bothering them
#1: Share quality photos
There is nothing bothers me more than a bad photo of someone’s art. I would rather see a good photo of an average artwork, than a bad photo of good artwork. It literally hurts my eyes to see them. Having bad photos of your work shows that you are not professional and you are not serious.
I am sure you have seen the advertisement for iPhone. It’s one of the best examples of good product photography. It makes you want to buy the product when you see the photo. On the contrary, I can show you some not so great photos. They are not the worst I have seen, but there are so many ways to improve without spending a penny. I will be making a video on how to take photos of your artwork in the future, stay tuned.
#2: Share with a professional profile
Perhaps you have a personal Facebook profile to connect with family and friends, Linkedin profile to network with colleagues and other clients. But when it comes to your art, you need to create a new profile, a business profile. This way, you avoid bothering your contacts who are connected for other reasons. You can make a business Instagram account, then set your personal profile as ‘private account’. You can switch between them easily. This way you are protecting your privacy, at the same time appear to be professional.
“Rather than think of social media as a replacement to the art critic, online platforms should be considered a parallel reality. They are another source of information that complements newspapers, magazines, exhibitions, and cultural institutions. Social media are about polyphony, the plurality of voices that can now speak, be heard and responded to. The art world may still favor the elite. But the elite’s voice is no longer the only one.”
– Daphne Milner
#3: Right hashtags
A lot of people search for content via hashtags. Having your artwork published with right hashtags will minimize the possibilities of bothering people. For a business account such as consumer products or e-commerce, it is fine to have up to 10 hashtags. But if you are an artist, I would suggest you keep it simple, from 3 to 5 hashtags. You don’t want to look desperate.
#4: Share via a mailing list
If you have an artist website, the best way to share your art is via newsletter. People sign up for your newsletter because they want to receive news from you! They really couldn’t complain about being bothered by you after they have asked for it.
Do people actually open your newsletter? The answer is yes. Emails from artists have the 3rd highest open rate compared to other industries (data provided by smart insights). Don’t hesitate to open a free account at MailChimp and start sharing your art. It allows you to send up to 12,000 emails per month, and up to 2000 subscribers.
#5: Share with people who are searching
Again, similar to the people who subscribe to your mailing list, you can share your work via search engines like Google. If people search on Google: ‘buy colorful abstract painting’, it means they want to see artists who are offering these kinds of paintings. What are you waiting for! Share your art with them by showing up on Google search results.
get your art noticed on Instagram
‘My art is good. Why don’t people notice my art? How to get the attention I deserve?’
Tips on how to grow your online presence on Instagram as an artist.
Introduction: Our story
About two years ago we started a new Instagram account with 0 followers. We chose Instagram because we want to help emerging visual artists. What is the most popular social media for emerging artists? Definitely Instagram. I had absolutely no clue whatsoever. We started this project as two partners, so one of us worked almost full time on social media. After two years, we are reaching 55K following. This is still a small account compared to these in lifestyle, fitness, and travel. But in terms of the art market niche, we are happy with this amount of influence.
Whatever kind of work you do, the first thing first. This applies to anyone: post at least once a day. If you can’t do this, the chances of you being noticed are very little. Imagine, working on your Instagram is like buying lottery tickets, one post equals one ticket that provides you with one chance to win. You have different prizes, you can get noticed or go viral. The chances are low in general. If you buy a ticket once a year, the chances are even lower: 1 in 45 million.
#2: Time management
Posting once a day can be time-consuming, but time is the most equal thing on earth. We all have 24 hours a day. If getting your art noticed on Instagram is important, put in the time and you will be rewarded.
-Behavior scientist BJ Fogg
“Fogg took ambivalent satisfaction from the example of Instagram, since he felt distantly responsible for it and perhaps distantly guilty. In 2006, two students in Fogg’s class collaborated on a project called “Send the Sunshine”. One of the two students, Mike Krieger, went on to co-found Instagram, where over 400 million users now share sunrises, sunsets and selfies.”
#3: High-quality photos
Look at these photos: some are photos of artworks, some are just casual photos of an event. But they have something in common: the quality is good. Of course, these are not taken by a Hasselblad. Some are taken by a DSLR but most are taken by her iPhone. With the right lighting and exposure, mobile photos are good enough. If you can match the quality here, you are good to go.
#4: Clear identity
You need a clear visual identity: If your image shows up on my feed, I have to know it was your work without looking at the name.
#5: A message
Your art must carry a message in order to stick in someone’s head. Otherwise, you will not be noticed. You will just get washed off like sand on the beach. You can see some artworks are more obvious, some are less.
#6: Being featured
One of her secret sauce of gaining influence on Instagram is that one day she was featured by Instagram official account, the biggest account on Instagram ever.
It’s not about pure luck. Luck is for the prepared ones. ‘Inspiration will catch you when you are working’. If she is not featured there, perhaps she could be featured somewhere else. If you don’t have the above-mentioned things: consistency, quality photos, identity, and message, you will not be featured. Here we have some more tips for Instagram.