Artists Have to Eat Too

The hackneyed term “Starving Artist” has been use to sell cheap, art-mill paintings from China and elsewhere for years. The term is often used in everyday conversation, usually as a derogatory put-down, by people who don’t or won’t understand the creative process. And, let’s face it, here in the U.S. most folks don’t value a painting as much as they do an ipod or a flat screen TV. With really good color printers, digital cameras and inexpensive computers available, I am surprised that anyone would pay several hundred dollars for a small original oil painting-no matter how beautiful or unique it may be.

Buyers, lovers and collectors of fine art are really a small portion of our population. Which goes a long way to explain why it’s so difficult to make a living as an artist. Obviously, another factor is the quality of one’s work, but getting noticed and being able to show one’s work to potential buyers is the main difficulty. Because a purchaser’s taste and preferences will determine whether or not they’ll buy an artist’s piece, marketing-getting seen by the most people in a narrow niche- becomes paramount. I don’t even think price is too much of a consideration to a true art lover/collector, if an artist’s work moves them on an emotional level. So the dilemma is this. For an artist to make a living, he or she has to sell their work. In order to sell often enough to make that living, he or she must market their work.

Traditionally, marketing artwork usually means being accepted by a gallery, But to accomplish that has always seemed to be a “Catch-22.” Like the old line…”You can’t get a job unless you’re in the union, and you can’t join the union until you have a job.” Galleries usually won’t handle your work until you have proven that your work sells.

To get around this situation, artists have tried to enlarge their audience by displaying in unexpected venues. Banks, restaurants, local schools, store windows, etc. Group shows and outdoor fairs can be a solution also. The return for many artists using these methods is often meager-but it’s at least something! It does take a lot of hard work and takes time away from creative production.

There is a new trend (well, at the time of this writing, not so “new”) that takes advantage of our high tech world. Using the internet to market one’s art seems to have taken hold, and it’s working. Now, I don’t mean simply publishing a web page with pictures and prices and then waiting for the orders to come streaming in. That rarely works. What the internet offers the savvy artist is a venue to develop a sound marketing plan and implement it. The learning curve to accomplish this may be steep for a lot of people, but not impossible. There are many examples of successful artist-marketers that one can follow. The main goal of any marketing plan is to drive / invite an enormous amount of people (traffic) to your little corner of the internet where your art is for sale. One artist who could be described as the “grand daddy” of this system is Duane Keiser who’s site is, He story is fascinating, his art is excellent, and he has spawned a whole new category called “a painting a day.” Now there are hundreds of artists who have climbed aboard this “band wagon,” with varying degrees of success. I could name many of them here, but it might be easier to go to,

where many artists are showing their work.

To build this sort of “virtual gallery” an artist has to learn some basic e-marketing techniques. I am still learning, but I’m beginning to get my mind around the whole process. To teach myself how others are selling just about anything on the internet, to learn the techniques to drive traffic and enlarge my audience, and to sell my paintings online, I searched for basic information that would give me a solid understanding of internet marketing. I have complied some articles and ideas from other marketers and, although not “art-specific,” I’ve learned from them a variety methods for advertising, traffic building and I am beginning to get a general overview of how one conducts oneself online with purpose and integrity.

So, if you’re are like me, an artist who really wants to make a living from his artwork, and likes the idea of reaching a lot of people who will buy his paintings, you can check it out at []… after all, just because I’m an artist doesn’t mean I have to starve. Artists have to eat too.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Mark Lunde

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