How do I market art

Art Marketing: Tips for Marketing Your Own Paintings

Every beginning is difficult. This is especially true for visual artists, as they are not only faced with the task of positioning themselves in a highly competitive market with their own dynamism, but at the same time offering a product whose price cannot be measured according to objective standards. Anyone who wants to make a living with art should therefore not only be very familiar with the market, but also have the ability to market themselves.

What do Vincent van Gogh have in common with Jackson Pollock and Frida Kahlo? Correct: none of them experienced the commercial success of their work. While Pollock's pioneering work at least secured his livelihood and Frida Kahlo was honored with an exhibition in her native Mexico shortly before her death, van Gogh is one of those tragic artists who were threatened with financial ruin for their entire life. Today his paintings achieve top prices internationally. Like van Gogh's story, the biographies of many other artists, who are traded at record prices today, teach us that success in one's lifetime is by no means a matter of course - no matter how “good” the work may be.

The problem with art is that it is for these products no “natural” demand (such as after food or everyday objects of all kinds) there. So, more than any other provider, artists have to draw attention to the fact that they exist - and that their products represent an equivalent value for potential customers that legitimizes the purchase price.

Art as a Business: The Pitfalls of the Market

Even among professionals, the international art trade is a rather intransparent market that can hardly be compared with "normal" trade. While the ongoing trend towards wealth diversification brings billions of dollars in profits to the art trade every year, it is still a business where the super-rich win - because only those who invest in the lucrative art funds do to be able to afford it. According to experts, there is a "minimum participation" of US $ 500,000. In addition, paintings are a rather illiquid type of investment, as no one can say with certainty whether - or when - a work of art will have a good resale value.

Tip 1: Don't just rely on art lovers

Earn well and know that your own painting hangs in a stylishly furnished house above the Récamière and brings joy to its owners - that is probably the dream of every artist. A lover buys works of art because they fascinate him. Often the decision is not made on the basis of aesthetic or professional criteria, but rather on the basis of a specific emotional connection to the painting itself: The art lover buys a picture because he likes it. As a young talent, however, you can't afford to wait for a patron to take notice of your work - especially the one Art lover as a rule, they are not the ones who move large sums of money in the market.

He is very different from the art lover Art investor before: For him, the name of the artist as well as his art-historical rank and the provenance of the work of art play a decisive role - certain names mean profit, others do not. The “typical” investor has sufficient financial resources and observes the market, for example by finding out about current developments at renowned exhibitions. He has the opportunity to acquire specific works of art that promise success just because of their name - or he invests his capital (similar to the stock market) in up-and-coming and promising young artists. So, especially at the beginning of an art career, it is important to attract the attention of investors.

Tip 2: the art of self-marketing

Works of art can please, fascinate or disturb - but what makes them interesting is often the story behind them. Although the professional class of artists is much more professionally qualified than the average person, do not secure the attention of a potential audience by hanging your academic degrees on the wall. Instead, it is important to attract attention and turn your own work into a brand, a so-called “brand” that people talk about. You need to learn to market yourself as skillfully as your artwork.

In this context, it is also important that you have a strong Business partner to have. After all, it is of no use to you if everyone is talking about your paintings, but they are nowhere to be seen and, above all, are for sale. So you should start looking for a suitable gallery that will include you in the repertoire and organize exhibitions on a regular basis. Our Gallery Zimmermann & Heitmann regularly takes on new artists and makes their work accessible to a wider audience (see: Our artist directory)

Tip 3: Increase your reach through social media marketing

Regular exhibitions in different galleries and mentions in specialist catalogs are a good start - but you can only reach the masses via the World Wide Web: Online marketing offers maximum reach at minimal cost. Of course, it is not enough that you present yourself and your work on an appropriate website - because if nobody looks at this website, you will not be of any help. Instead, try to make yourself and your paintings a talking point online.

The best way to do this is through the most important social media channels, which today mainly include social platforms such as Facebook and Youtube. You can use these channels to distribute content that advertises your paintings but does so as inconspicuously as possible. The more added value you offer, the more likely potential customers will exchange ideas about your content and thus increase your reach. Another possibility would be to create free articles with a focus on "art" for the online editions of specialist journals or for specialist portals and blogs. You can mention your own products in these texts. Participation in appropriate specialist forums on which you comment on other contributions and thus draw attention to your own competencies can be just as effective.