Hopefully the portrait of the tortured artist, struggling to get by, misunderstood with no one appreciating their talent, is a stereotype which bears little truth in reality. That being said, it is extremely difficult for undiscovered artists to earn a living from their art. In some cases it can take years, where others sadly never achieve the recognition they deserve. Don’t be despondent, however, there are ways to get your art seen. Here are a few great ideas from other artists.
Visit galleries and art fairs. Show your work to anyone you can find, you never know, someone might be interested. Ask the organisers how you could go about displaying your work or send an enquiry, including samples and information about your work.
Sell your art at local markets and craft shows. Keep your prices realistic and make sure you have business cards ready to hand out to browsers. You could even contact the town newspaper for some self-promotion.
The web is a great place to get your art seen, as you can add pictures instantaneously. Start a blog and your own website. Share your work and links to your sites via Facebook and Twitter, then get your friends to do the same. There are dedicated art websites which give you the opportunity to post your work and build your reputation globally. When you have enough ‘fans,’ you can start selling items. Lastly, there’s eBay and similar websites through which you can post your work purely with a view to selling.
Network! Join online artist communities via social media sites, become fans followers of every art-related organisation you can find and visit art exhibits, gallery openings, new shows, etc. Talk to everyone and build up a list of contacts. Much success in this field depends on word of mouth, don’t forget.
Ask if local coffee shops, cafés, bars would put your work on their walls. Check in regularly and ask if anyone has shown an interest.
A long shot, this, but keep an eye on the box. The BBC recently tweeted a plea for artists, whether professional or amateur, to submit their work for a new TV show. It’s not the first time television has played a part in art, no doubt many a young child discovered a lifelong love for art through Vision On or Hart Beat.
Remember, it will take time and persistence is key but by following some of the ideas above, you might just break through.