Build It And They Will Come.
I have discussed this previously but thought it was worth going over one more time.
In my gallery, I am often dealing with young (as in new to the artworld, age here has no relavance.) aspiring artists who cling to the fantasy that once they have their first print made, get into their first gallery or get their website created, they will get discovered or their path to success will be secure. I am sorry to say this is probably not going to be the reality.
All of these things (getting into the print market, galleries and getting online) are really good steps in the right direction. They have the potential to make you successful. But you must still do the work. They must be marketed as vigorously as if you were marketing the actual artwork. Planning is critical to making your new endeavor meet your expectations.
Here’s a few things to think about:
- What markets are you trying to reach?
- How much are you wanting to sell your work for?
- How much money do you want to earn? (gross/net)
- What is the time frame to reach your goals?
- Does this sound like fun?
Something To Try
If you are planning on launching a new website, try Googling a description that you think someone might use as a search term for finding you. So for instance, I would try horse art, equine art, wildlife art, oil pastel artist or any combination there of. The search results for Horse Art is 4,840,000. Wow. The search results for Draft Horse Art has 255,000. At one time my website was 3rd down on that list. Yup, Wild Faces Gallery was listed 3 of 255,000. This took a great deal of work to get that kind of ranking and unless we continued to work it like a part-time job, (which we didn’t) it was lost. I have no idea where we are at now, but it is nowhere near the first 3 pages which is the golden spot for Google searches. Most people won’t look past 3 pages for anything.
My point here is not to make you feel hopeless. My point (as always) is to make you think about what you expect to achieve, plan how to make it happen. And to give you the right amount of nudging and confidence, so you take the first step.
Unless you know what your up against, you are more likely to be disappointed with your results which may leave you feeling disappointed in your work. Success in most areas of the art business have very little to do with the quality of your work. Quality is up to you, business is business, whether it be selling cars or selling paintings. In order for you to achieve any measure of success you need to set yourself up to win it.
I don’t know if there is any one magic bullet. If the possibility of being “discovered” without marketing yourself is even possible. Most (if not all) of the big dog artists had to pay their dues. (Bev Doolittle for instance, worked in graphic design and sold small watercolors in Yellowstone for $10-15 before she was “discovered.”) That being said, you may not necessarily have to work like a dog every moment of every day (it is just how I do it.)
The path to “making it” begins by starting with easily attainable goals, (baby steps) then continue to set yourself up to for bigger and bigger challenges that allow you to feel successful, as well as build your confidence. There is no “one” answer or way to success. Try several different things. Experiment, don’t take failure personally and most importantly have fun!
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