Marketing in Arts: How to Gain Exposure as an Artist

Deciding to become a professional visual artist is something that can be quite overwhelming and confusing at the start of your journey. You might now know where to start! Artists are all different from one another, and as with anything in this life – there is no one way to do things. Aside from carving your own path while simultaneously progressing in your artistic course, you also need to learn how to get the proper exposure for you and your work.

In this field, good marketing in arts is vital for success; and knowing how to strategize and execute your own strategies can greatly help you achieve your goals. Being recognized as an artist and gaining a wider audience for your work is crucial for your marketing in arts, but with the proper jumpstart and guidance – this shouldn’t feel too overwhelming!

Marketing in arts - Indoor shot of professional female artist painting on canvas in studio with plants

We live in modern times, and we are now in the era of self-publishing. Thanks to the internet and the advancement of technology, it is now possible (and very advisable!) to self-publish. If you don’t get yourself out there and create your own platform of marketing in arts, you’re missing out on a lot of great business and personal opportunities. If you’re wondering how to drive more attention to your art, how to start selling your work and making a name for yourself as an artist, then look no further. This article is the perfect read for you! We will teach you how to achieve your goals of marketing in arts, specifically made for your personal practice.

But before going any further, let us first define the term self-publishing. What does it really mean?

According to the Cambridge English Dictionary: self-publish: to arrange and pay for your own book to be published, rather than having it done by a publisher.

Marketing in arts - Water journal

The term self-publishing was first used in relation to authors of books who used their own resources to publish their work. This means that they did not rely on any publishing company, organization or institution to bank on them and publish their work. The authors put in their own time, money, and efforts of marketing in art to let their books reach a wider audience.

Today, the term self-publishing has slightly changed in meaning, and it may also refer to anything we do on our online platforms! With the rise of social media – the photos we share, the opinions we post, the stories we write and upload on our websites – these are all forms of self-publishing and fundamentally, marketing in arts as well.

Now, there are a lot of options available on how you can self-publish your own works. In this article, we will discuss the different ways (both online and offline) you can get more exposure through self-publishing and utilising your own marketing in arts. The trick is just having to find which ones work best for you and your art. Read along!

1. Establish your style

Before everything else, find and establish your own art style. Knowing who you are as an artist, what you like working with, and the different ways you want to execute your ideas make up your identity as an artist. Keep in mind that each artist is unique, and only you can tell your stories to the world. So whatever style you feel most comfortable working with, stick to it and focus on refining your technique even more.

Having an approach in your art that’s identifiable to you is the biggest way to get marketing in arts. Sometimes, our own art does the work for us and markets itself! When people see that you have a certain style that is recurring in your work, they will come to identify it over time.

It can also help to have all your marketing in art materials in unison with your personal style. Your business cards, printed portfolio, painting signature, and (sometimes) even your clothing can all be great tools in establishing this image! A great example of an artist who lived out her style unapologetically, both in her art and fashion is the legendary artist Frida Kahlo. We talked about her influence on women’s empowerment further in this article!

Frida Kahlo Frida Kahlo in her signature style, taken by friend Nikolas Muray.

2. Secure an online portfolio

Having an online portfolio is one of the oldest tricks in the book. When artists discovered that they can create a virtual portfolio, it changed the game of marketing in arts forever. Online portfolios are one of the safest ways to publish your work exclusively. You can choose to host with popular websites like DeviantArt, Behance, and Wix; or you may also create your own – which is more personal and exclusive.

This online platform will serve as your official home on the internet. Hence, it should reflect who you are as an artist! Here, you can upload all forms of art and subdivide them into categories and tabs. It is also advised that you include sections like About Me, Blog, and Contact page. This is to make sure that this information is accessible to your audience, potential buyers, and collaborators.

3. Include your social media accounts

One of the major players in marketing in arts today is the presence of social media. People spend a good part of their days browsing on their smartphones, and even the biggest brands have taken their efforts of marketing in arts and advertising to social media. This is to reach the online audience that is multiplying exponentially each day. When you are an artist, one thing that you must understand (and come into terms with) is the fact that you ultimately become a brand. Your work is a product of your brand, and usually, for artists – this brand is your own name. Like any other company, you must pay attention to your online branding and marketing in arts, and this includes your social media accounts.

For more specific instructions for each platform, see the details below!

Marketing in arts

Facebook

Making a page on Facebook can largely contribute to your online marketing in arts. This is a page that people can like, follow, and see your works – whether in progress, finished, and are currently in exhibitions! It’s really up to you what you want to share, because a Facebook page will allow your audience to engage with you. You may also ask questions from polls, share your thoughts using status updates, and message with potential buyers and enthusiasts on the Messenger app.

Facebook and Instagram are now under one company, and with their unified ads, you can make sponsored content for your marketing in arts that can reach a wider, yet targeted audience.

Instagram

Instagram is one of the most popular platforms on social media right now. Originally created for personal interaction amongst family and friends, businesses have now dabbled into it for their marketing in arts. They use Instagram to showcase their work, services, and products; interact with their audience, and build a community through their following. With its newest addition of Instagram stories, you can show snippets of real-time work getting done. If you already have a personal profile, no worries! You can turn it into a business profile, where you are more than encouraged to upload photos of your personal life. With the market trend as of lately, people love associating brands with a real person.

Marketing in art

Our community’s response to how Instagram helps them market their work.

For starters, create a username that is easily remembered. This may also include an annotation for art that makes it easier for people to understand and associate it with your marketing in arts. i.e. — @username.art

Once you have this, switch your personal profile to a business one! As you fill up the bio section, it is good to include a short summary of your work and what they can expect from the Instagram page. i.e. Oil and Watercolor artist based in London. Accepts commissions, exhibition invites, etc.

An Instagram page that’s well-curated in posts and color theme for your marketing in arts can largely contribute to your audience identifying and remembering you better.

Marketing in art - Sarah Coey - @sarahcoeyart

ZenART enthusiast Sarah Coey’s Instagram page @sarahcoeyart

Pinterest

Pinterest is slightly different from Instagram and Facebook. It is composed of photos and videos alone, and your profile is where you can create your own “Boards” which serve as a category marker.

First things first! With Pinterest, you need to build a Business account to get access to analytics. Then, choose the topics you would like to cover on your page, according to your customer’s interests. Basically, this is what your “brand” is trying to offer. If you are an abstract artist, focus on abstraction as one of your key points for your marketing in arts.

Marketing in art - Pinterest

ZenART Supplies Pinterest Page. Have you followed us yet?

Here are some content ideas that will be very vital for your Pinterest page!

  • About the Artist: Briefly talk about what you do, who you are, and your experience as an artist
  • Behind the Scenes: This can include behind-the-scenes shots of your office studio, gallery ingress, works in progress, etc.
  • Resources: Artists love learning from other artists. Moreover, your followers are interested in your key tips and information! So share some knowledge and any technique that you put in your type of work.
  • Tutorials: You can write about your process, or take videos of it. The audience loves inclusion, so they want to see how you create your work.

4. Join artist communities and online forums

An online community allows its members to exchange ideas, share useful posts, and provide information with regards to the community’s interest. Today, joining online artist communities is key for your marketing in arts, as it is a great way to meet people in the same industry! By joining in the conversations, you can find out about the latest news in the market, ongoing exhibitions that may interest you, and most especially – ask about the best products you can use for your work! After all, great work starts with great materials. Click here to see why artists all over the world rave about the ZenART paints and brush sets!

The best communities online allow a free discussion of interesting topics, as long as they are not offensive in any way. Choose a group that’s inspirational, motivational and posts updates on a daily basis! You will know that they are serious with their engagement. With these kinds of communities, you will feel safe exchanging ideas with other artists. Most especially, you can learn a lot from them – from how they do their own marketing in arts, to the different techniques that they use, and who knows – you might even get invited to an exhibit or two! Engaging in discussions in communities is like attending substantial meetings and gatherings, but now it’s done online. Easy and convenient!

Marketing in art

You can find lots of artist communities on Instagram (engage with the community in the comments and stories), and on Facebook (in the form of Facebook groups) to extend your marketing in arts. There are also popular websites like Reddit, Quora, and of course – Wet Canvas, the biggest online forum dedicated to art.

5.  Visit & join local gallery exhibitions

Wherever you are, there’s usually a number of local galleries near you. Since art exhibitions are held regularly, visiting and joining local ones are a great way to jumpstart your career and sell your works.

Begin by checking which exhibitions are up in your neighborhood. Pay these shows a visit, and see the works of other artists too. By regularly checking up on activities, you can actually learn a lot of things that you can use for your marketing in arts. You will see how other artists price their work outside the internet; you may learn a trick or two with regards to their technique, framing, concept, write-ups, and anything else that might spark your interest.

Marketing in art

Another important thing you will gain by visiting gallery exhibitions on a regular basis is the new people you will meet. When it comes to art, networking is key! Just like in online communities, you will meet people you can work with in the future. Expand your techniques on marketing in arts, learn about making proposals for your own exhibitions, and see which upcoming activities you can further join to really broaden your art engagement. Usually, there are lots of opportunities around; you only need to ask!

6. Sign up with online galleries

One great strategy to start selling art online is to team up with an existing platform. This allows you to take advantage of an existing audience as well as existing sales tools, without the need of developing neither by yourself. Another plus point for this is the wide audience that online galleries target.

There are lots of online establishments you can find on the internet. Each one of these platforms is completely unique and some of them might not be suitable for your art practice. If you are focusing on fine art, maybe selling prints is not a good idea or if you are pop artists maybe creating a merchandising line is a good move. Some of them are print on demand websites, others are online art galleries or art commission websites.  (source: artplusmarketing.com)

One of the biggest platforms for your marketing in arts is Saatchi Art, an online gallery that carries paintings, illustrations, and collage works, to name a few. Thousands of artists worldwide put up their work on the site and sells their work to audiences not limited to their local reach! Collectors can give reviews about the artist and their work, hence the artist’s chances of getting testimonials and reviews for their work are higher. If you are interested in knowing more about how online galleries work, we can talk about it further in a separate blog post! Let us know in the comments below.

7. Talk about your work

Even with the rise of all modern marketing in art techniques over the years, there is still no tool that comes as strong as the power of word of mouth. People’s curiosities regarding a brand always tend to spark up when the information comes from their families or friends. After all, who can be a more trusted source? Yet, we often overlook its importance.

Prioritize your personal presence, and talk about your work! When you have finally put up your social media pages, or land an exhibition in your local gallery, let your friends and family know about this. Call them up, send them a message and a personal invite. Ask them to visit your Facebook and Instagram, share your posts, visit your opening night… Anything that can help you get your art out there. Of course, do not overstep boundaries and ask them to do much. This is just one of the ways you can get organic exposure. You will be surprised by the amount of support you will get from these people. Those who truly desire the best for us will support us through any good endeavour that we choose.

Marketing in art

Setting your mind on something and making concrete steps on how to achieve it can greatly help us work towards our goal. Given this – Carefully list down the steps you are willing to take for your art, stick to it, and prioritize getting your work out there, expanding your marketing in arts. Create a Vision Board for yourself, where you can outline your work goals with your personal life priorities. Check out how to create your own Vision Board here!

Marketing in arts

After summarising the most effective ways on how you can get more exposure for your marketing in arts, the most important thing that tops all of these points is to just focus on one’s artistry. Doing all these things for marketing in arts and exposure without mastering your craft is a surefire way of setting yourself up for failure. Focus on the craft that you do, even after you have gained a constant following. Always strive to be better, and practice your art on a daily basis!

Did you find this article useful? If so, what do you think about it? Do you have any more tips you would like to share with the community regarding marketing in arts? Do let us know in the comments below! Your words are always appreciated. 🙂

For daily painting inspiration, tips, suggestions, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and like us on Facebook! We are also setting up our Facebook community group, so watch out for that. We have so many surprises in store for you. 🙂


MEET THE AUTHOR

Regina R. is the head content writer for ZenART Supplies. She is a full-time artist, art and literature advocate, and a mother of three cats. On her free days – she likes to cook, knit, and tinkle around with her typewriter while drinking a glass or two of good red wine. Oh, and she loves 60’s music too!

Comments 12

    1. Hello, Keira! Thank you for letting us know that — we’ll definitely write about it, then! Hope you found this article useful, too. 🙂

  1. Great article, quite helpful!
    I would love to learn more about how to approach a gallery as a newbie with not yet a lot to show for in experience (aside from painting a lot and selling here and there some work)

  2. thanks for this article! it boosts my motivation.. 😊
    looking forward for more useful tips and words of encouragement about art. ☺🖌🎨

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Florida!

      We’re really happy that you like this article. 🙂 We’re constantly looking for ways to help our fellow artists to improve their creative journey! Stay tuned for more articles like this. <3

    1. Hi Randi! Thank you for your question.

      This is not exactly one of our strengths, so my suggestion is to have a look at the guys at Preview App. To me, their blog is really useful, and they share useful tips on Instagram, too.

      Ps. As an artist, what other piece of advice would you like to have from us?

  3. Love this, I often am tempted to paint things I am not that fond of but always revert back to what I know and love, great advice, thankyou🙏

    1. Hi, Jenny! Thank YOU so much for your nice comment. Challenging ourselves with something new might be intriguing, but we shouldn’t be afraid to step back to our comfort zone – when needed. You rock, girl! 😊

    1. Well said, Becca! You got it! Just listen to your inner artist, go with the flow and create whatever you like the most! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us <3

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