How to Sell Your Indie Art Project
Sometimes artists may feel tension between their art and commerce. They can be uncomfortable if not downright hostile to the notion of treating their passion project like a commodity. But the truth is it’s near impossible for novelist, painters, musicians or any other kind of artist to make a living by sheer talent alone.
Artists shouldn’t feel that they’re compromising themselves when they take steps to sell their art, and should welcome any help they can find. Here are a few tips that can help artists gain financial independence from their work.
Hire Pros for Promotion
No matter how excellent your art is, it needs to get the public’s attention and interest if it is to generate enough sales to make a profit, or even financial viability. If you decide to work with a professional graphic design firm you can access their expertise in making arresting posters or book covers that will help boost sales. Because they are often artists themselves, they understand how much it means to you. Contemporary graphic design firms handle digital advertising too, as well as branding, videos, and even designs for events you may hold.
Working with a design studio is like working with your own in-house design team — there’s no bureaucracy, and you’ll be able to talk directly with the designers and art directors themselves, not a middleman.
It’s a sound investment:relying on an amateur artist friend of yours to do your book cover or other graphic needs for beer money seems convenient in the short-term, but it’s unlikely to catapult your work to the top of the charts. Like your own art, graphic designers do difficult, important and artistic work. Think of hiring them as artistic collaboration.
Reach Out to People with Platforms
Embrace the digital age. Once your art itself and the branding work have been complete, try to connect with art critics or people with a public platform who you respect. Don’t let self-promotion feel sordid! Imagine yourself as the proud ambassador of your work. If you don’t feel comfortable talking about your art, how can you expect strangers to?
By seeking out critics or bloggers you admire, the odds increase that they and their following will naturally be aligned with what your work, since your tastes likely overlap. What is good for commerce can be good for art, too. These things do not have to be fundamentally at odds with each other.
Occupy Physical Space
Low-tech solutions can also work. There must be sections of your city with good foot traffic where you can tape or tack posters, or simply sit with your wares and sell it to whichever passer-by is interested. Savvy cities make room for artists on their streets.
You won’t be able to set up a full-on store in a public space, but depending on the nature of your work, you can show it off and have copies for sale. It’ll be hard to sell on a magnitude of scale, but it can result in immediate sales, as well as generate buzz for your work on the street, literally.
You don’t need to be told to put your heart into your art, but that isn’t the end of the process if you want to make a living from it. If you connect with design firms who know how to entice the public with art of their own, and you hit theInternet and the streets, you’ll be well on your way to selling your art.