not enough galleries

Art Career Advice That Will Make You Successful

Quotes with Art Career Advice from Barney Davey

My friends at make some of the industry’s websites for artists and publish the art marketing newsletter, It includes original art career advice articles plus syndication of top posts from art marketing authors like me.

They also compile and publish quotes from my posts and other publishers. You can find my quotes here

root for underdogs - buy the winners

A key component to operating a successful small business is to grow consumer interest in it. You can and should work at promoting your business in a manner befitting it. Self-promotion is essential to the process.

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Consistently working to build awareness for you and your artwork is necessary to develop a successful art career. Self-promotion is merely acting on opportunities to spread the word about your work.

being busy on wrong things

It’s not enough to be busy. Being busy on the wrong things is a career killer. It’s not sufficient to have great intentions either. To gain success, you must make the right choices about what to do and act on them first.

I don’t know any artists who are starving. I do know some who feel like their careers are kind of on a starvation diet due to lack of sales. The biggest reason why art does not sell is that not enough qualified buyers see it.

direct buying customers

Direct buying collectors help you make more money and sustain your career. Collectors are critical because they represent potential sales of many pieces to the same person. They also are your best source for referrals to other collectors, or to opportunities that would not be open to you otherwise. A devoted fan may make introductions to people who can make a significant impact on your career. You don’t get this from the casual art buyer.

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lifeblood is customers

The lifeblood of any business is customers. They are what make the difference between a hobby and business. Whether you are a dentist, a plumber, a hairdresser, or an artist, you share a common problem. How do I find enough customers to grow my business? If you want to keep the doors open, you must have customers.

successful artists are productive artists

Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working. — Pablo Picasso

Whether you desire to be highly creative or to earn a generous income, or both, productivity is an essential ingredient. It comes down to this: if you want to make more money and continually improve your skills, you have to make more art.

making art for money

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When I talk about embracing your authentic self and making money, I am serious. If you are at odds with the fact that you are a creative source that has the unique ability to make one-of-a-kind artwork and feel you should be ashamed for wanting to make money from your efforts, then I am talking to you.

worrying and wondering

If the art you currently produce is not selling well, you might find yourself using research to find best-selling art subjects. If that is the case, you may inadvertently overlook other reasons why your art is not selling.

not enough galleries

There are fewer galleries now than ever. The remaining ones have less influence in how art gets sold. As such, artists must find ways to create direct patronage. I still believe in working with galleries, just not exclusively to distribute your art.

creative marketing

Today, you have the tools to shape your reputation and improve your art business. Websites, blogs, email marketing, publicity, and press releases can go a long way towards defining who you are as an artist. There are many ways to get noticed on art websites and blogs. Look for opportunities for feature stories, interviews, or human-interest angles for highlighting you and your work. Become an active participant in online discussions and forums that are of interest to your target audience.


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