As an artist, you clearly are a creative person. Ask yourself how creative your marketing is.
Marketing covers everything you do generate awareness and interest in your work. When you continually put effective marketing in place, you create a desire to own your work and action to acquire it.
Because I think synergizing traditional tool such as advertising, publicity, promotion, and direct mail along with websites, blogs, email blasts, e-newsletters and social media is how to develop a successful art career, I devote an entire chapter to it in Guerrilla Art Marketing for Artists.
It is true, you can use lots of creativity with the marketing tools mentioned above, but I see artists every day using their creative marketing smarts to sell more art. One of the methods I have advocated for years is what I call alternative marketing.
This could be coffee shops, restaurants, spas, salons, antique malls, upscale consignment shops, boutiques, pet stores, street corners, or anywhere that does not fall under the category of a typical venue for selling art.
An advantage of alternative marketing is artists often are not competing with other artists in the space. Regardless, they are locating potential buyers who may not frequent physical or online galleries, and who may not initially be inclined to surf artists websites, or sign up for their blogs.
In my art marketing books, and in many blog posts, I have championed the idea of artists using creative marketing techniques to rent or occupy vacant retail spaces to setup as a temporary storefront gallery. This is not a unique idea; it just takes the creative mind to conceive it and the moxie to make it happen.
I have also suggested the idea of creating an “art happening” where visual artists might join forces with musicians, poets, actors, and authors and cross-market to their various mailing lists and followings. If the visual artist takes charge of the event, he or she will become the focal point of something that has considerable potential for getting media exposure. This is especially true if a charitable component is added the mixture.
A recent article in the Arizona Republic, Scottsdale Art Program Transforms Valley Window Displays, is a perfect example of creative marketing and alternative marketing at work. It covers how transforming vacant buildings into art spaces, which helps both struggling artists and landlords in greater Phoenix use the spaces creatively.
The story by Sonja Haller, details how through In Flux, an innovative multi-city initiative demonstrating a holistic approach to temporary public art, Melissa Martinez has opened new doors for her art career. She first took part with In Flux, in 2010. This year, her whimsical, floating jellyfish art is on display at the popular Westgate Entertainment Center.
One of Martinez’s artworks from her 2010 In Flux show was acquired by Scottsdale Public Art, and is now part of its permanent collection. She has been a finalist in another Scottsdale Public Art project and was recently awarded a $24,000 commission with Tempe, AZ for public art.
Haller’s report includes this quote from Martinez, “I would not have been able to do that had I not done the first-ever (In Flux) public-art project. It has changed my life for sure as an artist.” Martinez’s example shows just how much one artist can do with creative marketing. Now, it is up to you to get started pursuing your career with invigorated creativity.