Imperial Beach, CA 91932 January 28, 2016
How many times have we heard the phrase, “Starving Artist”? This is not a whole truth but does have some merit. You see artists are exactly that, “ARTISTS.” Most of them do not know much about sales nor marketing and therefore the problem begins. You have a plethora of talented people out there that wish to become famous with their talents. The problem arises when they continue to paint, draw or sculpt not knowing how to sell their work. Working with artists most of my adult life has given me a step up on the problem and I have been using my theories to help some young artists throughout the south bay area of San Diego, CA. It started some 13 years ago and has been running very well ever since.
First of all an artist needs to define who is going to purchase their work. I see many beautiful pieces of visual art but most of them do not appeal to those who have the purchasing power. Sure they look great but teenagers usually do not have the capital to invest in art. So who do we really want to reach? We want to look at those who are considered upper middle class to middle upper class. Those that have the disposable income wishing to beautify their homes or those wishing to invest in an up and coming artist. Okay, so now we have defined our target market so where do we fine them? What do we paint, draw or sculpt to attract them to our works? Let’s take an example. There exists some horse people out there that love horses. We do our homework and fine that they have various events throughout the year and we have the opportunity to show at these events. Okay, what to paint? Horses of course but not only horses but horses with their friends. Horses with kitties, puppies, lambs and even various birds. A horse with a Macaw on its back or one perching on the rail of their stall. Anything that shows the potential client that you understand the animal and its friends. I was married to a horse woman and being around those people showed me a different side of horses. One Arabian would not travel anywhere without its best friend a tiny little burro named, “Paco.” They couple that owned the horse had a painting done and placed it in the stables with their beautiful Arabian and Paco standing together eating their alfalfa.
The world is full of people who just love certain animals. They love turtles, frogs, cats, big cats, dogs, elephants and the list goes on. It is our job as an artist to find those people and tailor our art to their liking. Now I hear artists say, “But I want to paint what I feel.” Well then you can paint, “Hungry.” One of my students told me that money was not important to him. He wanted to paint what he desired. About a week later I was with another of my students when he ran into us and we were going to have breakfast. He asked if he could come along. I told him, “Yes.” Time came to order our food and he looked at me and asked if I would buy him breakfast? I told him that money may not be important to you but it sure helps you eat when you are hungry. I am not saying you have to paint only what people want but the majority of the time it is important. Maybe every fourth painting is what you want to paint, but the other three are for those who can help pay for the fourth painting and maybe breakfast.
So this is just the beginning to what one needs to do to get yourself out into the marketplace. I have some 45 years of professional experience in Sales and Marketing. I know what works as from my program we have turned out 10 professional artists that are making their way through doing just what they want to do, ART.