It's not an unreal aspiration to make money by selling your oil painting artwork or watercolors, but it will take a significant amount of work in two areas:
Your art. While it is possible to make money off
of art that isn't particularly good--we live in a society, remember, that paid
actual money for "pet rocks" in the 1970s--it is easier on your conscience and
your marketing plan if you start with a product that you know is really, really
good and that you believe in. Do whatever it takes to become really, really good, while still recognizing that
this is a process that never ends.
The first part of selling your art is ensuring that the art
you make is really, really good. Eyrie by Steve
Henderson of Steve Henderson Fine
Does this sound obvious? It is, but that doesn't make it
easy to see. I have talked to far too many artists who think they are better
than they are, and who have huge gaps in basic skills on how to paint
that they compensate for,
but never admit that they have them or take the necessary steps to address the lacks.
Your marketing. I know. You're an artist, not a
marketer. But if you are going to get your work out in the arena where people
will see it and purchase it, you will have to think about marketing. The good
news is, you don't have to start out as a genius in this area and you'll get better as you go along.
As with any project that seems overwhelming upon first view,
break your marketing plan down into little pieces, and start local where you
know people and have contacts. Our very first marketing move--after we were
sure that we had something really, really good to offer--was approaching the
gallery in our small town where we knew the gallery staff, because we ran into
them all the time in the grocery store (in a small town, this is a central
I called the head staff member, made an appointment to bring by some of
the Norwegian Artist's work,
and answered her various questions. Because she wasn't a total stranger, I
didn't feel nervous, and this one small move, in addition to securing our first
gallery location, was great "practice" for the next move.
What was your first marketing move for your art? Leave a comment and let me know.