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030: 10 SMART WAYS TO ELEVATE YOUR ART

Episode 30

 

 

With 1000's of artists making fabulous art it's hard to stand out and get noticed.

 

In this episode we will be looking at 10 Smart Ways you can not only elevate your art but create a memorable, lasting experience for your art audience. 

 

 

1. Develop your Skills

 

The dictionary describes an artist as someone who creates things with great skill and imagination. Developing your artistic skill is the first step you need to take to get your art seen and heard.

It may seem like a given but making share worthy, memorable art that get's those heads turning is not something that just happens by chance.

Skill is something taught and nurtured. Successful artists have mastered their craft and have committed to putting in the work. I don’t know one successful working artist that got there the easy way. 

Even though many artists enjoyed formal training or attended an art academy their education was not the only reason for their success. Formal training does help to give you a solid foundation in your art and sets you up for a sustainable art career but it is not a dealbreaker. 

 

Don’t let the fact that you didn't have any formal training keep you from pursuing your art dream.

 

Create your own education trajectory, find a course, buy an art book or embrace a mentor (virtual or in person).  It is extremely valuable to find someone to whom you are accountable.

One aspect I really appreciated when I studied at the art academy were those terrifying moments when the teachers would ask us to put our work on the easel to evaluate our progress.

Although the feedback was often hard to swallow, once I learnt not to take it too personally I could use the critique to improve my work. 

Do you have somebody that will tell you the truth about your work? Are there ways that you can elevate your work by improving your skills?

 

 

2. Use Images that Best Represent your Work

 

An image does speak more than 1000 words and an image is often the only reference a potential art buyer will have of your art.

 How do you capture your art in an image that best represents your work? In this visual world images matter and how you photograph your art or capture your art vision on video can make all the difference between visitors leaving or staying on your artist website or social channels.

Creating a coherent, consistent style in how you photograph your art will build trust , helping followers recognise your art, and if done well, will keep them coming back for more.

 You have a secret weapon right there in your pocket. Your mobile phone. Technology has made it super easy and accessible for artists to take those compelling images of their art.

 Choosing the right composition, context and colours all add to how your art audience will experience your art. How can you elevate your art by improving the quality of the images? 

Do you need to take a mobile photography course or do you need to invest in a professional photoshoot.

 Take a look online! What photography styles do you love? What don’t you love? Try and detect why?Start to build up an image library of your work and your process and share them generously and intentionally on your website and social channels.

 

3. Framing your Work

 

Your paint is dry and your clay is set, you have added your signature and you are ready to share your art with the world. What is your next step?

There is nothing like a beautiful frame or mat around a piece of work to elevate it to a whole new level. Framing says your work is ready. Framing says your work is share worthy. Framing says I care. 

 Framing not only adds to the aesthetics but also allows your buyers an easy way to hang up your art. Not all buyers want to purchase art with a frame, as it's often a matter of personal taste. 

 Whether you choose to sell your art framed or unframed, make sure you have some images of your art on your website and social channels photographed with the frame. This will give your audience and potential buyers a glimpse of how your art will look on their wall.

 When you sell prints or reproductions consider the sizes that you are offering. You will really elevate your buyer's experience of your art if you sell your work in standard sizes so that their purchase does not turn into a nightmare because they simply can’t find a suitable frame.

 Visit a local framer? Find out what framing options are out there. You can add extra value when you expertly advise someone purchasing your art as to how they can best hang up and care for your art.

 Whether you are working flat or 3-D, how you choose to represent your art, once you are finished creating it, can add immense value and extra shine to your work.

 

4. Create from a Place of Authenticity

 

 

There is only one of you and when you find a way to create out of that place of authenticity you will literally set yourself apart from the rest.

Smart artists have something to say. Smart artists have found ways to tell their story. Smart artists have developed a vision in their lives that they share with others.

They have developed opinions, found a style that is genuine and real. It’s simply not true that your art will appeal to everybody. Some people will be drawn to what you do more than others.

 What do you want to say through your art? Are you clear about why you make your art and why it matters. Finding the answer to these questions are important if you successfully want to start to connect your art with others.

 

 

5. Find Words that Define you

 

Not only the images that you share are important. Finding the right words to articulate what you are making or creating will elevate your art audience's perception of you.

This does not mean you need to be an oscar winning public speaker or pulitzer prize author. You can practice to find the right words.

What do you say when people ask you what you do. Do you have the words to express what you feel so deeply about?

 Take time to write a short pitch about yourself as the artist and why you love to make your art.

In a few sentences write down:

  1. who you are,
  2. what you do,
  3. what you are working on at the moment,
  4. where people can find you and enjoy your work (offline & online).

 

Then practise this short pitch in front of the mirror or record it with your mobile phone.

 

The success of how people relate to you, often comes down to your ability to communicate about yourself and your art through the words that you use.

 

If you are prepared you can really make an impression and get the attention of being a serious working artist.

 

6. Working in Series

 

When you work around a central theme, a certain technique or subject matter you are working in series. A series has an element that binds it all together. You are choosing to not only create a single piece but each piece reinforces and elevates the other pieces in the series.

 

Working in series allows you to communicate a clear and coherent message, taking your followers on this journey with you. 

 

Build anticipation with your art audience. Share regularly about your process and what motivated you to work around this theme, idea or concept.

Your followers will be watching closely. Enjoying your story and excited to see the end results.

 Anticipation is a powerful mechanism you can use to build up momentum when you are ready to sell your art.

 When you choose to work in a series you are communicating an entire body of work not just one piece.

Each piece is part of a story! A story that you can use and share on all your communication channels.

You can write about it in a blog or guest post, share more about your theme and why it inspired you on your social channels and you will give bloggers, journalists and others writing and reporting about you, a context and a story to write about.

 


7. Build Powerful Connections

 

Art is all about connection. You are not making your art to sit around your studio to collect dust. Your art is there to generously share with others.

This sharing whether it is a post on your instagram account or a blog on your website or an image on your facebook page gives you an opportunity to connect. Connect with real people.

People buy art from real people. People buy art from people they feel they know and this does not mean they need to meet you in person.

But by opening up and finding ways to connect in a real, genuine way will really put you in their art spotlight.

 It may not mean a big crowd but you will really make an impression if you respond to your followers comments, answer questions and engage by asking questions. This is such a quick win that can have huge results. 

 Set aside 10 minutes of your day to respond to people that have been engaging with your content. Thank them for following you and tell them you are available if they have any questions.

 

8. Consistency is Key

 

It’s not the size of your following that is going to make the biggest impact.

Building an engaged, inspired art audience is about the quality. So don’t fall into the trap of counting likes or obsess about the size of your insta following. This is all relative. 

 

 

What can you post that will inspire, uplift, inform and support those taking the trouble to follow you.

Use your photography, your words, your vision, your process and share these generously in a consistent way. Make posting on your communication channels part of your art routine. 

 I get it, you want to be in your studio making your art. Yes, and that is important but you need to know that without an art audience that understands you and appreciates your art, you will not be getting the impact you art deserves.

 Make a list of themes you want to post on. How can you divide these themes as post ideas throughout your week?

Sit down at the beginning of each week and plan when you are going to share what and when!

This will help you post constantly bringing your art and art vision to the attention of your followers. Getting them just as excited about your art as you are about making it.

 

9. Pay Attention to the Little Things

 

How would you feel when you visit a gallery and the art is badly lit, the canvasses are hanging skew and the work is poorly framed!

Or you head over to an artist website and the images are blurry, the content is unclear and the navigation so confusing that you leave the website frustrated unable to find what you are looking for.

Your wins are in the details.

Ask a friend to have a look at your art website.

  1. Is your website clear and easy to navigate.
  2. Do the images best represent your work?
  3. Is it clear who you are and what you do within the first few seconds of opening up your homepage?
  4. Are all your links working?
  5. Do your social icons work and offer visitors an enhanced experience with you and your art?

 

How are packages your art? Can you add something extra that will elevate your audience's experience when they open your package. Can you add that handwritten note or beautiful printen invoice? Can you add cards for them to share with friends or coupons for a discount for their next purchase?

 Sit down and make a list of all the small but essentials steps that are part of your art business. Which steps can you pay extra attention to? Find ways to not only make your art with care also all the other areas that make dealing with you and your art extra memorable. 


10. Go the Extra Mile

 

Congratulations! Your art show was a success, your workshop a blast and all the products in your online store have sold out.

You can pop the cork to celebrate but your art journey does not have to end here.

Your art has found a new home. Somebody out there is now enjoying your creativity and savouring and treasuring their purchase.

 If you really want to elevate and add value to your art audience you can go one step further. Send them a note, write them an email or pick up the phone. Ask how they are enjoying your art? Express your gratitude and wish them many wonderful hours enjoying your work.

 Ask them if they would be willing to take a photograph of your work in their home or how they are engaging with your product.

Their feedback is extremely valuable! Ask them if you can add these images and/or the words that they expressed as testimonials to your website and use them on your social channels. 

 You can tell people about your inspiring art but when others do this for you it just rings louder and larger.

Sharing these real experiences validates your expertise, building trust as others read and see how your art has brought joy to other people's lives.

 

 



 

 

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