The art world is expanding constantly. Famous auction house Christie’s launches its first auction in India this month, with 83 pieces and an estimated value of around $8 million.
Young artists, photographers and sculptors are looking for their own openings into the field – but the internet is a double edged sword, for photographers in particular. Photographic images can be easily reproduced online, but can be sold and made into ‘art’ with a little perseverance.
First and foremost, for a photographer or artist to be taken seriously as a commercial contender, they must have a website. A website is a unique branding tool, which allows the artist to portray themselves appropriately – as a trendy, contemporary visionary or a traditional, meticulous portraitist, or anything at all. It is this website link which can go on business cards, on posters for gallery displays and on other advertising. Online shopping can be arranged directly from the artist’s own website or from a centralised ‘gallery’ website through which customers choose their prints. Ignore the internet at your peril. Unless you are an established name, few people will take the time to visit your shop/gallery to browse for art pieces. Having a website also means that people who have seen your work but chosen not to make a purchase on that day are able to change their minds later and access the site from their home, giving flexibility which can generate a sale that otherwise would have been missed.
If an artist is particularly talented in landscapes, whether in photographic media or painted pictures, these are more likely to be sold to a local audience who recognise the geography than to a national audience with no connection to the region. Likewise, local cafes, libraries, galleries and other institutions often display works of art by local characters and this too is an ideal way of gathering support and making your name known. Before approaching any businesses to ask about displaying your work, make sure your portfolio is up to date and in its best form to present to potential exhibitors. Even local banks will sometimes display artwork, so think outside the box to find openings which will get your work on show and help cultivate support.
It stands to reason that if you are charging money to customers for your product, it needs to be of a competitive standard and obviously worth the price. If prints of photographs are being sold, you should mount them on heavy cardstock and package them carefully. Paintings need to be on archival canvas which will not deteriorate with age. Companies such as Jackson’s Art Supplies and others will be able to offer advice as to whether your preferred products are of the right standard, or will be able to offer alternative options for the art making process. If you follow this link for more information you will see the different kinds of material available. Customers are intelligent and an artist’s reputation can be seriously damaged by poor word of mouth advertising regarding quality and price.
Ultimately the distinction between images and artwork is made differently by each person, but following the above guidelines should help to set your work apart from the rest.
Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cayetano/948922514/