Question: Hi Abby! I was wondering how to start marketing your art work and getting your work out there for people to see. Often times I get washed away in the crowd. How can I stand out from other artists?
Promoting yourself to the world is, as many artists and designers know, vital to making connections and finding work. Creating a presence for yourself lets other artists, art organizations, and potential clients know that you exist!
As an artist, you’re capable of putting your talent to work in many ways, so you have plenty of choices to make as to how and where you want to put your art to work. First, determine what artistic fields you want to contribute to.
For many artists, there’s more than one place your art belongs. Make a list of the fields where you’d like your art to appear, and the fields that you may already be contributing to. Do you want your art to appear on CD artwork and gig posters? On greeting cards and stationery? In science books and medical journals? In children’s books?
There are endless industries you can be a part of, because they’ve all got the same thing in common: they all need artwork. You just need to decide where you want to put yours.
For nearly every industry you can think of, there’s a guild, association, organization, or forum for artists who work specifically for that industry. Do some internet searches and find several groups you can become a part of. Behance Network, Tumblr, and Instagram are all great places to start. Artists in almost every genre have portfolios and blogs through websites like these. Introduce yourself into an online community by putting up some portfolio images, your contact info, and write a blurb or two about your work. Then dig in your heels.
Consistent project updates are important to maintaining your presence and establishing an audience of viewers. Your audience wants to know what you’re up to, so let them see! Better yet, invite them into your art process by posting questions, crowd-sourcing ideas from them, and talk to those who are watching you grow. It’s a great way to create a rapport with your audience, and with fellow artists too.
Setting up accounts on different websites does take a little time, yes, but after that, the task of updating goes quickly and smoothly. If you budget time for portfolio and blog updates at least once during the week, you’ll develop a healthy practice that doesn’t take away from your work schedule at all.
Whatever you do, DO NOT be intimidated by the portfolios of other artists. DO NOT look at other artists’ ideas and try to be better than them. Instead, develop your own identity based on a combination of the art you love to do, and the art you do well. It isn’t that you have to try to be different from a crowd; you just have to make honest work and it will be different because it’s you.
Trust me. This thing is true. People notice this.