By Julie Rekha, added June 2017
Starting out not long ago as a visual artist, I found it to be creatively very fulfilling. There were many artistic discoveries that helped me find my true self and when it came to my network, some people were supportive and some were not comfortable acknowledging it. A friend once told me, that because art evokes feelings and deep imagination, it can affect those who are not ready to be expressive. So be ready to take criticism and rejection as part of the process.
You may feel all alone in your career as an artist with so many competitions in the market and a product that is undervalued. But here are some of the challenges we face on a regularly basis and even for the professional who may be a lot more established, these are common problems.
1. My Art Is Not Good Enough
Feel like you are not "creative or good enough?" think deeply on what your definition of creative is for you. Do you think that your art is not creative or great enough since it doesn't look as special as some other piece of art you must have compared it with? Or is it because you haven't been doing art for a long time? Whatever it might be - you shouldn't feel that your art isn't creative or good enough, as such art will continually be evolving and getting better as time evolves. The actual remedy to this issue is to simply place your art out there in the marketplace and market it, even though you do not feel it's good or creative enough to sell.
This provides a good learning experience and it will help you accept the reality that art is not designed to be perfect. Though you might view your primary art piece and feel it suck, well that happens to a majority, so accept it and embrace it. If you truly think that your art requires some work, you then should keep practicing and get yourself into more courses that can help you develop further.
2. Nobody Is Purchasing My Art Work
When you feel like nobody is purchasing your artwork, ask yourself if do you have a blueprint to attain the required sales? What channels do you sell from, and what are you doing to ensure those places are generating any income? Are you regularly updating your online store? Are you selling your art works to the right target audience? Are you promoting through social media and are you doing it efficiently? Let's consider each of these following queries further and talk about them individually - for you to reach an ideal solution for this issue you must be willing to find where your problems are and resolve them as quickly as possible.
I personally do not sell my art freely to anyone because there must be value and respect for my creations so finding myself the right buyer is something that is a challenge constantly. You do not want to sell your art to someone for loose change and find that your masterpiece has been left in the basement and is collecting dust. If you are marketing your collections at a more affordable price range then invest in selling reproductions/fine art prints instead.
3. I don't Have a Plan for My Sales
For you attain more sales, then you are required to have a plan on how you will attain them. Having plans/blueprints keeps you concentrated on your mission and helps you attain your objectives quicker as you have better view of where it will go contingent on such plan. If you do not have a plan; then this could be the purpose you are not selling enough of your artworks.
Another good option would be to view other artists and how they are marketing their artworks. It does not always require for you to sell in galleries or at the markets. These days you can upload your art on many platforms that can help you sell.
4. Not Knowing How to Leverage
If you are marketing your artwork independently, you must ensure that you have several means of doing it. This guarantees that you have more opportunities of getting money as well as having your projects better seen. In case you only market at once spot, whether offline or online, you should work on some other revenue channel/stream. This could range from marketing your art in diverse locations online or offline, receiving commissions, and licensing your art. It's exactly like that popular phrase - don't place all your eggs in one basket!
5. Wrong Target Audiences
You require having a concrete idea of the kind of folks that would most probably purchase your work. We refer to this as your "Target Audience or Market" and this is utilized to classify who your actual buyers are. If you have not thought of who your target audience/market is, start asking first your friends and family for feedback. Once you can identify the type of people who prefer your style of painting, drawing or sculpture, they then become your target audience. You will need to market your stuff to the same age group, gender, demographics and lifestyle preference as your initial research. Simply put, if your style of painting is pop art then it will most likely suit the young millennia than it would for baby boomers. So, you should start creating and marketing specifically for this group.
6. Not Enough Online/Social Media Presence
Whether you market online or offline, you might be missing a lot of prospects if you are not promoting your art on diverse social media. Let's assume that you are, though you are not receiving enough engagement or outcomes from it. If so, you should ask yourself if you are doing it correctly, meaning that, do you post at the right moment? And are you posting the right content or projects? Are you aware of how regular you should post on a social media platform? It may look like so much - however once you acquire all these data on social media, it will become easier for you and be the best investment of your time since it will pull in awesome results.
7. Nobody is Supporting My Art Career
Many artists and creative have family members, loved ones or friends who don't support their art career. Such reason could be because they don't see it as a promising career, and they don't realize how you would breakthrough or support yourself from such venture, and to be direct - they just don't get the entire picture/scene. We can even assume that they are worried about you, since it's an area that's totally unfamiliar to them. The ultimate way to have them on your side - would be to tell them your plan. Discuss with them how you intend to make cash and let them know what you will do to make a life out of it. If you do have plan, then it would be great to reveal it to them and point out to them other existing artists that are making a living from their art. Thru this, they will have better view and understand this is a viable career prospect.
Your art business can be rewarding in many ways however it does come with many risks and sacrifices. If you are willing to stick by your plans and invest your time and energy into developing and problem solving, it can be quite a rewarding career. Remember to ask for help from those who are willing to offer you guidance and knowledge.