Art Marketing Circle III - Product Element 5
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Alright, with that out of the way, let’s take a look at Art Marketing Circle III - Turning Your Art into a Saleable Product…
When you decide you want to sell your art, everything changes. Prior to that decision, you are creating solely because you have the insatiable hunger to create. You are feeding your soul. You are making the world better, from your perspective, because you are making yourself better. As I said before, an artist cannot serve two masters, so you must serve your soul first, before you sell your art, so that you have no inner conflict.
Once you decide to sell your art, however, you walk a fine line. You must, in short, turn your offering which consists of you, your art and the stories and context in which you talk about all of it into a product, without losing your focus on your own vision and your own inspiration.
Now, to sell art, it’s of critical importance that your art is inspired and that there is something of you in it that makes it unique. And if you’ve done your work properly in the previous circle (Art Marketing Circle II - Your Art), you’ve already nailed that aspect.
In addition to you unique art however, there are five business elements that you must think through to turn your art into a product:
Your Offerings - the mix of products and services you offer (covered here)
Reputational Power - The reputation you build up via magic interactions with people (covered here)
The Category or niche that you mostly work within (covered here)
The Price you charge for your art (covered here)
The Stories you tell about yourself and your art (starting with this article)
Nail these five elements and you will give yourself a huge tailwind when you start offering your art for sale.
Now, the stories category is by far the biggest category precisely because stories are important. So we’re going to break up the stories section into several articles. Today we’re going to provide an overview of why stories are so important,
So let’s dive in……
The Stories You Tell About Yourself and Your Art
When creating art you're making stories. When marketing art, you're making stories matter.
Artists often say, “My work speaks for itself.”
And marketers often say, “People don’t buy art, they buy stories.”
Both are making a point, but neither is completely true.
People buy the art, not just the story. But the stories do matter. Your work doesn’t speak for itself. What you tell people about your work will affect how much of it you sell, and how much people enjoy it. However, artists, and marketers often misunderstand what we mean when we say “the story” and mistakenly assume we mean the story of the artist’s background.
What we actually mean when we say “the story” is an amalgamation of many different kinds of “stories”, both verbal and nonverbal, that define the brand, or the vibe around your art. Context, for example, is a kind of story. The “story” of an exhibit can be changed quite dramatically just by changing the context. The same pieces hanging in your studio vs. hanging at an art fair vs. hanging in a gallery vs. hanging in a museum tell quite different “stories.” Furthermore, each collector has their own “story” which can drive interest in specific artworks. As one collector told us, “I buy paintings that move me, and remind me of important events in my life. The artist undoubtedly has a story, and it may reinforce my story, but I buy the art that reflects my story."
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