HOW TO MAKE A LIV­ING FROM ART

Fol­low our guide to max­imis­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties as an artist

Country Homes & Interiors - - MY COUNTRY BUSINESS -

Es­tab­lish­ing your­self as an artist is no mean feat,

but nowa­days tal­ented artists such as Clare Brown­low have more op­por­tu­ni­ties than ever be­fore to earn a liv­ing from their work.

Set up your own on­line shop.

Clare has her own web­site where she sells orig­i­nal works and prints. She has also sourced sup­pli­ers and cre­ated a range of home­wares featuring her de­signs that she sells at fairs and ex­hi­bi­tions as well as on­line. You can also li­cense your de­signs — leas­ing a de­sign to a com­pany or brand for ei­ther a sin­gle or range of prod­ucts — which is a fan­tas­tic mar­ket­ing tool and great for rais­ing your pro­file.

Show­case and sell your paint­ings on­line.

Clare sells her work through Quan­tum Con­tem­po­rary Art Gallery, which has its own web­site. There are also var­i­ous on­line art plat­forms, such as Cul­ture­la­bel, which show­cases fine art and a range of art gifts. ‘For many artists get­ting their work into the right gallery can be a long and some­times painstak­ing process,’ says Aretha Campbell, Artist Man­ager at Cul­ture­la­bel. ‘How­ever, with an ever-in­creas­ing pro­por­tion of art now sold via in­ter­net art plat­forms, web­sites such as Cul­ture­la­bel, are bridg­ing this gap be­tween artists and gal­leries.

‘Artists can use th­ese plat­forms to show­case their work for other gal­leries, art con­sul­tants and to de­velop an in­ter­na­tional client base and pres­ence. Many plat­forms will al­low artists to put links di­rectly to their own web­sites, and will of­ten take a small per­cent­age in terms of sales com­mis­sion. Do your re­search. Show dif­fer­ent work on dif­fer­ent plat­forms to avoid com­pe­ti­tion, and make sure you keep your pric­ing con­sis­tent.’

Aretha’s tips for ap­ply­ing to on­line art gal­leries are:

Pro­vide an artist bi­og­ra­phy. Also give key in­for­ma­tion about your past ex­hi­bi­tions and/or com­mis­sions. If you are a new artist and don’t have ex­pe­ri­ence in th­ese ar­eas, sup­ply in­for­ma­tion about the key themes of your work and the main in­spi­ra­tion be­hind it.’

Make sure you have high-res im­agery.

‘Us­ing high-res­o­lu­tion im­ages is a big ad­van­tage when ap­proach­ing a gallery as this presents your work in a pro­fes­sional man­ner. I would rec­om­mend send­ing through pho­to­graphs of the whole work, as well as close-ups to high­light in­ter­est­ing de­tails. In-situ im­agery is al­ways use­ful to show scale and helps cus­tomers to visu­alise the work in their homes.’ Be clear about your work. ‘Gal­leries ap­pre­ci­ate hav­ing clear de­scrip­tions. Make sure to in­clude the name of the art­work, the medium, the size and price. If there is a story be­hind the work in­clude that, too.’

Ex­plore the idea of col­lab­o­rat­ing.

‘Work­ing on col­lab­o­ra­tions opens up po­ten­tial op­por­tu­ni­ties with other com­pa­nies that you would oth­er­wise be un­likely to reach,’ says Aretha. ‘Cul­ture­la­bel, for ex­am­ple, has col­lab­o­rated with An­thro­polo­gie and Lux Deco to pro­duce a col­lec­tion of lim­ited-edi­tion prints, de­signed by some of their best gallery artists.

‘An­other key sec­tor for artists to look into is im­age li­cens­ing with com­pa­nies such as Bridge­man Stu­dio, which works with over 30,000 clients across mul­ti­ple in­dus­tries world­wide.’

Raise your pro­file.

At­tend ex­hi­bi­tions, fairs and art fairs. Clare has ex­hib­ited at Af­ford­able Art Fairs glob­ally and also sells her work at big events such as Game Fairs and Burgh­ley Horse Tri­als. ☎ Cul­ture­la­bel, 020 7908 1627, cul­ture­la­bel.com.

The one les­son I have learned... ‘GO WITH your GUT, LIS­TEN TO WHAT PEO­PLE ASK OF you AND your ART, AND be unique, be YOUR­SELF AND be CRE­ATIVE’

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