HOW TO MAKE A LIVING FROM ART
Follow our guide to maximising opportunities as an artist
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’