Always be ready to promote your art

On a Facebook group I belong to that’s devoted to colored pencil artists (yes, there is such a thing), a member recently commented that although she’d like to get more exposure for her art, she doesn’t like talking about it because it feels like “bragging”.  Of course several of us assured her that it’s not bragging, it’s marketing!  If someone is asking you about your art, like what media you work with and why, or what the story is behind a piece they like, they are taking an interest, and you never know where it might lead.

For example: Two weeks ago I finished “Angangueo Kitchen”, and part of my completion ritual includes having my artwork scanned so I can upload it to my website and produce giclee prints and cards.  I had go to a different copy shop than usual because my customary one was already closed for the day.  The gentleman who did the scanning asked during the process “So who’s the artist?”  I chuckled and admitted it was me.  The next thing I knew he was inquiring about whether I do commissions, how much I charge, do I have a website, etc.  It turned out he’d been trying to figure out what to give his wife for their anniversary this year and when he saw my drawing he got the idea to give her a piece of artwork done just for her.  Fortunately, I have business cards and always keep a few in my wallet.  I gave him one before I left.

Now most of the time after I give someone one of my business cards, I hear nothing further.  And that’s fine–cards are cheap.  But a few days later, my phone rang and it was the gentleman from the copy shop, ready to hire me after viewing my website.  I completed his portrait commission, and when I presented it to him he said “We’ll be showing this to our families so you might get some business from them, too!”

Granted, I don’t have worldwide name recognition (yet!), but I can still point out how three things worked for me, here:  I was ready with answers to the most common questions about my work, I have a website that showcases my work, and I carry business cards to steer new acquaintances to my website.  You just never know where your next commission or sale might originate!