Sell Yourself

Well-designed and informative marketing materials are one of the best promotional tools to have on hand when you’re trying to sell your artwork. If done effectively, they’ll assist you in getting more sales, attracting new buyers and getting greater exposure for your artwork. Because there are thousands of artists competing against you in the job market, your promotional material has to say a great deal about your unique abilities.

Stationery and letterhead: You’re a small-business owner and, as such, you need letterhead and stationery that looks professional. It should contain your name, the title of your business, a mailing address, telephone and fax numbers, as well as your e-mail address and Web site address if you have them. Effective letterhead uses a 12-point font or larger, and has easily read type styles like Arial. Never use all captial letters, italics or scripts, because these treatments can be difficult to decipher.

Business cards: Often your business card is the first and last impression people will have of your art, so you’ll want to make it as effective as possible. Select one of your strongest, most recent pieces for the front of the card. Make sure the artwork isn’t an image that loses too much of its quality if rendered smnall—it should be bright, bold and easy to read when reproduced as a thumbnail image. Have the artworkk professionaly photogrpahed to guarantee a great presentation.

Poscards and invitations: Essentially, a postcard is an oversized business card that has a lot of space on the back for you to use in a variety of ways. One side should have a reproduction of one of your strongest pieces of art, and the other side should contain information about the work. It should be one of your most outstatnding pieces, available for sale and easy to see when reduced in size. You might also consider leaving lots of white space so you can write personal notes to your art collectors.

Brochures: A brochure is an expanded postcard, most often a full sheet of 8-1/2×11 paper that’s been folded in thirds. It can be mailed by itself or inserted into a standard-size business envelope. An effectively organized brochure will have detailed information and several images on it. For instance, if you’re presenting a new series of landscapes, a brochure can have a photograph of you in your studio or painting en plein air, as well as three pictures of your most recent landscape paintings. If it’s a workshop brochure you’re making, you might want pictures of yourself teaching, as well as a few examples of your work and your students’ work. Your brochure should also include all the contact information what you put together earlier when assembling your stationery and business cards.

Mark Gottsegen is an associate professor of art at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and chair of the ASTM International’s subcommittee on artists’ materials.

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