Being an artist means being flexible, and taking on opportunities as they become available. I found out the importance of flexibility when I relocated to Florida.
With the reality of making a living full time, instead of just seasonally, I had to make a lot of adjustments which meant expanding my teaching to other facilities, just to get my name out.
A life of an artist is about name recognition, and it is very important to make sure people know who you are, and what all you offer. If you are new at this game, or you have a hard time promoting yourself, you will have to get out of you comfort zone and start blowing your own horn. Only when people can see you, will your career start to bloom.
For me, that meant contacting a variety of places that offered art classes. While I am extremely happy teaching at Rookery Bay, public exposure for a year-round art program just isn’t there. I had no choice but to go to art associations and art leagues where people actually looked for art. I am now going to teach at multiple locations, so people in the community will become familiar with me, my name and my art style.
How to Promote Your Art
For any artist wanting to be recognized, there are important steps you must take. Here is a list of steps for artists who want to build their name, and their art-related business.
- Talk to people. Tell anyone who will listen what you do! You’d be surprised how many people think an artist is fascinating!
- Have business cards made, and have them with you at all times. There is opportunity everywhere, and you must be ready. I recently got a commission from a nurse while at a doctor’s appointment. I always carry cards in my purse.
- Have pictures of your art on your phone. Being able to show someone examples of your style is a sure way to close the deal.
- Get a good website. This is very important for people to see what you’re all about. I have two. I have this one on Artist’s Network, to help my readers connect with me and my books. I also have LeeHammond.net, where I can promote and sell all aspects of my business.
- Go to art-related events. Go to gallery openings and concerts where creative people will be. Talk to as many people as possible, and hand out your cards. Being visible in art-related venues tells people you belong there!
- You can make YouTube videos of yourself creating art. If you want to teach, you can create how-to tutorials. Allow people to get to know you and your art.
- Offer to hang your work at different locations. Many restaurants, libraries and banks often host art displays of local talent. You never know until you ask.
As you can see, there are many ways to self-promote yourself as an artist. I’ve had to somewhat start over here, after an already long career. It isn’t easy, but it is necessary if you want art to be your livelihood.
Who knows where all of this will lead me? I take it one day at a time, one opportunity at a time, and enjoy each day I am allowed to do what I do! I realize I am lucky to do what I do for a living, so I never take it for granted.
Art Classes and Workshops for 2017
Want to learn more about my art and process? Here is a list of my classes and workshops for 2017.
Rookery Bay Learning Center
Throughout the summer months, I will be holding open studio classes for my students. One day will be designated for drawing (graphite and colored pencil). Another will be designated for painting (acrylic and watercolor) I will be giving
I will be giving demonstrations and be helping each student with a project of his or her choosing:
- Drawing: Wednesday, May 17 & 24; from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Painting: Thursday, May 18 & 25; from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Drawing: Wednesday, July 5 & 12; from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Painting: Thursday, July 6 & 13; from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Drawing: Wednesday, Aug. 16 & 23; from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Painting: Thursday, Aug. 17 & 24: from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Dates for the Rookery Bay fall and winter classes will be posted soon.
Naples Art Association
This year, I am also teaching at the Naples Art Association in downtown Naples, Florida. I will be teaching a variety of classes in a true studio environment.
- Beginning Oil Painting: Thursdays, Oct. 12, 19 & 26; Nov. 2; from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Drawing People and Clothing in Graphite (Beginner to intermediate): Saturdays, Oct. 14, 21 & 28; Nov. 4; from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Pastel Basics for beginners: Thursdays, Nov. 16 & 30; Dec 7 & 14; from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Drawing People and Clothing in Pastels: Saturdays, Nov 18; Dec. 2, 9 & 16; from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Still Life in Colored Pencil (Beginner to intermediate): Thursdays, Jan. 11, 18 & 25, 2018; Feb. 1, 2018; from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Drawing in Pen and Ink (Beginner to intermediate): Fridays, Jan. 12, 19 & 26, 2018; Feb. 2, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Portraits in Colored Pencil for Beginners (Beginner to intermediate): Saturdays, Jan. 13, 20 & 27, 2018; Feb 3, 2018; from 1-4 p.m.
- Eggshell Mosaics (Beginners): Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday; Feb 12-14, 2018; exact time to be determined
- Flowers in Pastel and Colored Pencil for Beginners (Beginner to intermediate): Thursdays, March 1, 8, 15 & 22, 2018; from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Portraits in Graphite (Beginners to intermediate): Fridays, March 2, 9, 16 & 23, 2018; from 6-9 p.m.
- Animals and Nature in Mixed Media (Beginner to intermediate): Saturdays, March 3, 10, 17 & 24, 2018; from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Still Life in Pastels (Beginner to intermediate): Thursdays, April 5, 12, 19 & 26, 2018; from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Portraits in Oil (Beginner to intermediate): Saturdays, April 7, 14, 21 & 28, 2018; from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Drawing People and Clothing in Colored Pencil (Beginner to intermediate): Thursdays, May 3, 10, 17 & 24, 2018; from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Beginning Pastels (Beginner to intermediate): Saturdays, May 5, 12, 19 & 26, 2018; from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
As an author for North Light Books and being part of Artist’s Network, you can always come here to see what’s new in my art-related blogs and classes. Of course, things change, so keep checking here or at my website, LeeHammond.net, in case new class opportunities are added. I am adding things on a regular basis!
See you soon!
Lee Hammond has been called the Queen of Drawing. That may not be fair these days since, in addition to providing the best drawing lessons, she has also created fantastic books and videos filled with the same easy to follow acrylic painting techniques, colored pencil techniques and more. Click here to see all of the instructional books and DVDs that Lee Hammond has to offer!
• Free download! Easy Acrylic Painting Techniques by Lee Hammond