Artists of Marin

Do-It-Yourself

painting by Varda of a cityscape. Source wikipedia.com

The artist Jean Varda sold art from his Sausalito houseboat.

Do-it-Yourself and Selling Art

If you are an artist, crafts person and maker, and now want to show and sell your work independently, here are my top 4 recommendations:

1. Find the right niche for your artwork in a business sense. Think about what you make and why is it important? Write a compelling artist statement that includes keywords about your art and niche market. Why? Artists sometimes need help with their sales and marketing plans. A physical gallery can’t reach out to the masses and show them your art. You’ll need words to describe it online and when asked.

2. Make an online presence with an artist portfolio website. People often look for a sample of your artwork in a gallery or slideshow, an “about” or “biography” page, a “contact me” page, and an “artist statement” page. If you teach art, give workshops or write books mention that on the “about” page, linked to workshop and book pages.

If you don’t have the time or ability to do a full website at first, you can take photos of your artwork or products, and show them in a photo gallery on sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr or about.me. The motto of about.me is: “Make a personal page and inspire people to connect with you.”

Guerilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business3. Generate publicity about your artwork. Here is a great book on marketing and free publicity: Guerilla Marketing by Jay Levinson.

“Jay Levinson revolutionized marketing strategies for the small-business owner with his take-no-prisoners approach to finding clients. Based on hundreds of solid ideas that really work, Levinson’s philosophy has given birth to a new way of learning about market share and how to gain it.”

4. Take your art “to the next level” by showing and selling your art to online audiences. Here are recommended art marketplaces where you can show and sell your artwork and crafts, directly to the many folks online:

Etsy handmade and vintage items

Etsy

Discover a world of handmade and vintage items. Etsy is a marketplace where people around the world connect to buy and sell handmade and vintage goods. “Etsy offers a meaningful and personal shopping experience to consumers and gives independent, creative businesses around the world the tools to be successful. Our mission is to reimagine commerce in ways that build a more fulfilling and lasting world.”  See Marin Etsy artists

 

CafePressCafePress

Shop from over 700+ million products or create your own. This online marketplace features one of the biggest collections of user-designed products. With a community of 6.5 million users, CafePress is where folks from all walks of life gather online to create, sell, and buy print on-demand products.

Amazon.com Marketplace

Here are places to sell arts and crafts at Amazon.com:

Amazon.com > Fine Art Department – For paintings, prints, photographs, drawings and mixed media.

Amazon.com > Home Decor Department – For accents, artwork, framed art, and prints & posters, and much more.

The Do-It-Yourself Movement

Have you followed the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) trend, that is rippling down the Bay Area, encouraging everyone to become makers, artists and craftspeople? Here’s an article from the Marin Independent Journal, Sept. 2014:

“In second year, more do-it-yourselfers than ever (are) at Greenbrae Mini Maker Faire… a daylong event that was 50 percent larger than last year’s inaugural gathering of tinkerers, inventors, educators, artists and do-it-yourselfers.”

Older DIY types can be found gathering in weekend workshops, craft fairs and “Burning Man.”

From a practical standpoint, you may need to also do-it-yourself when marketing and selling your art.