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Aletta de Wal
Artist Advisor & Art Marketing Strategist

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Fabienne Bismuth
3-D Artist

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Huguette May
2-D Artist

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Aletta de Wal
Fabienne Bismuth
Huguette May

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Tuesday
Aug262014

Agents: Three Ways to Act Like an Arts Professional

Curate, Connect and Build Relationships

Do you work hard at promoting your art, but secretly wish someone would take all that away from you?

Maybe one day that will happen, but in the meantime, you are your own agent so best think and act like one.

“My commitment is to create interesting and accessible shows that bring together artists working in all media and people from diverse backgrounds who appreciate artistic endeavors.

"Accepting what pleases another's eye, means learning to respect another's tastes. When we can communicate within a framework of mutual respect, we can relax and enjoy the journey of discovering art together.  This is my approach with both artists and collectors."

Matt McKinley, Art Consultant

Good art business relationships are friendships with art as the focus.  Put yourself in Matt’s role and curate to connect and build relationships.

Curating Connects Your Art with Your Audience

Arts professionals are the go-betweens for art and collectors, so they think about ways to build memorable emotional connections.

Think about how you can increase the connections between your art and the audience, for example:

  • Tell stories. Add museum style labels that tell a brief story about the work. Be ready to amplify those stories in conversation. Have take-away story cards for each piece.
  • Consider viewers with declining eyesight or those with mobility issues. Make sure labels, postcards and show catalogues are easy to read and within reach of people standing or seated.
  • Include younger viewers used to technology to educate them. Add an audio tour, tablet presentation or video on your art and career.

Connecting Your Audience Builds Relationships

Art professionals are hosts, and make sure everyone feels special and connected. When art lovers meet others of like mind, the common denominator is your art exhibit. They become members of "your club" and that helps "word-of-mouth" marketing.

Think about how you can reinforce the connections between the people who come to your receptions, for example:

  • When you see someone alone, accompany him or her on their tour of the exhibit until you meet other viewers you know and introduce your guest to them.
  • When you are in conversation and someone approaches you, introduce the parties to each other. Ask why they each came to the exhibit.
  • When you do your artist talk or thank the audience for attending, thank collectors by name and encourage others to ask them about their experience of your art.

Building Relationships Leads to Referrals and Sales

Arts Professionals nurture the relationships they have as the foundations for reputation and sales. They make sure to circulate at every event and connect with each and every person to build recognition, familiarity and trust.

Be strategic about your conversations, and focus on converting strangers into business friends who are interested in you and your work, for example:

  • Get to know others as people first, and later as supporters of your work.
  • Help your audience to get to know you at their own pace and without pressure.
  • Build trust by being attentive, responsive and respectful.

Every relationship holds a possibility for building your reputation as a good artist to know and refer to others.

Be every bit the artist you are – then think like an artist representative you could hope for until you have one – or don’t need one after all.

The Productive Artist -- How to Find an Artist Representative

The Productive Artist: How to Get (and Keep) an Artist Representative

The Productive Artist: How to Work With an Artist Representative

Art Consultant Matt McKinley Provides Art Solutions for Artists, Collectors and Arts Organizations

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Reader Comments (1)

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The Creative Career Center is a comprehensive suite of career training and professional-development resources to help artists achieve their career goals. Artists learn best practices in the business of being an artist, increasing their confidence and entrepreneurialism. See below for upcoming events

November 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterpunit

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