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Art Business: Discover Your Audience

© 2007, Artist Career Training
You can now listen to the Tip-of- the-Week!

Discover Your Audience

Have you heard the old joke abut the passerby who came upon a man on his knees, under a lamppost, apparently looking for something? The passerby crouches down to help look, asking what did you lose and where did you last see it? The response: "Over there somewhere, but there's more light here."

Artists often ask me how to discover their audience. When I ask what steps they have taken so far, most respond that they have had open studios, entered local shows, put up a web site.  What these artists have in common with the man who lost his keys is that they have not given much thought to the people they are trying to attract and they can end up looking in the wrong place.

Selecting venues where you are most comfortable, and where you can easily transport yourself and your work is a good place to start.  But it is only the beginning.

Just as in the joke, you need to begin a dialogue with the people who accept your invitations to your events, view your work in shows, and visit your web site. And remember to listen twice as much as you talk or you will miss the clues they will give you to where to find the art lovers you want to attract. It may be the people you meet. It is just as likely that it will be someone they know.

Member artists know how to create a profile of people who appreciate and collect their work. Keep this starter list at hand and add your own questions:

  • What age group do they belong to?
  • Male or Female?
  • Married, Separated, Divorced, Single
  • Income / Education level
  • What are their professions?
  • Where are they from (urban, rural, another country)? 
  • Where do they like to travel? 
  • Why do they buy art (investment, pleasure, memory)?
  • What other artists do they like? 
  • Why do they like your work? 
  • What are the benefits of buying your art (match couch, raise status, wanna-be artist)? 
  • What price range do they find comfortable?

You are the expert on your art. This means that you have to understand and find the market for the work you are creating, even if you want or are working with representation.

Your work will change and progress as long as you are an artist, and the people who buy your work and where you find them will change accordingly. Expect to go through stages. Early in your career your work will not be as technically consistent, and your vision may not be as clear. As you become a mid-career artist your work will be more cohesive and have a stronger voice. Audiences will increasingly find you.

Now go out there and start exploring. . .and don't stop until you discover your audience!

© 2008 Artist Career Training. Aletta@ArtistCareerTraining,com All Rights Reserved.

With the knowledge and support you get from Artist Career Training
you'll save time, effort and money.  We gather all the information you
need to market your art and build your art career so that you can make
money and get back to doing what you love - making more art.

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Reader Comments (1)

I create work that deals with compassion for endangered wildlife,and action to reduce global climate change .To bring man closer to animals to enhance conservation and preservation
March 28, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterruth san pietro

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