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Aletta de Wal
Artist Advisor & Art Marketing Strategist







Fabienne Bismuth
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Aletta de Wal
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« Promotional Tools: Paying Yourself Forward With Your Portfolio | Main | Print Promotional Tools: DIY Tips »

Print Promotional Tools: Catalogues

If you are on a tight budget, our series of practical tips will help you use low-cost marketing tools to promote your art with class. So far we have covered:

Today we cover catalogues.

Catalog ImageBooks about artists' lives, ôeuvre (complete works), signatures, defining characteristics and critical analysis have been around since the 16th century when Vasari wrote "Lives of the Painters. Sculptors and Architects." These monographs or catalogues raisonné educate collectors and validate works in the resale market.
Auction house, galleries and museums use catalogues for current auctions, collections or exhibitions. I have a serious "art book habit" for works that are not available for purchase or out of my price range. You can also find many on-line for only the cost of your time.
As the burden of promotion has shifted more to the artist, so has the range of publications you can use to promote your work. You don't have to wait until you are having a retrospective to produce a catalogue or coffee table art book.
So what do you have to think about to create one?

The scope of art works is up to you.
Choose from:
·  Selected time periods, one body of work or your ôeuvre
·  One medium or all media you work in
·  Your work or the work of a group you belong to
·  Selected venues and exhibits
·  Traveling exhibits
Identify and present your work properly.
Include at least:
·  Title and/or number
·  © Date
·  Medium
·  Dimensions
·  Original, giclée, print edition
·  High-resolution image for print catalogs; Low-res for online

If you have big name collectors, and permission to include their names, include the provenance.
Create narrative to suit your audience and purpose.
Choose from:
·  Introduction about your life and work
·  Narrative about each work or series
·  Reviews of your work

As a collector, I personally love to read about the inspiration for work in artist statements, bios or brief notes about each image.
If you want to impress galleries, museums and patrons, be sure to include comments or essays by recognized art professionals.
Decide who pays and publishes your catalogue.
Daniel Grant recently published an excellent article on this choice.
Get Help When You Don't Have the Time, Connections or Skills to Do-It-Yourself
Remember, if print promotion eats up your precious studio time, is technically beyond you, or frustrating, please let Robin help. It's not a big investment and you'll end up looking ever so splendid! Her dedicated support has helped me, and can help you, make a better living making art. Robin is located in Los Angeles, and serves artists worldwide. For more info on how she can help free up your time so you can focus on what you do best, email her at 310-480-6738 Pacific time. Contact her for a complimentary 15-minute consultation.

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