Tag Archives: self-promotion

Promotional Materials

With the popularity of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, I’ve found that many artists rely upon these as tools to promote their art.  While this is great, there are also many other ways to get the word out.  In addition, many are tangible items that are especially valued given today’s internet-crazed society.  Turns out, if it’s a card or a handwritten note, people tend to pay more attention as opposed to something that can go away with the push of a delete button.  So here is a list of materials that I rely upon as well as others:

Business cards: These are the tried-and-true promotional tool for artists.  You can get cards printed up quickly and rather cheaply thanks to the multitude of online printing companies.  I feature my logo in addition to my contact information, including my website.  You may also want to include social media links where people can find your work.

Brochures: Great concise way to present a sample of your portfolio as well as your biography or even parts of your resume.  According to some surveys, galleries and collectors respond well to these due to the quick introduction to you and your work.

Postcards: Basically a combination of the business card and brochure in that you can put an image or images or one side and your information on the other.  Or even put images on both sides, depending on how much you would like to spend.  There are many options for these.  I like to send one out every quarter to announce new work or an upcoming exhibit.  Added benefit: they can be handed out without the worry of being lost in one’s wallet or purse as would a business card.

Websites: Many artists still don’t have a website and some even feel that they don’t need one since they are on Facebook, etc.  Not true.  While social media sites do help, you want your website to rank high on the web, not Facebook.  When your name stands out, it will direct traffic to your site, your available works, your shopping cart, etc.  Still not convinced?  According to The Internet & Marketing Report, your Facebook Fan Page is not enough because of EdgeRank, Facebook’s algorithm for determining which updates show up in a user’s news feed.  It filters out about 99% of content from friends/businesses. Yikes.

Portfolios: Just the word portfolio makes me think of the days when I was in school, lugging around one of those giant black portfolios full of my work.  However, there are some better options.  For a digital version, you can put all of your images on CD.  This is great to hand out to anyone and everyone.  Be sure to get the printable kind so that you can put your info on the front just as you would on your business card.  Don’t use the sticker labels.

For a more traditional approach, you can make high-quality printouts of your work on photo paper and include them in a nice presentation book with clear sleeves for inserting photos.  Also include your resume in the front as well as your contact information.  I recommend featuring 8-12 of your best images.  You can get a standard 8″ x 11″ book or even make a small postcard sized book to carry with you at all times.

Note Cards: Whether it’s a thank you card or a handwritten message, cards are a great way to stay in touch with those that buy your work or put on an exhibit for you.  The ultimate purpose of these is to show gratitude, but having your work or name on the front is a nice reminder.

Everyday items: Some artists put their work on useful items which they sell for some additional income.  Although, there would be nothing wrong with giving these items away as well in order to promote one’s work.  You could create an item with one or several images of your work, as well as including your name and website.  Examples include stickers, bumper stickers, magnets, pens, mugs, calendars, t-shirts, hats, and bookmarks.

No one idea is better than the other, so I would not say that you should rely upon some promotional tools more so than others.  Each serves a purpose and reach people in different ways, which is exactly what you need to broaden your audience.  Therefore, I strongly advise anyone to adopt all of these strategies mentioned.  That can be tough if you are on a limited budget, but as mentioned earlier, there are many competitive printing companies online that can help for very little cost.  Also look into graphic designers (or recent design grads) in your area that can work out a fair deal.  Even trading art may be an option to fund your business.  Just be sure to check out their portfolio to see if they are a good fit for your needs.


For more information on my upcoming exhibitions, interviews, etc. sign up for my newsletter (or that postcard I mentioned above!) at http://www.amyguidry.com/contact.html

Field of Dreams

Artist Amy Guidry with her work at the Slidell Cultural Center at City Hall
Artist Amy Guidry with her work at the Slidell Cultural Center at City Hall

No one cares about your art more than you do. It’s true. It’s not unlike showing your vacation photos to everyone. They mean well, but after about two minutes, the enthusiasm wears off and their eyes glaze over. I was inspired to write this after going through some old art magazines to clear out the mountain of periodicals I’ve saved. I came across a rather disheartening article in a very popular magazine. The author was giving advice on how to be a successful artist. Some of the author’s tips? Paint what sells- not more “complex” paintings, don’t bother showing in libraries or university galleries since they don’t generate sales (museums usually don’t either, but I don’t know an artist alive that wouldn’t jump at the chance to show in a museum), and sell on Ebay- specifically bright, colorful, quick paintings- no drawings. I know better than this and even I found it depressing! I can only imagine what other artists must think.

So this is what leads me to my frustration. I don’t care who they are or if they mean well, no one truly cares about your art or your art career as much as you do. This is why you are the only one that can determine what your goals are and if, at the end of the day, you’ve done all that you can to achieve those goals. Don’t listen to the naysayers, the haters, the critics, the cynics, or the non-believers. What do they know anyway? Even some of the experts can’t always predict what you, personally, need to do. That’s why it’s up to you to take in all this information and filter through it and find what is applicable and toss away what’s not. You know what you need to do. You know if your work is the best it can be. You know what you should create. If you try to “paint what sells,” you’ll be chasing your tail for quite some time. Popularity changes as do marketing trends. Something that sells one day, won’t the next. That’s why there are trend analysts that make a living at this. Great work is great work and it will attract its own popularity. And while I’m at it- if you were to avoid university galleries, libraries, museums, or any other venue for fear of little to no sales, you wouldn’t be an artist, would you? I couldn’t imagine not having the experience of seeing art, especially when I was a student, at a university gallery or museum. Some of the most significant shows of our time come from these venues.

In my own personal experience, I’ve heard it all. I’ve been told what I should paint, how I should paint, and I’ve even had a drunk non-artist tell me what is and isn’t art. When I made the decision to paint and to try to get into a gallery exhibit, even one of my “good” friends told me that I couldn’t do it. It’s a good thing I didn’t listen to any of these people, otherwise I may not have even been an artist at all. Anyone listening to that kind of advice would quit before even starting. Don’t make that mistake. If you’re already a working artist, just keep on trucking. If you’re just starting out, stay focused and put your blinders on. And maybe invest in some good ear plugs.

Being a true artist takes grit. There’s a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, and you’ll need to develop a thick skin. However, I can’t imagine a more rewarding experience.  I always like to think of these words by Ralph Waldo Emerson:  “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

If you’d like to learn more about my own work and what I’ve been up to, check out my website at www.AmyGuidry.com.