Saturday 18th November 2017,

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10 Proven Ways to Get Your Art Noticed in the Crowded Art Space

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10 Proven Ways to Get Your Art Noticed in the Crowded Art Space

Participating in art fairs like the Baltimore ArtScape is one of 10 proven ways young artists can get their art noticed in the crowded art space. Image: Kazad

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Getting noticed in the crowded art space can be difficult for many young artists. These 10 proven ways will help them get their art noticed.

BY KAZAD

Image: 10 proven ways young artists can get their art noticed in the crowded art space and make a success of their career In many of my interactions with young artists, one very important question I am often asked is ‘How do I get my art noticed?’ As an artist and curator, I always do my best to answer the question within my limited time. The challenge is that explaining all the ways young artists can bring attention to their works, one person at a time, will take a lifetime.  That is what prompted this article.

Whether you are a painter, sculptor, or photographer, this article provides an insight into some of the ways you can get your art noticed. As I have told many young artists before, the important thing is to be innovative.  This article is by no means exhaustive in providing all the ways young artists can get their art noticed, however, it is a great place to start. So, here we go.

1. BLOGGING

Whenever I talk about blogging with young artists, I get this look of ‘What is he talking about now?’  The issue is not that young artists do not know about blogging, the problem is that they do not have the time to blog. Thankfully, there are many ways of resolving this issue. One way is to get someone to write your posts for you. If you do a Google search, you will find people and companies ready to provide that service for you at a small fee. Examples are Contently, Scripted, and Freelancers.

Whichever way you look at it, blogging is an effective way young artists can their art noticed in the crowded art space. It provides the opportunity to write about their work, post images, and share them.  As a young artist, whenever you create a new artwork, post it on your blog and discuss the idea, materials, techniques, and creative process. This will not only bring attention to your artwork, it will also give readers the opportunity to know about your work process.  While writing and posting regularly can be challenging, the benefits outweigh the pain.

One point often overlooked by many young artists is that a blog is more than just a space to showcase artworks.  It is also where they can educate people about their process.  Furthermore, they can offer their artworks for sale. Using a plugin like woo commerce is one way of achieving this objective. They can also announce upcoming exhibitions, and even educate people about art collecting.  For those who are interested in monetizing their blog, Adsense should be the first step in that process.

Tutorials: A category on the blog can be dedicated to art tutorials, where people can learn about art. Providing tutorials on art is a valuable way artists can get their art noticed. The most compelling evidence can be found on Google.  If you do a Google search, you will discover that people are constantly searching for how to do something. Under tutorials, you can have titles like “How to Draw Animal Portraits Without Stress,” or “How to Paint an Oil Portrait With Ease.”

In general, tutorials should be based on an artist’s area of specialization. However, you can choose whichever topic you like in art to write about.  The “How tos” examples mentioned above are just guides. The important point to remember is that your blog will come up when people search for tutorials on art. That will definitely bring attention to your blog and artwork.

Keywords Research:  Blogging can be rewarding if you do it right. The first thing to remember is that to make any impact as a blogger, you must invest some time in keyword research. Posting and writing about your art is not enough to drive traffic to your blog.  In order to attract people to your blog, it is important to optimize it for search engines.  In addition to optimizing your post, you also have to optimize your images.

To make your artwork visible to search engines, you must use appropriate keywords. Finding and using suitable keywords is a vital aspect of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and If you what your artworks to be found, you must invest some time and effort in keyword research.

Keywords are important for your writings and images because that is the only way search engines can locate them.  There are many tools for keyword research that will help people find your artwork during web searches. Google Keyword planner is the most popular among bloggers and website owners. It is free and provides you with important keywords related to all areas of art. Other tools you can explore include Keyword Explorer and WordStream among many others.

Alt Tag or Alt Text: An effective way to utilize keywords in images is to include them in your ‘alt text’ (alt tags) and file names. When you add an image to your post, remember to include the ‘alt’ attribute in HTML image tag. Adding keywords to your images is beneficial in many ways.  In addition to making your image visible to search engines, it also helps those who are visually impaired or non- humans like Google to know about the image.

A major problem many young artists and bloggers face is how to write the ‘alt text’. This is an understandable problem because there are so many ways to write the ‘alt text’ that people have become so confused.   Nevertheless, the best way to compose it, according to trusted SEO experts, is to write it like a caption for an image. It has to be natural and descriptive. You should include your keywords, the medium of the artwork and your name. This helps your visitors differentiate the medium and who created the artwork.

Setting up your blog: Beyond the issue of writing, many artists—especially the young ones — often say they do not know how to set up a blog or do not have money. Setting up a blog is easier than most people think. There are free platforms that young artists can use. Some examples are WIX, WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Typepad and many others. These platforms have different templates that will effectively present your artworks to a larger audience.  While some of them have premium offers, the free offers are the best way to start. Of course, if you have the money, you can go straight to premium or self-hosting. I recommend HostGator. It has a simple process that can be easily followed when setting up a website. It also has the drag and drop technology.  If you need help, please contact us and we will be happy to help you with the setup.

2. SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE

Social media is an effective way for young artists to get their artworks in front of a large audience.  Artists can use social media sites to bring attention to their artworks. I discussed some of them in a recent article titled 10 Social Media Sites Artists And Cultural Institutions Find Beneficial. The article shows how people are using social media to their art noticed.

Facebook:  Facebook is perhaps the most effective social media that young artists can get their art noticed.  Setting up a Facebook page is a simple process to follow. After signing up, you will be able to set up your page. The way to go is to create a Facebook page for your artworks. This will make it easy for people to share and talk about your artwork.

After setting up your Facebook Page, remember to include a link to your blog and website. This will help drive traffic as well as give people the opportunity to see more of your artwork. If your blog is monetized, it can also help you make some extra money on the side. Additionally, you can include your contact information. Although Facebook requests contact information, many people do not include them. As an artist, providing contact information on your Facebook Page can be very advantageous.  People who are interested in your artwork can easily contact you.

Posting your art on Facebook provides an amazing opportunity to be noticed. One way of gaining traction is to give your followers more than what you have on your blog. You can achieve this by sharing your creative process: add a video of you at work, interviews, and your work process.  This will get you more likes and will ensure that your images are shared. Additionally, giving away prints of your artworks as appreciation for people sharing your images or commenting will bring attention and drive traffic.

It is important to note that Facebook is not just a place to connect with other people: it is also a vast market space.  Young artists can put their artworks up for sale on Facebook. Many people are already doing that.  If you do a search on Facebook, you find many groups that allow you to sell your works.  Added to that, Facebook has made it easy to receive payment on the site.

A Note of Caution: If you intend to sell your artworks on Facebook, please pay attention to the rules.  Make sure you read the rules so as not to get in trouble with Facebook. If you break any of the rules, Facebook will penalize you. It is as simple as that.

Facebook Art Groups: Joining Facebook art groups will help put your work in front of a larger audience.  While some are open, others are closed. However, they are all easy to join. There are so many art groups on Facebook in all areas of art: painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography, illustration, drawing and much more.

A major benefit of joining Facebook art groups is that they put your artworks in front of an audience larger than you can imagine.  These groups attract membership from across the globe, giving your work a wider reach. The World’s Talented Artist Gallery, for instance, has more than 40 thousand members drawn from across the globe.   However, If none of the clubs meet your expectations, you can start your own art group. It does not cost you anything.

 The processes explained above do not apply to Facebook alone. On Tumblr, Google+ LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and many other social media sites, the same process can be used to bring attention to your art. I have focused on Facebook because it is the largest social media site in the world. More than one billion people are active on Facebook.

Recommended: Top 5 Facebook Groups That Will Help Improve Your Art

 3. SET UP PROFILES ON ART SHARING NETWORKS

DeviantArt: DeviantArt is one the most popular sites for artists to show and share their works. The artists on DeviantArt are open-minded and engaging, hence, are always willing to discuss art. If you post an artwork on DeviantArt, you will get direct responses from your peers.

For a young artist, engaging in salient discussions about art is very important. Getting feedback from your peers will also help you grow. Furthermore, your artworks will be shared across multiple platforms. Many of the members of DeviantArt are also on other social media sites, and this is why it is essential to create a profile on DeviantArt.  You become a part of an art community interested in your growth.

 Behance: Behance is another important place to set up you profile and show your artworks. The website has many creative people who are ready to share their thoughts about your work. Some will even suggest ways to make your work better.

Remarkably, there are so many experienced people on Behance. You will benefit from constructive criticism and contributions from people who have been practicing in your area for many years. One key benefit of having a Behance profile is the opportunity to learn. Many of the art professionals on the website are always ready to share their techniques and how they achieved a particular effect.   As I have told many young artists “Create a home on Behance.

4. NETWORKING: ARTISTS, CURATORS, ETC

In my article on why it is important for young artists to go to exhibition openings, I explained the advantages of connecting with other artists and art professionals.  This cannot be overstated: Connecting with other artists can be absolutely rewarding. Exhibitions have happened because of connections made at art events. Many artists have also been included in major shows because they were referred by artists or curators they met at art shows.

My advice to young artists is to always be prepared. When you go to exhibition openings or art events, you must be ready to interact with your peers and others in your field. To make the connections rewarding, you should be prepared to introduce yourself, exchange business cards, and show samples of your artworks. In addition to your business card, you should also have postcards, brochures, and color photographs of your artworks. They all go a long way in creating a lasting impression.

Follow Up:   Your conversations with the people you meet should not end at the event. It is imperative to carry on the discussion after that initial meeting.  This can be through emails, phone calls, and social media interactions. There should be no excuse for not knowing what to discuss. You can exchange ideas about exhibitions, give opinions about upcoming shows, an artwork sold at auction, or an art event you attended. The main thing is to continue to engage people in your field by showing interest in what is happening in your profession.  As your relationship grows, you will have the opportunity to talk about joint exhibitions or exhibition proposals.

Quick Response: Let me quickly use this opportunity to respond to one of the questions I received after my article on why young artists must attend art exhibition openings. “Must the connections happen at an art exhibition opening or art event?”  someone asked. The answer is “No.” As I often say to people, “The year is 2017 and the world has changed.”

Meeting other artists or art professionals does not necessary have to be in the physical space. If lovers can meet on the internet, so can artists. If you see the work of artists you like, you can communicate with them on social media or through email and others.  Let them know that you like their artworks and ask them what they think about yours. The conversation has started.  You can also link to or share their works.  Very often, they will reciprocate.  The next step is to grow the relationship. Keep the conversations going.

Recommended:  6 Reasons Art Exhibition Openings are Important for Young Artists

 5. GUEST BLOGGING

I am used to young artists complaining about not having the time to write or not knowing what to write.  There is no doubt that writing can be time-consuming. Nonetheless, it is an important way of putting your art in front of many people. If you do not have the time to write, you can commission someone to do it for you.

In addition to posting and writing on your blog, another way you can bring attention to your art is through guest blogging.  Writing on someone else’s blog could help drive traffic to your own blog and put more eyeballs on your artwork.

The secret is to look for a blog related to your genre. If you are a painter, for instance, you can look for a blog with a focus on paintings. The first thing to do is to send a note to the owner of the blog through the contact form.  Express your desire to write a post and why you want to write for the blog.

There are so many topics you can pick to write about. The important thing is to do your best. Research the topic and do a thorough job.   Your post could be about famous painters or a tutorial on painting techniques.   When the post is published, the owner of the blog will most likely link back to your blog. The result can be rewarding. If the post generates a lot of traffic, be rest assured that it will bring more attention to your blog and your artwork.

6. MAKE IT EASY FOR PEOPLE TO SHARE YOUR WORK

Share buttons have become an essential part of global connection. They not only allow people to share some of the interesting things they find on the web but also show their love. For a young artist, it is important to make it easy for people to share your artwork. The share buttons must be visible and accessible on your blog.

Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Google+ Instagram and many others have share buttons that make sharing easy. Use them. Without the social media buttons, sharing becomes very tedious.  Firstly, visitors who want to share your image will have to copy the URL and, secondly, they will have to copy and paste the description. For many people, that is too much work. Except they truly love your work, they will move on to something else. A major advantage of share buttons is that they are easy to use, and when your artworks are shared, they link back to your blog. That means more visitors for you. To make sharing easy, I recommend Sumo Me.

7. ART COMPETITIONS/CONTESTS

Participating in art competitions is another important way young artists can get their artwork noticed. Competitions can be online or in the physical world.  Online competitions, especially those organized by groups with a lot of members, can be rewarding. Even if you don’t win, you are able to meet other young artists as well as present your artwork to a larger audience.

In the physical space, there is also a lot to gain from participating in art competitions. When you enter a competition, you are putting your work before art professionals, including curators, gallery owners, museum directors and many others.  Even if you do not win, some of the art professionals may show interest in your work and contact you for an exhibition.  Additionally, your work may be featured in a catalog and exhibitions of entries for the competition. Let me not forget newspapers and magazines.  The benefit is that you can add that exhibition to your resume, and use the catalog and newspapers mentions as references.   It goes without saying that winning has even greater benefits.

Recommended:  Artist Survives Heart Disease and Wins Prestigious Art Prize

 8. CONNECT WITH OTHER ARTISTS

No man is an island, so the saying goes. It is important to reiterate that connecting with other artists is very important in getting your art noticed in the competitive art world.  If you come across an interesting work of art while surfing the internet, you can leave comments or express your views. I do this all the time.  This is how I met some of my online artist friends. I have celebrated some of them on Artcentron Celebrated, one of the special features on Artcentron.com

When I come across artworks that I find particularly interesting, I leave comments, explaining what I like about the artworks. Additionally, I fill out the contact form on the blog to start a dialogue with the artist. While expressing my thoughts about their artworks, I also invite them to visit artcentron.com. This has been very effective in bringing attention to our website.

You can do the same thing. When you see artworks you like, leave comments. Get in touch with the artist using the contact form, and invite them to visit your blog to look at your work. Encourage them to leave comments because their views are very important to you.

A Note of Caution on Commenting: While commenting is an effective way of bringing attention to your art, you must be very careful not to spam. Repeating the same phrase as a comment will amount to spamming. In other words, you cannot continually say “fantastic job.” That is unacceptable to many people and annoying as well. It is also considered spamming if you say things like “Fantastic job, check out my work on xyz.com.”  A few sentences explaining why you like the work and what you think the artist is doing right will suffice.

When commenting on somebody’s artwork, you should be candid and respectful. Remember that people have feelings. Make sure you fill the contact forms so the artist can know who wrote the comment. Above all, you can state in your comment that you are an artist as well. Very likely, the artist will reciprocate by visiting your blog and sharing your artworks. This is perhaps the greatest benefit you can derive from commenting. Since most comment links are ‘nofollow,’ adding links to your comment will not do you any SEO favor.

9. ADVERTISING WILL GET YOUR ART NOTICED

One area that is often overlooked by young artists is advertising.  With all the benefits derivable from social media websites like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, and many others, the general conclusion among many young artists is that there is no need to advertise. Wrong!

Advertising plays an important role in getting your work noticed in the crowded art space. In 2005, I met an artist who proved the power of advertising. Although he had a great presence on several social media sites, he was also advertising in art magazines. According to him, many of his sales came from people who saw his ads in art magazines.

Before having a major show in 2006, my friend advertised in several art magazines and social media sites. Even before the exhibition opened, many of his paintings had already been sold.  Collectors bought the artworks because of the ads they saw in art magazines.  The ads included the artist’s recent works. The works in the ads were the first to be sold. Collectors called the gallery and bought the works even before opening day. My friend intimated that several collectors came to the exhibition opening because of the ads they saw in the magazine.

My friend continues to benefit immensely from advertising. Just from seeing his works in art magazines, galleries have contacted him for shows, and he has also been invited to major art fairs. They all cite the ads in art magazines for reaching out. That is the power of advertising.

Advertising Opportunities: There are so many advertising opportunities around you; you just have to find them. Besides newspapers and magazines, you can create flyers to let people know about your art and studio. Get your friends to help you distribute your flyers and spread the word. During important holidays, organize a sale and offer a discount. Advertise that sale in your community newspapers and through flyers. Let people know about you and your work.

Targeting: For advertising to be successful, you must know your audience. Targeting is important because knowing the people who might want to buy your artwork will save you a lot of time. Evidently, that was why my friend advertised in art magazines and social media sites. If you do not have money to advertise in major art magazines and websites, look for small ones. Many local newspapers have art pages that will serve you well. Be creative in the effort to get your art noticed.

 Ad Exchange: Ad exchange is another way to go if you must get your art noticed. If you have a blog that is generating traffic, you can do ad exchange with other artists. The only caveat is that it cannot be a blog on any of the free platforms. Many of the free platforms are very restrictive in terms of what you can post. If you break the rules, they will remove your blog without any recourse. In this instance, your best bet is to have a paid service.

Press Release: Another way of bringing attention to your work is through press releases. Sadly, many artists overlook it as they struggle to get their art noticed. Using press releases is an effective and valuable way to bring attention to yourself as an artist and your work. Since many community newspapers are always looking for ways to fill their pages, they should be willing to publish your press release.  Using press releases is a great way to get your work published and get your art noticed.

There are several ways of writing press releases but, perhaps, the best way to present a press release is to write it like a story or an article. After writing your press release, call the newspaper to find out the name of the person you should address the press release.  Make sure to include a portrait photograph and images of your artwork. If it is well written, there is a high probability it will be published.

In addition to sending your press release directly to the newspaper editor, using a distribution service is another way of getting it published by news organizations. Getting your work published is an important way of getting your art noticed. There are so many press release distribution services out there. Do a Google search and they will come up. While some are free, you will have to pay to use others.  The benefit of using distribution services is that your press release and work might be published by more than one newspaper.  The most important thing is to write a compelling press release. If you do not know how to write a press release, you can hire someone to do it for you.

10. ON A FINAL NOTE

Everything I have discussed here will be meaningless if you do not create great artworks.  To get your art noticed, you must create unique works. As an artist, you must always strive to create artworks you are proud to show to people. If your artworks do not meet your own standards, don’t expect others to like them. Always do your best!  It is an important way to get your art noticed.

There is no doubt that it takes a lot of work to make the necessary impact in the competitive art world, but it is well-worth it in the end. Getting your art noticed should be the main priority. When you set up your blog or website, make the effort to start capturing emails. This will help you start a mailing list. You can easily keep readers and fans updated about your new works, upcoming exhibitions, and sales through your mailing list. You can also set up a free email list using MailChimp.

Join Twitter and Pinterest. In addition to sharing contents from your own blog, if you find something you like on Twitter, retweet it. You can use an app like buffer to help put your tweets in a queue. This way, you will not overburden your followers and also free some time for yourself to create new works.

Do the same with Pinterest. Pin your works and the works of other artists you like. Follow boards that relate to your area. Pinning and sharing your work on Pinterest will get your art noticed. It cannot be overstated that joining different communities and groups on social media sites and in the physical world can be effective ways of bringing attention to your artwork.

If you like this 10 Proven Ways to Get Your Art Noticed, please feel free to link to it as well as share it on different social media sites. If you have comments or other ways artists can get their art noticed, please share them with us. As we often say at Artcentron: Join the Conversation.

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