Marketing Your Art

Marketing Your Art

Artists work hard!

They not only have to hone their craft, never quite hitting perfection as they constantly strive for improvement and deeper meaning and connection with their art, but they also must learn how to sell it.

Selling might seem like it goes against the heartfelt, soulful world of art but that’s simply a point of view.

Let us leave how to sell your art to the right person for another post.
This time let’s talk about art galleries.

An art gallery is a fantastic way to get your art in front of the eyes of a one-of-a-kind loving audience, but I need to remind you, the art doesn’t sell itself.

And, although an art gallery should have its own marketing plan to bring people in to view all the beautiful pieces they have on display, it’s not entirely their job alone.

It’s well known that people need to see something more than once before buying if it’s not in front of their face (or in their hands).

This means using your resources to build your audience and get your art in front of them.

Having your art in galleries and shops is just part of that. A person may see your work online and want to see a piece in person before buying.

So, here are some recommendations to help guide you.


Now, before you start saying that you’re not techy or you can’t afford one, keep in mind that there are many options these days, including free ones and many, many tutorials.

And there are many very good reasons to have your own website.

  1. Having a home base.

    While Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social media platforms are still necessary for reaching your audience your website is your owned media.
    Social media platforms can go down or even cease to exist without your control or the ability to interfere. Your website, on the other hand, is entirely up to you.

  2. Full control over branding, content, and look.

    Social media platforms have their own branding and give you limited options for content types, layout, and capabilities. And while those options are especially useful, they are not entirely what you need.
    On your website you can collect email addresses, choose what products you highlight, get more visitors through search (Google, Bing, Yahoo), and direct potential buyers as needed.
    One such way is to have a list of galleries or shops your work is displayed in so they can go see it in person.
    Another is to list events you are attending so they can plan to come visit and explore your skills.
    Don’t forget to link the events and shops/galleries to their own websites so you are assisting them in selling your work as well as boosting your own site for search engines.


Instagram is fantastic for the visual medium of art!

I have heard a lot of ideas of how to use Instagram but one that has stuck out to me is that your feed should be used like it’s your magazine.

It is your portfolio.

Make it fit your style. Make it beautiful!

Don’t forget to share behind the scenes and some of your personality, but use the same filters so the images blend in.

And, of course, video.

Be sure to use IGTV and Stories. Go live to show your work and talk people through it or post short snippets of each piece.

Lastly, don’t forget your call to actions. Always say things like “DM me for more info if you’re interested in buying this piece” or “click the link in my bio to visit my shop/website”.


I will start this by saying that I am not a fan of Facebook, however, it does have its uses.

While it hosts the largest social media presence still and a great targeted way of reaching them with ads, it makes it hard for entrepreneurs and small businesses to reach their audience without paying.

Some recommend using your personal profile as a business profile instead but I warn you, this is against Facebook’s terms of service and can have you shut down.

Instead I feel that Facebook Groups and their newer video platform are fantastic uses.

You should still have a business page and post to it but you should use groups to collect and interact with your best fans and buyers.

Video is becoming popular on any platform so it’s never a loss to post the videos you do on Instagram on Facebook as well.

When you do a live on Instagram also do it on Facebook to sell your products.


Now while I am not a fan of Facebook, I am definitely a fan of Pinterest and boy are they making new updates that will help sellers more.

Pinterest, being visually based, is a fantastic platform for artists to share their work.

They now allow sales directly from their site as well.

    Here are some tips:

  1. Always watermark your images so someone can’t steal them and if they do viewers know who’s work it is anyways.
  2. Link directly to the piece in the image not your whole site.
  3. Create multiple boards based on keywords and share the same image to all of them, not necessarily all at once as pins have a 3-month lifespan.


Participating in events is a great way to not only sell your work but also to build brand recognition.

We have already covered the idea of listing them on your website and It’s already well known that participating in events is good for gaining customers so how about some tips to make the most of it?!

  1. Have a newsletter sign up list or form ready (or if you’re techy use a laptop or tablet with a keyboard)
  2. Give a business card to every buyer and those checking out your table
  3. Have clear signage so people can see your brand from the other side of the aisle.

Go to every event with the plan to build your brand audience even if you don’t make sales that day. And remember, every event is a treasure trove of information and experiences that you can learn and grow from.


Okay, I know no one wants to hear about paying for attention but the reality is that we live in a pay to play world.

While there are more and more ways to reach your audience without paying (organically) none of those will be as direct as paying for ads on social platforms or in search engines.

The two most popular ad platforms are Facebook and Google.

Facebook has fantastic targeting tools for getting your ads in front of your audience based on age, gender, location, interests, and so on. So you need to know or have some idea that can be fine-tuned of who your audience is.

Whereas I do suggest you do keyword research before getting into Google ads.

So, in short, you can’t rely on galleries and shops that carry your work to do all the advertising for you then become disappointed when it’s not flying out the door.

Gallery and shop owners should have their own marketing plans and methods but as the artist, you should never stop marketing yourself.

Ego Driven or Awakened?

Ego Driven or Awakened?

In 2019 I decided to re-enter the world of background acting and office temp work. I had previously worked in both industries for many years in my late teens and early twenties.

Upon making the decision I contacted my old background agent and my old office temp agency and was pleasantly surprised to find them both happy to have me back. Not that I expected them not to be. But, being that it had been many years, there was the fear of being forgotten.

It wasn’t until re-entering these worlds that I realized how important building my perfect personal reputation was to me. How I had toiled away, taking last minute gigs and always being early, to become the go to personal for my contacts.

I have been very proud that my reputation has continued in my favour after being sick for so many years and I thought this should be the whole goal to my professional life.

However, I’ve even been afraid to put myself out there more in my business life in fear of finding failure somewhere along the way.

I knew the fear part was wrong but until now I thought that guarding my reputation was exactly what I should be doing.

Happiness is the Way

I recently took out a pile of books from my bookshelf, took a picture and asked a friend which one I should read first.

She said: “the happiness one”.

So, I put the rest away and brought Happiness is the Way by Dr Wayne W. Dyer to my bedroom for morning reading.

While I’m only in the beginning of chapter 2, I’ve already gotten a few gems to reflect upon from this book, but today’s consideration has been on whether or not my approach to my life has been ego-driven or not.

On page 24 Dr Dyer writes:
“Ego-dominated people view failure as something that immobilizes them, whereas awakened people – that is, those who aren’t driven by their ego – allow failure to mobilize them.”

This statement caused me to pause and ask myself if I really understood what ego meant. So I looked on

Ego: the “I” or self of any person; a person as thinking, feeling, and willing, and distinguishing itself from the selves of others and from objects of its thought.

Egotism; conceit; self-importance.

An Exploration of Ego

Interestingly enough this is something I had heard in a different way many times yet it never resonated with me.

If you have a business or have listened to business trainings, you may have heard the idea that it’s all about your clients. A successful business is all about serving others.

Right?! Did you have the same knee jerk reaction I usually do?

That snarl that says, I’m not a servant. What if I’m not happy?

I think that saying it that way does make people think that they shouldn’t have healthy boundaries and that they should sacrifice a lot for their client’s success.

The way Dr Dyer has said it gives it a new perspective that makes it feel more controllable.

Another way to read what he wrote is that an ego-driven person is more worried about their reputation than they are about the needs of the people they set out to help.

What Does This Even Mean?!

Now, I’m not saying that as a reputation focused person you are only thinking of self-serving ways to accomplish goals. I haven’t. I wouldn’t.

What I am saying is that if you’re only worried about your reputation and afraid of making mistakes or having failures, are you really reaching the people you can help the most?

This is the question that is now on my mind after reading that quote from Happiness is the Way.

After all these years I have also realized that my perfect reputation in background acting also contributed to some of my ongoing health struggles and habits.

Have you considered what the cost to your perfect reputation may be for you?

The Quarantine Rollercoaster

The Quarantine Rollercoaster

I am the first to admit that when a lockdown was first discussed my thoughts were not about the virus.

My concerns were for people living alone, like myself, who battle with mental illness. For the children and people stuck at home with abusers or in neglect.

And of course, as a business owner, my worries were with mine and my client’s businesses.

Let’s Get Real

I have battled with mental illness myself and although my chronic depression has shifted to situational depression and my anxiety has evolved on its own, this unprecedented situation can bring up all manner of demons.

So, when I envisioned people with mental illness stuck in quarantine, I thought about the depression that they might have gone out to find help for. I considered the anxieties that would build from the panic.

That’s not to say that I just considered them. I could see them. I can remember what it felt like to be so depressed that I wouldn’t leave my apartment or talk to anyone for a week at a time. I remember the darkness that lurked in the depths of my mind even in the happiest of times. I knew the hopelessness that people would experience when forced to isolate.

I tried to warn my friends, there would be more suicides if we were forced to lockdown. Sadly, few of those will be reported in relation.

Don’t Make Me Panic!

As I worried and watched the panic grow, I knew this would hurt people with anxiety and chronic fear at an extreme level.

Last year my anxieties shifted from being afraid to go out to being afraid of losing all that I owned (with good reason) but when the panic over the virus started it shifted again.

I stated many times that I was more afraid of the panicking people than I was the virus, and that hasn’t changed.

I even had an incident with people making up their own rules which caused a bunch of people to start yelling at me in a grocery store. This triggered me and I struggled to sleep without waking up in a panic and the afternoon it happened I cried for hours.

For those of us that have experienced traumas in our lives, the panic, ignorance and selfishness of people is only adding to our struggles. Ones we didn’t even realize we had.

Just Relax

So many people were seeing this quarantine as a staycation. But for a business owner it was a time to reconsider how we do business.

I had my own fears, in fact, I was terrified of what this would do to the economy.

But, I was focused on offering my knowledge and support to my clients.

Inside I struggled. I wanted to have more spare time like some people, but that’s not the way I built my life. I fought with myself. How do I see this strange event? Do I change how I work? Do I find some deep gem of change in my life?

However, my whole goal was a laptop lifestyle so being technically geared means that my business can withstand this.

In the first few days I had calls and emails with panicked and totally in control clients. I watched some get shoved into decisions that could kill their business and others prepared to weather the storm.

There was no room for my anxiety.

Others won’t be so lucky.

It’s Not Over Yet

Despite trying to convince myself that it’s my second winter (hibernation time!) the warm and sunny weather teases at my restlessness, as I’m sure it does you.

While some people are still living life (living alone and working from home anyone?) as normal, others are trying to see it as a staycation and others as a time to improve themselves, or some combination of all three.

I do see the light at the end of this quarantine tunnel but let’s not be mistaken. The cleanup will take years.

The people will be mentally and emotionally damaged and the economy will take a long time to recover, particularly the small bricks and mortar businesses.

There have been many memes and quotes about trying not to go back to normal but the truth is, we will try. We have to.

If there’s no sense of normalcy to grasp for we will fight a deeper well of depression.

The evolution of normal will happen over time, whether we will it to or not. It’s hard to unsee what has now been shown.

And, let’s not forget, the virus won’t really be gone and we may need to be prepared for a resurgence.

Goodbye 2019

Goodbye 2019

As I sat watching the flame rise higher and higher with the dying wick of my red pillar candle, I wondered what my life could be like.

While I wait for the flame to extinguish itself, I find myself pensively waiting. I don’t know what I’m waiting for. As I sat watching the flame rise higher and higher with the dying wick of my red pillar candle, I wondered what my life could be like.

While I wait for the flame to extinguish itself, I find myself pensively waiting. I don’t know what I’m waiting for. I feel as if I’m expecting my life to change.

Waiting for my whole world to right itself with the death of the candle’s flame.

But the only thing that can change with the end of the red pillar candle is my mindset, my expectations, my yearning for someone to rescue me.

An ache in my heart reminds me of the loneliness that sometimes seeps in when I’m trying to convince myself that I’m ok being alone.

Logically alone I have so much more freedom, but then why do I ache for a deep, connected companionship of trust and love?

While I ran to the bathroom, I hoped the candle would wait for me. I had this deep sense that the dying of the flame meant something deep to me.

I just don’t know what.

It’s probably just a way to flip a switch for myself in my brain.

I feel as though I’m starting to not just see what my life could be but feel it. I see a vision and I feel it, hear it, smell it, see the way the light shines in that moment, envision the people around me and the way the energy plays around me.

The candle burns steady now. Like it’s hanging on, refusing the end. I don’t mind. It’s calming to watch.

As the flame dances, changing shape, I feel my mind clearing, just enjoying the movement.

What happens when the last flame of my Yule and 2019 celebrations meets the end of the wick?
Do I mentally close that door and bring myself fully into 2020 and the next decade of my life?

I wonder why we liken the human spirit to a flame.
I see that the flame is bright, but it can be extinguished and naturally goes out.

Perhaps the idea is simply to have it as a metaphor for death but I would much rather think of the human spirit as something stronger that can’t be blown out.

Sure, we can start a fire or light a candle, but we can’t control it while it burns and we can simply put it out with water, blowing it out, or suffocating it.
I know we are considered fragile in a similar sense, but I feel like we are stronger than that.

I don’t like the idea that my spirit can be extinguished or manipulated.
I suppose whether I like it or not, with emotions, death, and trauma it’s not unlikely and it can be relit.

Maybe it’s the lack of personal control I don’t like the thought of.

I love the way the glow of the candle casts it’s light on the things around it. The flame highlights the softness of the stuff owl near by and the tin on which it sits. It brightens the blue of the painted cork board against the wall and lights the black metal leaves on a nearby candle holder.

I will be sad when the flame meets the end of the wick and goes out in a puff of smoke.

As I sit watching the flame dance in its last breaths of life, I want nothing to interrupt the final moments I share with its beautiful light.

I didn’t think the flame would last long tonight, but it stubbornly keeps on burning.

The wax that was piled up around the flame has slowly melted away. Small bubbles of wax remain melting slowly with the dying flame.

Now the flame dances, getting bigger and licking the air in a desperate reach then splitting into two and re-emerging as one thick flame fighting against the end. The long flickers scream out for more time, reaching to find more to burn, just to settle back down and reach out to try again, refusing to accept the end. Down to almost nothing, the flame is brighter than ever.

Reaching, dancing, desperately fighting.

The flickering and tiny sparks worsen, and black smoke rises from the angry, hopeful flame. The flickering hurts my eyes like a strobe light but the emotion the motion creates is grasping at my heart. The flame is slowly losing it’s battle, getting smaller, reaching lower.

Running out of the energy to fight.

The last of the red wax pools in the corners of the tilted candle base and a black ring has formed around the wick and remaining flame. The flame slowly gets smaller and looses more of its brightness.

The flame makes another ditch effort by reaching brightly before begrudgingly accepting its fate.

And with a putter and a spark and a final puff of gray smoke the flame has reached the end of its wick. With the last wisps of gray smoke, I felt my expectations float away.

I now bid 2019 an official goodbye and prepare my mind, heart and soul for a life changing, world altering 2020.

The Colour of Joy

The Colour of Joy

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I talked about learning more of what I want in my life back in January when I posted a goodbye to my dog Bo.

Since then I have been doing a lot of searching. But I don’t mean searching in an external sense.
I mean internal exploration of my deepest desires.

I started writing from an early age. I was the kind of kid that would be asked to write a short story and would hand you the first chapter to a novel, when I was prompted for being late.

I can’t say that I’ve stopped writing but I certainly haven’t been consistent with it.
And, I’ve let fear rule what I post.
I dreamed of a day when I could post more exploratory, journal like posts.
But I don’t know when that day was supposed to be, so how about today?!

While working through Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map I’ve been enjoying the writing prompts in the back workbook section.
Some of those prompts have been about the colour, sound, and smell of joy.
I loved thinking about this so much that I decided to write more on it and would love to know your answers too!

The Colour of Joy

Beautiful, golden yellows, like the sun.
Not mustard or neon.
But pure, bright, sunshine yellow.
Fresh greens and flowery pinks and purples.

Joy smells like the morning after a light rain.
Like summer heat, without the body odor.
The scent of wild flowers and lavender.
The early morning, when the birds start to sing and the rest of the world is still asleep.

The sounds of child-like, unbridled laughter make up joy.
Silence, but not with tension, with ease, contentment.
A sigh, humming, the sounds of bees and crickets buzzing.
Birds chirping their morning hellos and singing to their hearts content.

Butterflies landing on flowers, flitting around a garden.
Bees collecting pollen to build their winter store.
Worms squiggling and squirming out of the dark soil after a rain.

Fresh new green growth and lush older plants.
Blossoming buds searching for the light.
Elegant, soft, pink cherry blossoms.

The soft sounds of water moving.
The breeze rustling through the trees.
The sounds, smells, sights, and colours of joy are all around me.

I really enjoyed writing this piece and am excited to do this exercise for all the emotions, yes, including not so happy ones.
Emotions are there for us to explore, understand and intimately know. Not for us to run from.
So let me know in the comments:

What are the colours, smells, sights, and sounds of joy for you?

I really enjoyed writing this piece and am excited to do this exercise for all the emotions, yes, including not so happy ones.
Emotions are there for us to explore, understand and intimately know. Not for us to run from.
So let me know in the comments:

What are the colours, smells, sights, and sounds of joy for you?

Image credits: Header image is from DepositPhotos (affiliate link) and edited by me in Adobe Photoshop CC (affiliate link). Flower images beside the poem are copyright Amanda Lynne Murtagh.