Finding a Market For Your Art
It is said that many artists feel that they lose creativity if they begin changing their artwork for the marketplace and give up what makes them fulfilled as an artist. It is recommended that one should do some soul-searching on what makes them happy.
It is suggested that one finds a market that wants what they have to offer. But you must work at researching what works for you.
Here are some suggestions on how to do some market research:
1. Go to your local library and ask the librarian if they carry a reference book by SRDS called Lifestyle Analysis. This book will give you a wealth of information on lifestyle interests of people across the country (USA that is). If you are viewing this article outside the U.S. see if there is a similar guide in your library. This guide breaks down about 75 different interests that people have, where they are located, how popular it is in various areas, etc. By doing this before diving head into a series of pieces you will discover if you have a "buying market" where you are planning to sell your pieces. It's not suggested you design around the interest level of the area but to find out if there is an interest in your type of work.
2. Do research using search engines such as www.google.com to see if there is an interest in your type of art and subject media. How many search results come back? Are there a lot of advertisers competing for the "sponsored ads" on the sides of the pages? This will indicate that people are willing to pay for this traffic and there is a demand for this art.
3. Go to local art shows and see if other "like or similar" artists are successfully selling their work. If you are not timid go up to the artist and introduce yourself and engage in conversation. If you approach them in a friendly manner, many will be happy to share with you what has been working well for them and if the art is being bought. If you do not feel comfortable going up to the displaying artist, then watch from a distance and see if people are visiting their booth or walking right by. Are people stopping and looking or not even paying attention? Take notes! Look at what people are taking away from the art shows- paintings, sculptures, ceramics, jewelry., etc.
4. Go to galleries and local stores that would carry the type of work you create. Look for what is selling for them and what doesn't. Ask the salespeople what people are buying and what they ask for. You need to ask if you want answers.
These are some methods fo finding out what is selling in your area and what is not. Now back to what was originally said.... don't change for the marketplace. You may want to change but just realize that after doing the research, if you find that your form of art is not being sought in the art marketplace you may have to get more creative in your marketing. How can you create a market for your work? How can you make prospective buyers want what you have to offer? It is best to try to create your work with this in mind. One should ask themselves what can they create that satisfies their needs as an artist yet meets the buying market. There can be a happy medium.
If your work does not have a ready and knowledgeable buying audience, you may be sitting on pieces for a while. It may be suggested as a last measure that you do an art show and survey people that go by on their viewpoint in regards to your art. What they like about it? What does it communicate to them? Is it something that they would want to own? Why don't they like it? What they would like to see you make? Take your results and evaluate.