When you are starting out as a visual artist, trying to sell your work directly to your audience, you need to access the full scope of your network. Your inner ring of friends and family may be a useful initial market, but it is finite and soon you are going to have to reach out to people you may only have a passing familiarity with and beyond. It is important to remember that the outer reaches of your network don’t have the same connection with you as your inner network. They don’t know why you make the work that you do and don’t necessarily have a personal loyalty to you and your art, yet.
Hands down, galleries are the best tools for selling your art. People who go into a gallery already have an intention of experiencing art and purchasing the right piece at the right price for them. The problem with galleries is that they only exist in a single space, and shows only happen for a limited time; not everyone who has an interest in your work will be able to attend your next show. Rather obviously, the internet is the next logical place to take your work – it’s available 24/7 to people all around the world who may be looking for exactly what you have to offer. But the internet is a crowded place and if you want to stand out among the crowd of Tumblrs and portfolio sites, you have to show something different, something more personal, something that makes a connection with your audience. There are all kinds of SEO (search engine optimization) tips and tricks lists out there, and they are always changing as search engines like Google update their algorithms. One thing that remains constant is that a variety of content media (text, images and videos) helps your page rank well, and video content hosted on Youtube will rank well on Google in particular.
Art buyers and enthusiasts are more eager to follow and acquire your work when they feel like they know who you are and what you stand for; a profile video, therefore, can tell your story and introduce you alongside your art. Video also allows the work to breathe in a way that still images never can, particularly with three dimensional works where the different planes of a piece can be examined in a more fluid and natural way. A video can also incorporate music which is an effective tool for communicating an emotion with an audience. When used skillfully, music can mask the cold veneer of technology and draw the viewer into an emotional relationship with your art. If you take commissions, a video showcasing how you work with your clients to create the perfect work of art for them will instill confidence in potential clients, potentially earning you a meeting.