Telling your artist’s story

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Telling your artist’s story

First, I want to offer my apologies for last week’s blog not appearing at all. This was due to circumstances beyond my control which hopefully will not occur again.

Buying online is so easy these days. The Covid-19 pandemic saw online sales rise exponentially meaning consumers are really comfortable buying all sorts of things online these days. I myself buy clothes, shoes, jewellery, books, food, toiletries, and other household essentials and, yes, like everyone else I use Amazon and tell myself off because I know I should be using other suppliers instead, but they do make it so easy.

However it still doesn’t seem to work as well buying art online. When it comes to buying art, whether in person or online, consumers are looking for more than just ease of purchase. They want to know more about the maker.

Studies have shown that sharing stories about your business vastly outperforms hard-sell tactics such as flash sales and discounts. This means that when a collector is purchasing an artwork online, they rely on stories to help them learn about artists and form connections with the works they are considering buying, especially the ones they might never see in person. The rough average distance between a buyer and seller when buying art online is over 3,000 miles, which means that buyers may not get to see the pieces they buy until they’re hanging on the wall. While storytelling has always been an important skill for artists, it is even more important today and you need to be an effective onlinestoryteller. You need to make sure you can engage, educate, and excite potential buyers with your digital content.

Here are some ways to tell your artist’s story online. You can record a studio visit. Studio visits are a time-honoured tradition in the art world. Instagram uses this tradition on their entire platform by giving artists and galleries a simple straightforward way of sharing your story. Currently, Instagram’s Reels are the way forward as they are competing with TikTok audiences, who love to see short snippets of what other people are doing. With features like questions, tags, and highlights, Instagram stories let your audience interact with your content and share it with others. As artists it gives us the opportunity to share our artwork and collectors the chance to see it and learn a little more about us.

They get to see where we work, what goes into making a piece as well as an insight into how artists view the work they are making. A well-executed studio video will give your potential collectors new knowledge about the work you make and a better understanding of you as an artist. Don’t forget to take some still images while making your video as these can be used on your Instagram feed and on your Facebook page as well as on TikTok and your Twitter feed.

You do need to include details about your work when filming and photographing it. When creating that video be specific about the piece you are featuring. Good content prompts your potential buyers to wonder about your work. Will it fit in the space I have? Does this piece suit my budget? Does this artist show works in my area so that I can visit a gallery or their studio? All this information is important to your potential collectors so make it easy for them by having it included and, as your buyer may be a visual person too, make sure that there is a way to reference the size visually, too. That could be achieved by hanging it near a door or having you stand next to it; something which gives an idea of the dimensions is helpful.

I offer a service to people purchasing my large works whereby they send me a photo of their available space with dimensions and I Photoshop the artwork into their photo so that they have an idea of how it will look.

You need to use all the tools in your arsenal and one great tool is to share what other people have said about your work. Scrolling through Instagram it is possible to see other people’s comments but sharing your buyer comments, either during the video recording or on your website, adds credibility. People tend to buy into your life and what others think about you. Yes, they buy your work because they like it but they often need further persuasion in the form of shared comments.

So, take advantage of what people are saying about your work or how professionally you dealt with them during a sale. If you have recent press coverage or a new relationship with a gallery, let your potential buyers know. Don’t be shy. It isn’t bragging; it is simply sharing what people are saying.

Look at what other artists are doing and see if there are elements which would work for you and your lifestyle. Faye Bridgewater has the most amazing Instagram feed. She posts virtually daily to her stories, where she documents her art life, painting in her studio, hanging exhibitions as well as travels to and from galleries, visits to the beach etc, etc.

Her feed is young, lively, and brightly coloured and even if this isn’t anything like you, it is worth watching how she navigates the art world. Other people quietly put themselves out there. My dear friend, Beata Bosze, posts daily too. Her feed is quiet and gentle, just like her. She shares her artwork, things which inspire her and events she is enjoying. Both women are showing up daily for those who want to see what they are doing but in very different ways.

Also remember that content trends are always shifting and evolving so to stay relevant you need to watch what other artists are doing and which platforms they are showing up on. If you are new to this don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to follow lots of people on many different platforms. Keep it small so that you can maintain a close eye on who is doing what, how much traction their methods are gaining and by using some of what they do to show up yourself. Remember to copy someone is theft but to copy lots of people is research which you make your own.

If you have enjoyed reading this post, please like and follow me and please share it with people who you think might be interested. I am always on the lookout for new artists to feature as I know how much everyone enjoys reading about other artists. Also, if you think there is a subject you would like to know more about and would like me to write about, I will be happy to consider it. Sharing, liking, and following my blogs increases the number of people the algorithm shows the blogs to, so please share. Thank you in advance for supporting me this way.

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