Becoming a Professional Artist: 11 Tips for Getting Your Art Into Galleries

By Milan Art Institute on April 26, 2024
Becoming a Professional Artist: 11 Tips for Getting Your Art Into Galleries

Photo caption: Learning how to get your art into galleries is one of the key components of becoming a professional artist. Photo courtesy of the Milan Art Institute.

You’re super excited about the progress you’re seeing in your art and you want the world to know, right?! So what are the secrets of getting your unique, beautiful artwork placed in a gallery for the world to see? It’s maybe one of the most exciting aspects of becoming a professional artist.

There are definitely some things you should and should not do when approaching galleries. Here’s what we’ve learned about getting your artwork into galleries.

If you follow these steps, you’ll have a better chance of making a positive impression on gallery owners and taking the steps necessary to turn your hard work and passion into a great art career. In other words, you’ll have a chance to leave your mark on the art world.

The Don’ts of How to Get Your Art Into Galleries

Yes, we know. You’re excited. One of the worst things you could do is to just walk into a gallery, introduce yourself, and ask if they would represent you and your art. Cold calls do not work.

OK, there may be a few times that it has, but generally, it’s not a good idea. Art tugs at your heart. If you haven’t built a relationship with that gallery, they don’t have much reason to bring you into their gallery family.

Similarly, don’t call them. They get hundreds of calls from new artists vying for their support. It literally is cold to simply have a list of local galleries and take an afternoon to just call all of them. That cold call will most likely receive a cold shoulder.

It should go without saying, but definitely don’t call them multiple times to see if they’ll change their minds.

Finally, it also goes without saying that you should produce exceptional and sellable art. Art galleries are in business to make money. If your art has a chance of selling (and it fits their market), then you stand a better chance of getting a gallery owner to agree to carry your art.

Video caption: How to Create More Sellable Artwork

So how can you get your art in a gallery?

The Do’s of Finding a Gallery for Your Art - 11 Tips

First and foremost, make sure you’re prepared as an artist to have your artwork in a gallery. Here’s a checklist of the things you should be doing if you want to get your art into galleries.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do you have a cohesive body of work? You should have at least 30 paintings.
  2. Do you have high-quality photos of your work?
  3. Do you have a website showcasing not just your work but yourself as the artist? This isn’t the time to wing it. Be prepared.

Then visit the galleries you’re interested in.

  1. Go incognito.
  2. Study the pieces that are currently on display.
  3. Research the artists who created them.
  4. Become informed about the owners, their price points, and their goals for the gallery.
  5. Take a moment to reflect on your art and your goals to see if they align with the gallery. If they do, it’s time to move forward.

Contact the galleries.

  1. Send an email. Include three to four images of your work that you can embed in the email.
  2. Introduce yourself and your art. Share that you have spent time getting to know them and that you think you would be a good fit.
  3. Be authentic and genuine. It’s a numbers game. You’ll need to contact a lot of galleries. You can count on about 10% of your list of galleries getting back to you.

Building those relationships will help you find the gallery that believes in you and does a great job selling your art. It’s worth the time. It’s worth the effort.

Final Tips on How to Get Your Art Into Galleries

Although this art tutorial was short, don’t underestimate how powerful the advice is. Learning how to become a professional artist takes time, loads of motivation and tons of hard work.

However, those who are willing to create a portfolio of exceptional and sellable artwork and who are willing to research art galleries have a good chance of becoming professional artists.

If you’d like to learn more about how to become a professional artist, including about how to sell your art, then look into our Mastery Program. Or consider join the Milan Art Community to get more art tutorials and tips!

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Milan Art Institute
Milan Art Institute

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