Have a cohesive brand.
Your art is a part of you, so know yourself and make that your brand. It is important to have your brand solidified and clear. How you dress, how you act around people, and how you talk should all fit into your brand. If your art is dreamy and spiritual, dress that way and talk about those topics. If your art is edgy and extravagant, dress that way and talk that way. Don’t try to be too many things at once. You won’t be stuck forever with your one schtick, it can change over time, but you have to be stuck in one thing for a little while. Think of yourself as a character in a movie. Be predictable and cohesive. Not predictable in a boring way, predictable in your own way. If your brand is provocative and unpredictable, be that consistently. You are your brand, so stay true to yourself, and you’ll never go wrong.
Connect with your art, and connect with your audience.
Find meaning in each individual piece that you create and have a vision for your art as a whole. It will really help when it comes time to sell it. While you paint, or after you’re finished, look at your painting and try to get a sense of what it is about or what it means to you. People always ask, “What is your inspiration for this piece?” or “What were you thinking while you created this one?” And you should already have an answer before they ask you. Keep it open ended. The viewer loves to have their own story of what a painting was inspired by so keep your answer open and not too specific. After you tell them briefly what it means to you, ask them how it makes them feel or what they thought it was about. Try to connect with them on that and NEVER tell them their response is wrong or not how you wanted them to feel. Remember, the customer is ALWAYS RIGHT.
Don’t be afraid to show your heart and share your personal story.
People love strong emotions and real life experiences. They want to hear about your life and how you got started in your business. Keep it positive. If your story includes a past life of hardships and struggles, keep that part short and focus more on the overcoming. The more personal the better, as long as it has a happy ending. You are the artist, and your art is a part of you. If the viewer asks you about something deeper, share it with enthusiasm and don’t make them feel like they are digging too deep inside of you.
Don’t worry about selling the painting. If the person loves you and loves the painting, they will buy it. Don’t look desperate.
If the client has enough money, space, and love for your painting, they will buy it. If they don’t have one of those, you don’t want them to be pressured or pushed into buying your painting. You don’t want to come across as a desperate artist. Even if it is true, don’t let them feel like this one sale could really help you out financially. You want to come across as a successful artist, who is set in your career with or without them. Stay humble, just don’t be a starving artist…even if you are. The trick to selling your art is finding the right audience in the right demographics. Selling art is not about making anyone buy your art, its about finding the right someone to buy your art.
Keep it positive.
Leave the client feeling happy, uplifted, and inspired by talking with you. Make sure every conversation or emotion is positive. Don’t talk about your waves of artist’s block, or hardships as an artist. Talk about your inspirations, aspirations, and interesting lifestyle. Even if they ask a semi-negative question, answer them with the a positive response or a different question. Don’t lie or be cocky, just focus on the positive. People want to buy art from you as an addition to their collection, not a charitable cause.
Create beautiful art and keep your brand clear. Be honest, transparent, and positive. If you love what you do, and you stay true to yourself, your art will sell itself. Good luck!