30 Sep 2020 05:40

Virtualize Your Art Career: Part 1

Carolyn Edlund is the Sales & Events Director at the Clark Hulings Foundation, and our resident subject matter expert in Sales Strategy. In the first episode of this two-part podcast, Carolyn joins us to answer questions about making a creative career virtual. Artists and makers, you can make a great decision to thrive during the pandemic and beyond: learn with Carolyn and the CHF Faculty in real time by registering for the online https://clarkhulingsfund.org/conference/start/ (The Virtualize Your Art Career™ Conference Oct 19-30th.) Carolyn is the founder of ArtsyShark—a popular blog that publishes features on artist portfolios and articles on the business of art—and the former executive director of the Arts Business Institute. An artist herself, Carolyn pivoted to sales in the art-publishing business—she learned the world of price points, merchandising, building collections, and closing deals, by working a territory and becoming a top rep. She has designed curriculum for multiple art-business platforms and has presented hundreds of live seminars for artists and makers. Selling Art During the Pandemic“Artists are being pushed into getting online and becoming experts at communicating and selling online. We don’t have much of a choice. The events are closed, postponed, canceled. They’re not happening in person. And as wonderful as the in-person events are (and, you know, we’ve traditionally relied on them) just like Hiscox [Online Art Trade Report 2020] noted: this is a transformation. We’ve been moving towards an online economy, an art industry that is robust in the online space, and this is forcing the issue.” “This is putting people in a sink or swim position where you’ve got to make decisions. You aren’t going to change your whole life, but you’ve got to make decisions about getting into the online market and making it work for you. And that, to me, is a huge opportunity. It might not be something that every artist is looking forward to, but ultimately they will really benefit from it.” Opportunities & Challenges of Selling Online“It becomes very crowded when everyone is jumping online—and we know that’s true because art website providers are reporting record numbers of new clients coming in. They all want to set up websites.” “Anyone who is in the virtual marketplace has to fight for attention—establish that space, gather the people who are their followers, either through social media profiles or a list that they’ve built so that they can continue that conversation, and then use those interested people to turn into customers and clients.” “The personal touch is very appreciated these days. If you’ve got a collector who feels like they know you, they like you, they appreciate your work, and you say: ‘I want to reach out to you because I’ve got a new body of work and I haven’t shown anyone yet. But you own two of my paintings, and I really want to give you first dibs. How about we jump on a Zoom call? How about we literally get into a face to face conversation. I’ll show you what I’ve got.’ I like the personal outreach. And even though that might be a little bit scary, I think that over time, as you get to know your customer base, there will be people that you can reach out to and you’ll find that they appreciate and love hearing from an artist, and love talking with you, and that that engagement excites them. It’s part of the collector experience.” What Does Virtualizing Your Art Career Mean?“There’s going to be a range for some people. It may only be that they get a website, and then they’re continuing on with what they’ve been doing for years. For other artists, virtualizing means a new format.” “For example, you might be an artist who teaches. You’re not going to be teaching in person right now, but you might be building courses on an online learning platform, you might be teaching through YouTube.” “If you are an artist who typically offers reproductions or is considering it, you...

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