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It can be difficult for an artist to sell their art into the world. There’s a lot of competition in the galleries and exhibitions, and you’re all competing for the same customers.
One approach is to expand your marketing and promotional efforts from individual buyers to other markets. One such market is art for commercial spaces. If you’ve been wondering if your art is suitable for a commercial environment, or how you might break into this potentially lucrative market, then this article is for you.
Overview of the Corporate Art Market
Various corporate clients such as hotels, restaurants, offices, hospitals, schools, and municipal and government offices all buy artwork. Interior designers, architects, building managers, galleries, curators, and other industry professionals often assist them in buying this artwork.
Corporate clients want art that creates a welcoming atmosphere for their visitors, and that helps project their brand or their desired public image. Artists with portfolios that cater to the corporate art market can find opportunities to sell both original works and reproductions. This can be especially true in your local area because businesses often want to support their local economy. It’s easy for them to do this by displaying the works of artists from their own community – this benefits both the company and the artists.
How can you connect with this potential marketplace? One way is to reach out to the professionals who consult in the corporate market. Consider the following two categories of trade professionals that might be able to help you:
Consultants can help you find and take advantage of sales opportunities in your local market. They will be willing to help you if they feel that your art is suitable for corporate settings in terms of scale, themes, or colour palette. They specialise in working with businesses and corporations to buy and install art on their behalf.
To reach these consultants, you will need to carry out a search for art consultancies in your area. Then, check their website to see if they specialise in the particular segment of the market you’re interested in, and review their completed projects to see if your art fits with what they have been doing. Many consultancies will accept submissions from artists so that they can review the artist’s work to see if their art works for their clients. If you do this, be sure to follow their submission instructions carefully to avoid rejection or the need to make corrections later.
You should also contact local interior designers who work on corporate projects. Get in touch with them by email or phone, and offer to give them a presentation of your portfolio, or point them to a gallery on your website. If you do send them to your website, make sure it’s professional, and has only high-quality images of your work. Even better, have a section that has photos that show your work hanging in commercial environments.
Be sure to Follow Up
Don’t make a single contact, and then forget to follow up. You must keep in regular contact with designers and other industry professionals who might be able to use your work. Perhaps your art is not suitable for their current clients’ projects, but, if they’re reminded about you from time to time (a good excuse is to show them new work), your art might be a good fit for an upcoming commercial space they are working on.
Prepare Your Presentation
If you’re interested in pursuing this, you need to research the corporate art industry, and learn as much as possible about it. Then, prepare and tailor your portfolio and accompanying presentation to capture the attention of prospective consultants and designers – or a business directly. Be sure to slant the presentation with art that suits their particular space. In your presentation, highlight your understanding of their needs, as well as your ability to deliver artwork on time and as shown. Remember that budgets, deadlines, and ease of installation are priorities for most corporate clients.
Do Your Research
Go online and gather information about the type of art that’s being sold to corporate clients. Visit websites that cater to commercial art, such as Indiewalls and Art Specifier. Review these carefully to become more informed about the type and style of art that is currently being placed in corporate settings.
You might decide to specialise in a particular niche (e.g.: hotels or healthcare). If that’s the route you want to take, carry out your research into the specific needs, requirements, and tastes of potential clients in your chosen space. You can often find trade magazines that specialise in these specific markets.
The International Directory of Corporate Art Collections is another valuable resource that you should study. This can give you even more in-depth insights into the art that is being bought for display in the corporate sector.
Build a Website
When you’ve decided that your art is a match for a given corporate market, you should design a website that shows that you cater to this market. Include high-quality photos, and highlight your skills as an artist, along with your understanding of corporate art and your ability to meet budgets and deadlines.
If you do expand your market, and follow some of the suggestions in this article, you might well find that an entire new set of opportunities has now opened up for you. Good luck!