How to Become an Art Dealer: A Step-by-Step Guide

What a fantastic career path! Learning about, surrounding yourself by and selling original art – arguably the highest form of artistic creative expression. Here we have the essential rundown on what you need to become the next big art dealer in town!

credit: gingerpig2000


First and foremost you must have a vision. Each aspect of your art from your exhibit to your theme should reflect this vision with purpose and meaning. Consider each and every artist and artwork as a distinct separate brush stroke with your gallery and art dealing career as the painting. Each little component counts to create that one complete artistic totality.



From your vision and artistic ethos, you must be on track to forge your own unique personal identity. One that makes you stand out from the crowd (for the right reasons of course!). Within the arts sector you cannot get away with being a wannabe or a winger – you must take on a theme or area of specific interest and run with it full pelt. If you have a controversial or challenging theme of art you must follow through with it whole-heartedly and be ready to advocate and defend your art. Doing so will give you credibility and integrity.



In order to build your identity, you should focus on a specialist niche, focussing on a specific area of interest. You do not want to be jack of all and master of none by knowing something about everything, but rather, knowing everything of something! Your affiliates and customers will appreciate your discerning eye and the real depth of knowledge and expertise you possess.



Keep in mind your goal is to remain in business and to continually build up your customer base. What is of most importance is your dedicated network of repeat customers. It is these customers who will most likely be equally passionate and enthused by collecting and learning about art as you; they will want to build their up their own personal collections and want you to play an important role in them achieving this.



In time with this sound base, you will gradually become an expert in your niche. You’ll increasingly have your finger on the pulse – what’s hot, what’s not and what’s next – to be at the cutting edge of emerging trends and erudite of the trend-setters. This will keep you ahead of the game and able to anticipate what your customers will want. You want to plot the course that others will most certainly follow. You must also become well-versed in spotting forgery from authenticity.



The mastering of these collective components will begin to match the sum of their parts and you will reap the rewards in your reputation. This vital aspect of your identity as an art dealer is what will place you among the elite. Your name will stand before you and your astuteness will be recognised by writers & critics and will inevitably spread.



Discuss your art in an easily understandable, approachable yet informed way so that everyone can understand your art and feel they can and want to be a part of it. It is important to recognise that although it may well be self-gratifying and supposedly impressive to others to hear your expert knowledge, this will do you no favours in the long-term if prospective buyers are put off before their interest is whet. It is important to raise insightful queries, provoking thought in your audience and encouraging them to consider your art, forging their own understanding of its beauty and meaning. Ensure you move beyond the mere selling of pretty objects thus giving people a reason to buy!



You want to enhance your profile and expertise at any opportunity. Embrace and use various social media channels to communicate your art and expertise – being visible to your art community is key. Enable people to follow you on Facebook and Twitter, and link these with your blog. The blog can function as a means to discuss specialist trends or topics of interest of the moment and in turn, can promote an upcoming exhibition. You should also continually update your mailing lists steadily increasing your networks. Keep your comments and blog postings to a minimum – say fortnightly or monthly – to ensure your content is relevant and not annoying for your followers. Also join museums, art organisations, dealer associations and show up at art events and fundraisers.



Embrace and accept criticism. It is wise not to ignore criticism but to respond to it in an appropriate way i.e. via your communication channels. It is important to keep everyone on side therefore do not remove anyone from your mailing lists or contacts.


This article was produced by – the online department store for unique gifts and exclusively sourced artworks from leading museums and galleries across the UK.

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Creative Fluff

CreativeFluff is an eclectic group of young designers, artists, writers, and critics. Some of these individuals hail from esteemed design colleges such as Parsons, The New School for Design, or famous liberal art colleges such as Boston University. It is not only our goal, but our pleasure to bring you the latest, oldest, and most interesting news from all realms of creative art and design. Posts range from t design resources such as desktop wallpapers, to essay on critical design issues.

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