The Ultimate Marketing Guide for Artists: Part 1

Creative Fluff has put together a step by step marketing guide for aspiring and talented artists. We’ve gathered all the best practices of everything from how to properly contact a website you wish to promote your work all the way to generating buzz across social media. There are always new opportunities for artists to present themselves being created everyday within the digital landscape. Wouldn’t it be nice to have one, handy reference guide to learn it all?

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Artists – why do you hate me so?

I get so many useless emails asking me to, ‘check out this’ or, ‘please write about that’. The most amazing one we ever got simply had the word, ‘hi’ and a link to cement blocks. This both entertains and infinitely depresses me. Surely you already realise this, but most of these emails go straight into the trash section of the inbox. I’ve been meaning to rectify this for a while now, because these artists can’t possibly be doing this on purpose. They’re just overlooking a crucial detail in advertising their works.

They say first impressions are the most important. This is especially true of an artist, as the first judgement comes entirely from your aesthetical value. This doesn’t just include your actual artwork. It also includes your first contact with us.

It only takes a cursory glance to decide whether to feature an artist here.

Did that seem harsh? I’m sure it is. Being an artist is incredibly difficult. You rely entirely on the opinions of your audience. The sad truth that many of you don’t realise is that you do not provide entertainment for them. They provide opportunities for you.

So, let’s assume you’ve given us a terrible email. Already I’m expecting nothing from you. I go to your included link with a resigned heart to see if you can really back up your total disregard for professionalism. I’m usually out in under a minute. Why?

  • If I go to your website and I can’t figure out what buttons to click to see your portfolio? Out.
  • If I go to your website and music starts blaring at me from the background? Out.
  • If I go to your website and my speed suddenly dips because you’ve got a giant flash into? Out.
  • If you don’t have the necessary information about yourself and your art? OUT.

I come to see your work, not a stage production. I come to look at your efforts and learn about you as an artist. When your artwork is overshadowed by your website or I see no details or information page about you and your work, that tells me that as an artist, you don’t care.

You don’t care about your work and you don’t care about your professionalism. It also tells me that you don’t care whether you become successful in your chosen path.

Our aim at CF is to provide the underappreciated artist with free publicity. We want to help you because we want to see your work. We want to encourage you because we understand how difficult it is to make it in this business. And art is a business.

Social networking and proper representation are the tools with which you’ll get out there. They’re what will enable you to share your creativity with the world. You could always go old-school and wait until you die in the hopes that someone will notice what you did, but that’s no good to you right now is it?

There are times when, despite the lack of information, I will contact you. This is because your artwork is exceptional. This is a rare example that I don’t often see. Do you really want to leave your career to chance? To the bleak hope that you are the diamond in the rough? That you are the artist the scrolls foretold of?

That ain’t no way to get out there, buddy.

I’m going to be honest here – sometimes I don’t want to bother getting in contact with you. It slows the entire process of writing an article if I have to contact you, wait for your convenient replies, and then begin the process of extracting what information I need from you for a feature piece. More so when it’s your duty to provide that information for potential employers, journalists and advertisers in the first place. You have hindered our work due to your unprofessionalism. This is a symbiotic working relationship and effort must come from both sides.

I’m not writing this for my own benefit. If I can’t write about you, I’ll move on to the next artist, and the one after that. I’ll keep going until I find an artist that will work with me. This is disappointing for both of us. I want to write about your work. I want to tell people about you. I’m also sure that you want that extra publicity.

I guarantee that having a proper portfolio page will increase your chances of being featured. Not just here at CF, but everywhere.

The importance of having the necessary information on your site is integral to your career as an artist. The fact that it is so rare to see an artist who has provided it that I become literally grateful to them is just ridiculous. Please…


Tips for a first introduction.

Keep your introduction concise.
I have small dreams. This is one of them.
My name is Artist, and I specialise in this type of artwork.
I would like to work with you on having my artwork featured in your magazine.
You can view an example of my artwork here.
My personal information is here.
Please contact me if you have any further questions.”
An email like that pretty much makes me honour-bound to properly view your work.

Keep your website clean.
If I visit a house and my host has to pull laundry off the suite before I can sit down, I’m already disappointed. The same goes for your website. I understand that you want to showcase your artistic skills. If you can’t do that with your actual artwork, then you’re probably in the wrong profession. If I have to wait for a flash into or music file to load, I’m already disappointed.

Dedicate a page to your information.
Without proper personal information, we cannot form an article. You’d be a disembodied group of images, floating on the internet without anything to support you. We need to be able to introduce you to our readers. For that, we need you to introduce yourself to us.

  • Your location.
  • Your education.
  • Your specialisation.
  • Who you work for, or how you sell your work.
  • Who you are.
  • Your methods and techniques.
  • How you got started, why you work the way you do.

If you don’t have a big fancy site or can’t figure out coding, you impoverished bastard, at least include it in the damned email. When the information above is provided prior to us having to contact you, the chances of receiving a feature greatly increases. Like, a lot. A super amount. Seriously. You don’t even know…
But you should.

I cannot stress how important this information it. It seems so straight-forward that I shouldn’t even have to inform you of it. Providing your details is the difference between being simply advertised and being actually appreciated. We can advertise your works, but that won’t make you stand out. It produces a sub-par article that pleases no one.

At CF we have no interest in just advertising you. We want to write quality, personable articles so that even the most casual art-appreciator can enjoy new artists. That is our mission. We want to laud you to the world. We want your work, and you, to be enjoyed.

This is the difference between our magazine and a directory.

Note from the author –
I get that speaking about yourself in third-person or having eight pages of self-contained dialogue is pretentious as fuck but that’s okay. You’re artists, you’re supposed to be pretentious as fuck. We get that. As long as you ain’t writin’ what you had for lunch or the first time you got your sexy on, there’s probably no such thing as too much information. (note: probably gonna have to edit this out sometime. You guys always have ways of surprising us.)

MOST IMPORTANT: I WANT to hear from you. I really, really do. And not just because not having to hunt you down makes my life way easier, oh no. Because of feelings and stuff. I want to hear from you so much I’mma go ahead and stick my email right here, because that means I know you read this and I know you’re not going to fill my inbox with shit that disregards the entire point. Have my email. I trust you guys. And also…
Our editor is scary. You’d better believe he’s scary. You would regret doing that.

Show me what you got! [email protected]

Click here to read part 2

Published by

Zola Paulse

Zola Paulse

Zola Paulse is a jack-of-all-trades from Lancashire, England. She enjoys art, physics and astronomy, chain smoking and speaking about herself in third person.