With WIFF around the corner, I’ve been asked how an artist can cultivate relationships with art collectors and supporters in one’s own home city. Film festivals are often a time when small, new, or unknown filmmakers can be launched onto a world stage, and we have similar opportunities as artists. Since I am a fan of taking immediate action, here for you are 10 things you can do right away that will bring you closer to your goal of gaining recognition in your hometown. Remember that it is not the most talented or skilled artists who are able to reach the top, but rather the ones who cultivate the best relationships.
- Instead of asking a potential buyer to purchase your art, find out instead what they need. Don’t be afraid to stretch your abilities by agreeing to a project that’s outside of your comfort zone, and thereby winning the support of a possible lifelong client.
- One true fan of your work is worth a hundred who are casually interested. Build relationships with your true fans one small step at a time.
- Support local. I’ve said this before, but don’t be afraid to give away art to local charity auctions. Take it a step further and custom-make a piece that will be a perfect fit for the event and thus help them get a higher price for your piece and raise more money for their cause.
- Work on bigger format art. If a lot of your work is small, you don’t get the wow factor of a huge decorative piece. Push your abilities to create something large, which can then fetch you a higher price.
- Start making prints. Offering prints increases the value of your originals. It allows more eyes to see your creations while providing a new income stream. Plus, they’re easier to give away and make an incredible business card.
- Get out more. Attend lots of events in your city and meet people. The level of your success is based on the quality of your relationships.
- Remember that success is not pursued; it is attracted. If you want greater success as an artist or with any area in life, introduce new disciplines into your routine such as more exercise or an earlier schedule. These habits tend to seep into other aspects of your life, such as allowing you to procrastinate less when it comes to creating art.
- Create more. The more art you create, the better you will get. Find art that inspires you and copy it just to improve your skill level.
- Find balance. Half your art can be what you love to create and the other half can be what people want you to create. Don’t neglect either aspect.
- Fall in love with the process. True art created from a deep place of love will always resonate with the right audience.
Instead of being the artist who hopes for overnight success, be the artist who works for years to achieve what appears to be an overnight success. If you work for it, it is inevitable.