The idea for Arthub has come from nearly three years of experience in promoting and running a gallery in Torbay. That’s three years of working with artists, art groups and art businesses; three years of running art exhibitions, art projects and arts campaigns; three years of great work, with incredible talent in amazing venues. And in those three years we’ve learnt some valuable lessons from a sample of over 200 artists, all of whom are out their promoting themselves and their work; here’s just a few of those lessons:
Artists are the best people to promote their work. No matter how hard we try, we will never be able to sell your artwork as well as you can. Buyers and collectors love to hear about your work from you.
Artists often dislike talking about their work. We see it at all our launch events. Many artists hide themselves in the corners as far away as possible from their work because their nervous about discussing it!
Online marketing is essential. It doesn’t take a genius to figure it out, the internet has changed how we go about our day to day lives. This applies to everything we do from banking, to socialising, to how we shop, and that isn’t just isolated to ordering the groceries online, it applies to buying art too!
Whether its Torbay or London, the tools at artists’ disposals to promote themselves online at a local or national level are lacking. There are some exceptions with sites like Art Rabbit offering a free, functional and stylish service to promote art exhibitions nationally, but its potential to reach people locally in small towns and cities is limited. Many local promotion sites are overcomplicated, inflexible in the way individuals can add events and difficult to navigate for visitors trying to find things to do; they’re often run by councils with limited funds and time to dedicate to them or as add-ons to sites with other primary purposes; none are dedicated to the arts.
Disjointed and inadequate digital promotion sites make online marketing a full-time job. We should know, we’re doing it every day, fighting our way through a mess of local newspaper sites, radio pages, events listings and social media to best promote the exhibitions we run. It easily takes up two to three days every week for us!
Artists are better together. Whether it’s affordability of opportunities, division of labour or simply having a louder voice, artists are more successful in numbers. When we think about the art group we believe it’s important that collectives are not just made up of artists but of arts businesses too and that connections are nurtured between these individuals to benefit each other; after all, we’d be out of a job if it wasn’t for artists!