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How-To Guide | Play the game to make your name – a guide for artists

Art gallery with blue lighting

Gone are the days when art galleries would approach you, make everything happen and set your career up for life. Nowadays, it’s not enough to be an artist; you need to be artful too. Here’s how…  

You may have noticed (to your chagrin) that Instagram is full of middle-of-the-road artists with 50,000 plus followers. How come people with questionable artistic talent get to have lucrative careers as artists? Because they know how to play the game.

How then – as a professional artist – can you be taken seriously in this free-for-all arena? In a fair world, your talent alone would put your name in lights and put money in your pocket.

In the real world, you may have to play the game a little too, so those irksome interlopers don’t get your slot at the Tate. The following tips may help you.

Find – and own – your niche

To stand out in a saturated market, you need to identify your one-of-a-kind speciality and use this to develop your brand. What do you do that no one else is doing? Why should someone buy your abstract artwork in blues and greens, rather than someone else’s blue and green abstracts? What is your USP (unique selling point), and how do you convey this?

You also need to find a price point that does justice to your talent and supports your reputation. For example, a highly-curated gallery or art website could potentially sell your work for ten times more than you’d get on Redbubble or Etsy, especially if it’s a limited-edition print. Note: limiting the edition number is a good way of upping your prices.