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January 31, 2014 — A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.
By Susan Jerke, Wyoming SBDC regional director
“I am a plein air painter. How can I successfully market my art?” Nancy, Gillette
The creativity that flows when you create your artwork also can translate into a successful career as an artist by developing the business aspects of your endeavors.
Wyoming Entrepreneur Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is currently hosting a series of webinars titled, “Art as a Business,” and I encourage you to watch the recorded links. Through these webinars, the instructor, Chuck Egnaczak, shares a wealth of experience to the creative community in Wyoming.
To learn how to pull all the pieces together, recordings are available of the “Art as a Business” series. For more information, call the toll-free number at 1-800-348-5194.
An artist can build a successful business, but there are steps to follow to present a professional, polished image to the world.
As in any traditional business, begin with a plan that starts with fundamental questions. Where would you like to sell your artwork? How much can you produce? Is there a demand for your work? How much is it worth? What is the best way to display your work? Who are your buyers? Is the market large enough to support your business? As you begin to gather this information, you will target galleries and venues that will successfully showcase your work.
A compelling artist statement and strong logo are important components to your marketing strategy. As you define your identity, answer questions such as, “How did you get into this work?” “What feelings are invoked by my art?” and “Why is my artwork satisfying to me and my audience?” Your answers will help you connect with your target market.
The next step, if you are a visual artist, is to have high-quality photos of your work to begin building your portfolio. In a portfolio presentation, the quality of your work is critical, and you also will be judged. Once you have a well-edited portfolio, you are ready to begin publicizing your business.
A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments is available at http://wyen.biz/blog1/.
The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.