Painting is Marketing

There is a secret, or maybe not so secret, desire in the heart of every artist. The desire to make art and to have people show appreciation by purchasing it.

But to have people appreciate art they have to know about it, and this is when the dirty word marketing enters in.

There are thousands of blogs, books, and gurus out there trying to teach artists the arcane art of marketing. Some suggestions are practical, and others show a complete lack of understanding of how art works. But with all of the “help” there is one fundamental thing that never gets brought up.

The work is the marketing.

Think about the most successful artists you know of and how much and what type of marketing they do. (I am not talking about the outliers or sensational artists, but the everyday working artist.) The successful painters* I am aware of aren’t blasting social media every five minutes, or putting out a new blog post every day, but what they are doing is making quality work.

To quote artist Stapleton Kearns, “Do you know what kind of paintings sell best? GOOD PAINTINGS.”

To market your art make more good paintings.

If you don’t know if you are making good paintings, then have a third party who knows something about art, and is not emotionally invested in you give you an evaluation.

You can’t market what you don’t have.


*I am a painter and paintings are what I think of when I think of art, but the advice also holds true for most other art forms.

Stapleton Kearns’s take on it.