Does size matter?
Yes. We understand that a big canvas provides you with more story to tell, bigger bang for your buck and is visually striking. However, there are fewer and fewer collectors who want or can even hang artworks that we would call ‘oversized’. There is of course a market for big, but it is much smaller than that of smaller artworks. Bigger also doesn’t really mean more money. It can, but there is are ways to financially justify doing smaller scale art works.
Micro levels of detail and technique are highly prized (check out Alexander Chen for example).
Smaller artworks that can be hung in sets of two, three or more, with a theme.
Shipping costs are greatly reduced.
Handling is made easier and thus reduces the risk of damage.
Framing is much less an issue (seriously, this and shipping can end up being multiple times more than the artwork to begin with).
Space is a premium.
Collectors like the chance to group things on multiple or single walls. Don’t limit them by size if you can avoid it. ‘Statement’ pieces are great, but they don’t sell as regularly.
By providing your collectors with smaller artworks, you give us the chance to create pricing strategies that are proven to work.
Sometimes folks, smaller is better!
The artist sells as much as the art they produce.
Your story is as important as the artwork itself. People buy people, not products, and that is much the same for artists. There’s a truth behind the trope that successful artists are so because of marketing, but that marketing is because they have elevated themselves and thus their art above the trenches of the mundane. You have to be somewhat marketable. That doesn’t mean you have to be some hermit, or beautiful. It just means that you have a story to tell. Why you? Why this art? Why that influence? What is it about the medium you work in? Who inspires you? What do you paint for? These are big questions, and sometimes perhaps you don’t have the answer for that. Many times it’s because of a lack of those answers that some artists only become relevant later on in life; when they’ve lived through some stuff. Being technically gifted, isn’t always enough. It’s a bummer, we know.
At the very least, each artwork should come with a name, and a description of what it is the viewer is looking at. Yes imagination is important, but you would be surprised how few people have it. Tell them what it is you painted and they will fill in the rest.
That’s why we provide press kit, artist bio and artist CV services. Because we know what it takes to get you above the hobbyist and into the world of being a collected professional artist.
Consider your materials (Canvas, Wood, Pastlic)
We understand that there’s something fun about painting on different things. Wood, Plastic, Metals etc. They all provide a different finish, texture and result than paper and canvas. Sometimes, that’s the very thing that sets you apart, check out Chris De Rubeis and his work on metals for example. However, there is a few things to consider before you start painting on steel sheets. First, weight, sounds obvious, but please be aware that this will exponentially add to shipping costs. We frequently find that buyers are put off by seeing a final invoice where the shipping is as or more expensive than the artwork they were buying.
Limited Edition Prints
Let me be clear, oil paintings are fine, they’re great in fact. Everyone wants one. However, they are not what hang in most homes by any level. Most art sold world wide are prints! Obviously, the main the reason for that is financial. But from an artist and market perspective, prints really are the foundation of any successful artist’s income and output. First of all, they prove a level of technical knowledge that is really important. There are a number of ways for you to create prints lithographs, serigraphs, etching and giclee are the main four. Each has a specific technique, different outcomes and require different skill sets. I urge every artist who wants to be considered a professional, to go ahead and find the print medium that best fits your art.
Ideally, you would work with an attelier, and go through the rigorous process of print making. It’s slow tedious work to begin with, and for many of you, you’re going to find it a chore. But being a professional means work, and not all parts of every job is fun. It might seem like an odious task to have to repeat your signature a few hundred times, but that, is part and parcel of the industry.
Why should you do it if your selling paintings regularly?
Well, the short and simple answer is, well, money! The longer version of that is this:
By creating prints, you allow for your imagery to be enjoyed by a larger group of people at a lower price point. By creating more collectors, you are generating more invested collectors in your art. If and when they can afford to collect a unique painting of yours, it is far more likely they have followed your career to date, and will be more excited and motivated to invest in higher levels of collecting.
We quite like a little controversy at Rato Society. We certainly believe in the artist’s right to document the world in all it’s facets, including the ugly ones. Whether they are themes of health, sex, mortality, brutality or even mental health, we understand the artists' role in history.
Art Competitions and Awards
Competitions help artists to establish and prove themselves. That can lead to bigger exposure and future exhibitions. And very often help artist to become more self-confident.
The same way as actor can be discovered at an audition, artist can be discovered during an art competition since these events are usually run by well known art critics, curators etc... Wheter you win or not, you will always gain another experience that you can add to your Artist Press Kit to make it more professional and to show collectors that you live and breath art and that you take your art career seriously with intention to grow.
The bottom line is that competitions are a great way of networking and finding your art community as well as gaining more visibility and self-confidence. There is plenty of opportunities for emerging and established artists all over the internet. Some of them are even free. Take a look at list of open calls and art opportunitie web sites for artists that Rato Society put together for you.