This is a simple, yet often overlooked aspect of selling art in our modern age: Context.
In our hearts, most of us yearn to be “found” or “recognized” by a kingmaker in the art world – someone with the cachet to be able to make us a millionaire simply by whispering our name to an elite few collectors.
This does actually happen for some artists. For many of us though, life as an artist is something of a struggle between the desire to be true to our artistic calling and the need to create enough income to have the privilege of being a citizen of planet earth. We don’t want to “modify” our art to suit the market – because then we would no longer be artists – maybe craftspeople – but not artists.
So – what to do??
Many possibilities actually – but here is one to think about. Don’t modify your art – but find a context which allows it to be better understood by collectors and the general public.
For example, if you paint beautiful landscapes you might be able to align with movements concerned with saving the environment. Your next show could be promoted as an environmental awareness event with a percentage of sales donated to a relevant charity. And the wonderful thing is that through your art you will actually be raising environmental awareness.
Another context which I have often noticed used – especially by photographers – is the desire of Americans to visit beautiful locations in Europe – especially in The Mediterranean area. The next best thing to actually going there is to have a beautiful photograph or painting in their home.
Another related context is aligned with helping travelers relive their experience in an exotic location – think of how many pieces of art are shipped home from Hawaii or the Caribbean so that Mr and Mrs Tourist can remember the wonderful experiences they had there. And many of those works of art are truly amazing and original pieces.
Marketing art successfully does not mean that you have to modify your work or your style. Take a look at the dominant themes that are of major interest in the public eye – and then find one or more that line up with your art. After that, you are only limited by your imagination.