Once an artist has painted a masterpiece, the next step is to promote it and possibly get some buyers or other interested parties such as gallery owners. Life as an artist is not just about creating great paintings but turning the exercise into a lifelong career that can provide a viable support system. Here are a few ways of promoting and selling artwork to make the exercise worthwhile.


This is by far one of the most effective ways of promoting artwork. Networking is basically about creating a supportive system by sharing information and services with people who share a common interest. In this case, networking involves making connections with other artists whereby the artists assists each other by pooling resources or recommending each other to potential buyers and gallery owners. A good place to start is social media sites for professionals such as LinkedIn.

Creating catalogs

Every successful artist knows the importance of cataloging his or her work. Cataloging involves recording images or paintings in a way that potential buyers can easily access. The process can easily be done by photographing paintings and saving them in digital formats such as CDs. The paintings can be scanned and saved in computers as small but high quality images that can be uploaded in top art websites. Once the artist has created a good portfolio, he or she can upload the work at one of the free art websites that host artist portfolios for free. For example, potential buyers may get an urge to buy paintings when they come across an impressive portfolio at the site.

Create business cards

As ancient as the idea might seem, business cards are still quite effective in advertising. All the artist needs is to have attractive cards that not only stand out but create attention to his or her work. It is preferably better to use one’s artwork on the card for an additional personal touch. The card should also include the artist’s online portfolio address such as, email address, telephone, and an invitation to view the artist’s work at his or her studio. There are numerous ways of distributing the cards ranging from simply slipping the card to everyone who buys a piece of art to distributing them to friends, family members, and fellow artists in one’s network.

Participating in shows and contests

One of the easiest ways to gain exposure, especially for new artists, is by entering art shows and contests in one’s local town or internationally via the Internet. Most towns, regardless of their size, usually host small competitions where local artists get a chance to display their craft for a prize. There are several ways of knowing when the next contest will be held. For example, the town’s chamber of commerce is likely to have all the information about the town’s art contests. Some contests may require a small entry fee which should not be a problem to the artist since this is a great opportunity to slip hundreds of business cards and portfolios to potential buyers. On the upside, the artist may even win a prize and achieve fame, at least locally.

Blogs and press releases

There are numerous ways of exposing one’s artwork to potential buyers including having a dedicated blog, posting on fellow artists’ blogs with links to one’s portfolio, and releasing a press release in relevant magazines and newspapers every time the artist creates a new paintings. However, each of these methods requires work and persistence which are two important components in every successful artist’s life story.