Art Marketing Through Partnerships: A Marketing Tip From Kim Cady

By Kim Cady in Art Business Advice > Art Marketing Tips

This post is the first in a series of reader-submitted marketing tips for artists. If you have an art marketing tip you’d like to share, please feel free to send it in.

Reading about President Obama’s busy first weeks in office has reminded and inspired me to get back to work myself—marketing, creating, networking, selling, living and breathing my art!

Yes, I know that hard times are still here. I struggle everyday to pay bills and take care of my family, and I have a BIG family (mostly furbabies, with a few humans thrown in).

But despite all that, watching Barack Obama moving forward at such a rapid rate and in such a organized manner has encouraged me to make my own list and dive in whenever possible.

I’ve decided to shore up some old works, learn some new techniques, and today offer my bit of marketing advice to all the readers of EmptyEasel.

So how do I market “my type” of art?

You’ve probably heard the question before: “How the heck do I sell my particular (fill in the blank) type of artwork?” Well, I heard it again the other day at imagekind, when someone asked how to go about marketing their cat and dog calendars. My best answer is one that I learned while working in animal rescue—partnerships.

For anyone working in the animal art scene (as I am) partnering with a shelter to give them 20-50% of the proceeds is a wonderful way to promote your work while helping out homeless animals.

Working with a local groomer or mom & pop pet store is another good partnership. You, as the artist, can include information about these types of businesses in your promotional pieces (flyers, art cards, etc). In return, they might be willing to show your artwork at their place of business, or underwrite part of the printing costs.

Of course, this general idea can be used to market any kind of art. Go out to the people and businesses in your community who are interested in your subject and see how you can mutually benefit from each other.

I sold two works at my first gallery showing (a charity event organized by our local animal magazine, NashvillePAW) and split my profits 60/40 with a spay-neuter clinic.

This partnership was what originally helped me get my foot in the door with my animal art, and I was thrilled to donate money to a great cause that I believed in.

Your art can be of service to the world, not just a commodity. As President Barack Obama demonstrated on Martin Luther King day, service is important. . . and we all must contribute in order to help fix this mess we’re in.

Try a partnership with a local charity, business, or non-profit in your community. Trust me, it’s absolutely a win-win situation!

To read more articles by Kim Cady, please visit


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