Artists may be limiting themselves with regard to their clientele. We think in terms of art galleries, art museums, art festivals, and the like. We think of our customers as individuals who want to start or enhance a private collection. We think of trendy hipsters trying to fit in to a particular sub-culture.
You know the ones. They say things like, “I bought a few of her pieces before she sold out and went mainstream.” But the varying whims of these customers can all-too-quickly turn you into a starving artist—and that doesn’t help anyone.
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It is not that you shouldn’t continue serving that market, but perhaps it’s time for you to look for customers in an area you may not have previously considered: the business world. People in suits are still people, and they still need art. . . they just need it for different reasons. More importantly, if you are an artist who is not doing business with the business world, you may be missing out on a big opportunity.
Here are a few ways that business people and artists can benefit from one another:
1. Packaging design
One of the most important steps in the product marketing cycle is the creation of effective, eye-catching packaging. Walk through any random store and glance at the products on the shelves. The ones that your eyes land on are the ones with the best chance of going home with you. . . because of the packaging!
But that’s not all that’s important. The shipping box is a really big deal, too. During Gateway Computer’s heyday, those cow-spot boxes were a big part of their appeal. And today, Amazon is much loved, in part, due to those ubiquitous smiling boxes all over the place.
Lots of companies are trying to jump in on this movement by ordering their own custom shipping boxes. It is an excellent way to make their company stand out at an affordable price. Their boxes may be emblazoned with color, logos, text, and yes, even artwork. Someone has to do that artwork, and it might as well be you.
2. Logos and more
The golden arches is one of the most recognizable symbols in the world. The three diamonds of Mitsubishi dominated electronics departments for decades. A good logo is one of the most valuable pieces of artwork in the world. Smart business owners know that, and will pay good money for them. There is no good reason why you shouldn’t be cashing in on them.
While you are at it, you should also be doing the artwork and design for the things on which the logo will appear—everything from stationary to t-shirts. The best part is that you do not have to pound the pavement and knock doors to find these opportunities. These opportunities are out there looking for you.
If you haven’t already, you should bookmark 99designs.com. This is a site where businesses are posting jobs for design work they need. They are looking for people to design just about everything you can think of. Menus, book covers, icons, illustrations, and product packaging are just a few of the jobs you will find.
3. And of course, art for business spaces and offices
Even if you’re not into product packaging, logos, or stationary, that’s not a problem. You can stick with your paints and photography while serving the needs of business customers.
When is the last time you went to a doctor’s office and didn’t see some interesting artwork on the wall? How about a job interview? Almost every professional waiting room in every professional building has hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in artwork on the walls. Someone has to produce that. There is no reason why it shouldn’t be you.
Market research for this niche is easy. Just walk into a few office buildings and look around. Do you see the kinds of pictures corporate types favor? Why not do a few of those the next time you address a blank canvas?
Now that you’ve mastered your craft, you need to master the art of selling it. Your potential customers are all around you. . . and more and more, many of them are wearing suits.
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