“How do I get people to see my art?” – that is the question. Because let’s be real – there’s a lot of art out there. Not all of it is good, buy-worthy art, but the whole artistic industry is pretty saturated, and it’s easy for art to get lost in the fray. So how do you make yours stand out? Here 9 ways to get your art noticed:
1. Posters for Local Events
Try starting local! If your town has a regular Farmers Market, get in contact with the people who run it to see if they need someone to make the posters. If there are local street or music festivals going on, talk to the organizers about making posters advertising these events. If a local record or specialty store is having an event or special sale, inquire about doing the designs for it. You never know where these jobs lead, and they’re great portfolio builders, a way to build a name for yourself locally, and a creative way to support the community.
2. Music Posters
Piggybacking off of designing for local events, designing posters or album covers for local bands and indie bands alike is great because not only will people see your art on gig posters and ads IRL and online (think Facebook events), you can have the band and its members share that artwork on their social media.
You’d be surprised at where designing for even small local bands will get you. Jen Mussari, for example, designed album art for “crummy high school bands” and that ended up getting her a gig doing the album cover for the band Amos Lee. Tara McPherson started doing band posters, and people fell in love with her unique art style along the way. And Alex Pardee recently had a record with his art on it featured on Colbert. So even if you’re just doing designs for a garage emo band, as long as you get some attention for your work (and get paid at least in beer or food), it’s good for visibility – you never know where things like this lead*.
*Just make sure you’re picking the right projects. If a band has had 20 followers on Facebook for 5 years, probably not the best one to go with.
Fanart is tempting to stay away from because it can give off that seeking-out-easy-views vibe. But if used right, fanart can be your foot in the door that gets people interested, and the rest of your art could be what gets their full attention.
Fanart allows you to put your unique fingerprint on a franchise or fandom that’s attached to hashtags, accounts, and fan sites/accounts that could garner you some attention, views, and followers. You don’t even have to sell the art (plus it might get C and D’d) – if you draw it, fandoms will come. Draw characters from your favorite movie or show in your own style, kind of like Nan Lawson does alongside her own characters and you just might get your art noticed in record time.
4. Illustrate for publications
Creating illustrations, comic strips, and images for publications – either paper ones or online – can be a great way of getting people to see your art, which could lead to more illustration jobs in itself. Jeremyville illustrated for The Sydney Morning Herald, for instance.
Big name brands like Abercrombie and American Eagle don’t slap their names and logos on apparel for nothin’. Apparel can make people a walking billboard for your art. It doesn’t even have to be your logo or have anything to do with the name of your brand – it just has to be your style.
There’s something special about a great tee design. As Michael Sieben said, “I like the idea that a t-shirt could be a kid’s first introduction to art or illustration. T-shirts are essentially affordable, functional pieces of art, in my opinion.” You’re not just selling a tee – you’re selling a piece of art in a unique way.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of selling IRL where you might be left with product you can’t do anything with, signing up for an Artist Shop is an easy and super convenient way of selling your art on merch with way less hassle compared to other e-commerce sites. Shops relieve you of the need to ship your items to your customers yourself and taking care of returns. Also, it’s your own domain name and totally 1000% free, which is always alright.
Click here to start your own Artist Shop literally right now.
6. Local galleries
Having a show at a local gallery can be a great way of getting more eyes on your art. I like to think of gaining fans as a zombie virus spreading – it spreads to one person, who then spreads it to all of their friends, who then all spread it to all of their friends or to a plane full of people, etc.
7. Craft fairs – sell your stuff IRL (but splurge to do it)
It can be pricey to lock down a booth. But if you have a little extra money to splurge, this could be a great way to not only sell your items, but to at the very least hand out some business cards, get a bunch of people at once all looking at your work, and getting some awesome pics for social media.
8. Greeting Cards
This is another one of those that’s gonna require putting in some money before getting any money. But selling unique, cute, or cheeky stationary could be a good move if done right – especially if you do it at a craft fair rather than a store where your stationary might get lost among the rest.
9. Online freelance boards/sites
The internet – what a time to be alive. There are dozens of sites out there that aim to connect freelancers with people needing creatives to fulfill projects. Sure, it’s project to project. But it’s networking, getting your work out there to get your art noticed.
Here are a few examples of some sites listing creative jobs for full-timers as well as part-time and freelance:
- Crowdspring – this lists short term projects that you can work on
- People Per Hour – also connects businesses seeking creatives with freelancers and part-timers
- 99 Designs
- Authentic Jobs
- Design Jobs AIGA
- Talent StudioD
- Freelance Writing Gigs – for the writers out there!
- If You Could Jobs – mainly London-located
- We Work Remotely
. . .
Want to start a store with all of your art? Check out Artist Shops!
We’re an artist community built on the power of helping each other succeed — if you’re reading this and have tips of your own to share, please do so in the comments! Thank you!
Illustrations done by the super cool Katie Lukes