Artist looking for eyeballs
July 10, 2006 12:16 PM   Subscribe

My brother is an artist living in downtown Toronto. His medium is primarily paint, and he has done huge murals for bars and restaurants. He now wants to promote his artwork and services online.

His myspace profile showcases a smattering of his latest work, and he has an extensive portfolio and an amazing range of styles. He has also done some professional photoshopping (but ironically he is not good with computers). So my question is: what's the best way to get the word out?
posted by rinkjustice to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Well, this really is the crux of an artist's career, isn't it? How to be seen. I don't have the one true method to visibility and prosperity, but here's a few tips:

1) Does he have any connections at art shops or schools? At the Large State University I work for, we get requests for artists pretty regularly, as such, we have a job board where we post requests for photographers, muralists and portraiture (the most common requests). Find one of these and keep an eye out. Take a few small jobs. Eventually word of mouth will begin to creep out.

2) Interior designers will always want a muralist or two on call for a special project. Call a few, drop off a portfolio and a handshake.

3) Galleries vary in how they take new slaves artists. Call a few. Be prepared to drop by a digital portfolio of slides. Be very prepared to only get one nibble out of ten galleries. Suck it up and keep calling places.

4) Open shows, contests and festivals are also great ways to build a resume and get eyes. Enter a few.

Beyond this? Well, the truism "It takes money to make money" is nowhere more true than the art world. You'll have a spend quite a bit to get started, all on the assumption that maybe someday you'll make it all back, but it's the only way. Overnight success always takes years...
posted by 1f2frfbf at 12:49 PM on July 10, 2006

Response by poster: I agree w/ everything you've said 1f2frfbf, but my question is more in regards to online presence.

Sorry I didn't articulate myself.
posted by rinkjustice at 12:56 PM on July 10, 2006

Best answer: Aargh! I lost step zero (insert this above step one):

0) Beg, barter or steal someone with web skills and have them set up a simple gallery webpage. Learn to use and update it. It need not be fancy, but make sure it's clean, easy to navigate, and that they can update it themselves. Copy this page onto a CD to be handed out, dropped off, mailed, etc. Make business cards with the address. Look and act professional, this is 90% of the fight, and the only part you have any control over.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 12:57 PM on July 10, 2006

Best answer: Well, start by getting a site that isn't a myspace page. Find a web designer who'll barter for art. I've done this--launching this one officially tomorrow, actually; just tweaking--by advertising such on Craigslist in the barter section.

On preview, what 1f2frfbf said.

No one with a brain takes myspace seriously.
posted by dobbs at 3:05 PM on July 10, 2006

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