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An Overview of Traditional Forms of Art Marketing

scull art marketing advice

There are many traditional forms of marketing art and creative careers. In this post I have focused on a short list of what I consider essential requirements for all professional artists. The list doesn’t include printed material such as posters, leaflets and business cards, as although they are still very useful, in the era of smartphones and digitization these methods are not as necessary for the individual artists as ten years ago.


These are all methods that I currently utilize and have invested a lot of time into researching and developing. I often tweak them and I’ve even totally reworked them at key stages of evolution in my career. My advice is to get someone to proofread everything and if you have a trusted contact with experience in the industry, ask them nicely or hire them to review all your marketing material. These elements are essential to get right. Representing yourself in a clear and concise manner may get you that opportunity that could be the make or break of your career.


An artist’s website is their calling card, a go-to for potential clients, collectors, collaborators, and any interested parties. Although there are many creative ways to represent yourself online, websites tend to be used as a hub of information and point of contact for your creative enterprise. Whether you feel best represented by a minimalistic site or have ambitious plans for an all singing, all dancing explosion of moving image and animation, the most important thing is that it works and will continue to work when updates are required.


When I built my website, I was very clear on the brief and what I wanted to gain from having it: a functional shop to sell paintings and prints, a point of contact for press, clients and opportunities, and it was essential that the site represent my creative vision through the text and design. I wanted it to offer enough information about what makes me tick but not so much that I would be digitally pigeon-holed. So far, my site has played an essential role in my career.


If you are going to build your own site I recommend using Wix or Bluehost as they both offer a wide variety of tried and tested templates and offer customer support. Both have the option to build a blog and email subscription lists for sending out newsletters which is a great way to boost sales and promote your exhibitions through people that are already interested in your work.

Artist Statement

If you went to art school you will be aware of the dreaded artist statement. It is usually a nightmare for artists to write as they have to concisely pull together their practice and deliver it with minimal fluff whilst sounding sophisticated. It can feel like a horrible and confronting task defining what you have been doing all that time in your studio. Create both a short form (150 words) and a long form statement (300-500 words).

Bio and CV

An artist bio is often requested by publications, press, galleries, any creative project you are involved in and any opportunity you apply for. I have two bios on hand, one that is short and direct at around 80 words and a second that is more detailed at around 200 words. A good bio is a teaser and includes enough information to intrigue people to find out more. You can mention key details such as where you reside as a practising artist, a few lines about your work including key themes and any point that you think makes you stand out: awards, residencies, the art school you went to, pivotal exhibitions and accolades.  


An artist CV is usually more formal and is often required for applying for opportunities. It is also a good way to keep track of the dates you had exhibition as the more you have the harder it can be to back track and work these dates out! Depending on your art practice you may want to emphasise different aspects, a print maker for example may feature a publications section more prominently, or an arts lecturer may want to list artist talks. Generally, a CV will list: art schools attended, solo shows, group shows, art fairs, publications, artist talks and sometimes events and workshops. It can be tempting to lay out everything you have ever done but this often looks like a car boot sale. My advice is to refine your CV so it shows the most relevant and prestigious elements of your career. 

Press Releases and Press Pack

As you progress in your career you might start to get interest from the press. I now make sure I always have an up-to-date press pack so I can quickly and efficiently send core information upon request (journalists don’t like to wait around). Within this pack I include: my artist statement, bios, CV (with website and social media links), a couple of photos of myself, any relevant press releases from exhibitions, publications or important announcements, and high-quality images of my work (both 72 dpi for digital and 300 dpi for print). This is a big section to cover so I will go into press relations, press packs, press releases and how to work with journalists in more detail in a separate post in the future.


If you would like me to cover any of the elements above in more detail please comment below. In my next post I will look into newer forms of marketing… media!

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Mar 19
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

good tips and insights - thank you!

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