Annette Spinks’ 5 tips to make a living selling art
For Annette Spinks, being an artist wasn’t a choice. ‘I just have this overwhelming desire and passion to paint, it is who I am. I would create art with dirt if I had nothing else.’ She is one of our best selling artists and it is no coincidence; she puts in the work and it pays off.
True for most artists starting out, Annette’s first sale was nerve racking but exciting. ‘I participated in a group exhibition at SJS Gallery in Fitzroy and I was so nervous about exhibiting. When I got there the Gallery had put my piece in the front window, which I was thrilled about. The painting sold at the opening and was called Hello.’
Since then it hasn’t all been plain sailing judging by the best piece of advice she’s ever received: ‘You have to have tough skin if you are going to make it in the art world.’ But tough skin alone is not enough. Here Annette shares her top 5 tips for making a living as an artist.
1. Paint what you are inspired by. Buyers can tell.
‘The enjoyment, freedom and energy I feel when I paint is reflected in my art. From the very beginning I have tried to continually develop and remain true to my own style. I’m inspired by nature, my exceptionally beautiful surrounds and bring to the canvas my deepest life experiences. I often use resin, I love the liquidity it brings to the art. It adds a whole new feeling and visual effect. The paintings feel more alive and it brings out the colours beautifully.’
2. Your second job is marketing.
‘Look at different ways to promote your art. I sell my art through my own online gallery, my art studio and gallery in Inverloch, through bluethumb’s online gallery, social media and I’m represented by two galleries. I set time aside each week for promotion… although I would much rather be painting in the studio!’
3. Get online.
‘Bluethumb is a great online gallery for artists, particularly if you don’t have your own website. I also blog and use all the important social media platforms.’
4. Create a beautiful social media presence.
‘Very important! Social media is a very visual media and a fantastic platform for artists to present their work. It is affordable and a great networking tool.’
5. Exposure, exposure, exposure!
‘Get your work out of the studio and display it somewhere. The more exposure your work receives the greater opportunities for sales and commissions. Try displaying your art in local businesses; they are usually very supportive. I started with paintings in local cafes, the hairdresser and real estate agents. Also try putting your art in art shows for exposure.’