How to Get Art Commissions: 10 Tips for Freelance Artists
As a Danish freelance artist living in Copenhagen, I am very familiar with the amount of work it takes to run an art business and to start landing art commissions. As with any business, it takes a lot of time and effort to get your work noticed and to find the right clients who appreciate your specific style and vision. However, with strategic planning and hard work, you can get art commissions that will help you grow your portfolio and establish a name for yourself in the industry. In this post, I will share some detailed tips on how to get art commissions based on my experiences and of artist friends of mine, who also make a living from art in one way or another.
1. Build a Strong Online Presence In today's digital age, having a strong online presence is crucial for artists who want to get art commissions. Your website is your portfolio, and it should showcase your work, your style, and your vision. It should also be easy to navigate and visually appealing. Use high-quality images of your work, and make sure your website is responsive and mobile-friendly. Your website should be optimized for search engines, including relevant keywords and long-tail keywords related to your style, location, and niche. Being active on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook is also crucial for building a strong online presence. Post regularly, use relevant hashtags, and engage with your followers to build help a loyal audience.
2. Network with Other Artists and Creatives Networking is essential in the art industry. Attend art exhibitions, fairs, and events to meet other artists and creatives. Join art groups and forums where you can connect with other artists and share your work. Collaborate with other artists on projects, and you'll increase your exposure and build relationships with people who can refer you to potential clients. Networking with other artists can also lead to collaborative projects, which can be a great way to gain exposure and expand your portfolio.
3. Attend Art Competitions and Submit Your Work Art competitions are a great way to get your work noticed by a broader audience. Research art competitions that are relevant to your style and submit your work. Even if you don't win, participating in competitions can help you gain exposure and build your portfolio. When submitting your work, make sure to follow the guidelines and requirements carefully. Submitting your work to art competitions can also help you receive valuable feedback from judges and improve your skills.
4. Be Active on Art Marketplaces and Platforms Art marketplaces like Etsy, Society6, and Saatchi Art are excellent places to sell your art and get commissions. Set up a shop and list your work. When listing your work, make sure to include detailed descriptions and keywords that accurately describe your work. Use high-quality images and showcase your work in different settings, such as in frames or on walls, to give potential buyers a better idea of what your work looks like. Conduct thorough research on which platform is right for you, as they all vary in the type of clients they attract, in my experience.
5. Offer Commission Services on Your Website Make it clear on your website that you offer commission services. You can create a page dedicated to commissions and include details like pricing, process, and turnaround time. This way, potential clients who visit your website will know that you offer commission services and how to contact you. When offering commission services, be clear about what you can and cannot do, and set clear expectations with clients about the process and timeline. You can also offer different commission packages, such as different sizes, mediums, or styles.
6. Collaborate with Brands and Businesses Collaborating with brands and businesses can help you gain exposure and build your portfolio. Reach out to businesses that align with your style and vision and offer your services. You can collaborate on projects like murals, packaging design, or illustrations for marketing campaigns. When collaborating with businesses, make sure to communicate clearly about the scope of the project, the timeline, and compensation. Collaborating with businesses can also lead to long-term partnerships and repeat business.
7. Create a Newsletter Creating a newsletter can help you stay in touch with potential clients and keep them informed about your work. Collect email addresses on your website and send out a regular newsletter that includes updates on your work, upcoming events, and any new commissions you're working on. When creating a newsletter, make sure to include high-quality images of your work and personalize the content to engage with your audience. You can also offer exclusive discounts or promotions to subscribers to incentivize them to sign up for your newsletter.
8. Attend Art Fairs and Events Attending art fairs and events can be a great way to meet potential clients and showcase your work. Research art fairs and events in your area and participate in them. Prepare a professional booth or display for your work and make sure to bring business cards or flyers with your contact information. Use social media to promote your attendance at the event and encourage your followers to visit your booth.
9. Leverage Influencer Marketing Influencer marketing can be a powerful way to get your work noticed by a broader audience. Reach out to influencers who have a following that aligns with your style and vision and offer your services. You can collaborate on projects like creating custom artwork or illustrations for their social media channels. When collaborating with influencers, make sure to communicate clearly about the scope of the project, the timeline, and compensation. Collaborating with influencers can lead to increased exposure and new opportunities for commissions.
10. Build Relationships with Galleries and Curators Building relationships with galleries and curators can help you get your work exhibited and noticed by a wider audience. Research galleries and curators that align with your style and vision and reach out to them. Attend gallery openings and exhibitions to network and build relationships. When reaching out to galleries and curators, make sure to personalize your message and provide a portfolio or samples of your work. Building relationships with galleries and curators can lead to new opportunities for exhibitions and commissions.
It's clear that getting art commissions requires a strategic approach and hard work. By being proactive and building a strong online presence, attending art competitions and events, and marketing your work, you can increase your reach and hopefully start building a successful career as a freelance artist:)
About the artist:
Liv Hansen is a Danish-British fine artist and actress with experience living and working in diverse cultural environments such as Los Angeles, London, and Vancouver. Her art reflects a deep passion for creativity, storytelling, and the human condition, often drawing inspiration from her travels and personal experiences. With her recognizable and distinctive style, Liv's artworks capture the essence of both contemporary life and the days of the past, often centered around the beauty of the world around us. Liv is currently based in Copenhagen, Denmark.