Marketing with Moxie

For the past six months, we’ve spent a huge amount of time helping other artists understand how important it is for them to step up and take control of their careers. Our main argument is simple: If artists want to grow and expand their artistic careers, they need to take a much more hands-on approach to marketing and promoting the work they create.

In other words, in order to be successful, artists need to be more DIY (Do-it-Yourself).  Here’s why:

Reason #1:  DIY means Community
When artists work together they can create amazing events, exhibitions, and opportunities to promote their own work. Your network of creative peers is your greatest resource for finding and getting the information and support you need. Artists thrive in communities. Being a part of a community of artists means having a built in support system that truly understands the obstacles and concerns that other artists face.
Other artists aren’t your competition. They are your greatest allies. Doing it yourself, doesn’t mean going it alone.

Reason #2:
 DIY means More Money
Let’s do what I like to call “art math”.  Let’s say you have a gallery exhibition of 30 artworks, each priced at $3000. The gallery does an amazing job of marketing and selling the work for you and you end up with a sell-out exhibition. That means $90,000 in sales. Fantastic, right?
But wait. Subtract the gallery’s 50% fee they earned for working so hard to promote and sell your work. That leaves you with $45,000. Then subtract another 15% for taxes, and another 20% for expenses. That leaves you with around $30,000. Keeping in mind that you only have a solo exhibition once every 3 years in that gallery, divide that $30,000 by three. That leaves you with roughly $10,000 a year to live on until your next solo exhibition. Congratulations!
Clearly if you really want a fatter bank account, you’ll have to learn how to do build your own collector base year round and promote the sale of your work with or without the help of a gallery.

Reason #3:
 DIY means Freedom and Opportunity
Sure, it’s great when you find a gallery to sell your new work, but what if you aren’t working with a gallery? Or what if the gallery’s jam-packed exhibition schedule doesn’t have room for your work until 2014?  Or worse yet, what if after waiting 2 years for your first solo exhibition, the gallery goes out of business two months before your show is set to open?
When you’re the person at the reigns of your art career, it means you have complete control over how you create, exhibit, and promote your work rather than handing over the fate of your art career to someone else.
Ultimately, when artists embrace a DIY mentality, it means they stop waiting to be rescued or “discovered”. It means that instead of waiting for opportunities to arise, they go out and create opportunities for themselves.

Are you ready to become more DIY?  Join us for En Foco’s workshop,  
Motivation, Marketing and MoxieThis two-hour marketing seminar is designed for artists who are ready to take control of their careers and move towards their goals at a swift pace.

Topics we’ll cover:

  • How to set concrete career goals and figure out what steps to take first;
  • How to fine-tune your website and turn casual visitors into buyers;
  • Strategies on saving time and money with free or low-cost resources;
  • How to prepare marketing materials for approaching commercial art galleries.
Date: Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Time: 6:30 – 8:30 PM


$10 for advance registration online
$20 at the door on the day of event

Aperture Building
547 West 27th Street,
Suite 309  (3rd Floor)
(Between 10th and 11th Avenues) 
New York, NY 10001
Charlie Grosso and Kesha Bruce are the founders of Baang and Burne Contemporary (and En Foco’s New Work #11 awardees). To read their weekly art marketing articles and to download your free copy of “The Successful Artist Mindset” visit:

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