Artist advice: Printmaker Louise Scott on marketing and selling
During the upcoming weeks, we’ll be talking to artists on ArtWeb.com who are actively and successfully promoting and selling their work. They’ll be sharing their inside tips on marketing, giving you first-hand knowledge and advice on how to get your work out there.
Our first artist of this series is printmaker Louise Scott, who finds that trade shows and craft fairs are great ways to gain exposure and make sales. Louise’s beautiful nature-inspired artworks can be seen at http://www.louise-scott.co.uk/.
Please give us a brief description of your art/design practice:
I do Copper plate Etchings of mainly wildlife. I went to Cheltenham College of Art to study a BA Hons in fine art printmaking, and then started to etch seriously on a very small island in Orkney called North Ronaldsay. I saw a Seal rise up out of the seaweed whilst snorkelling, and had a friend send me up a prepared copper plate so that I could catch the moment. I only had a sewing needle to draw with and this is still how I do my work today. With a fine point, I dot and cross hatch to create my images. I also use a magnifying glass now as my plates are quite small and my eyesight isnt that good any more!
How long have you been promoting and selling your work?
My ‘Seal Rising’ etching was done in 1997 and I had a gallery and workshop in Orkney for 17 yrs. I divided my time between art and gallery, children and part-time work of various kinds, from care work to farm labourer. When myself and my daughters moved to Glasgow in 2009, I took the leap and went full time with my artwork.
What has been your most successful channel for creating exposure and consequently sales (Pinterest, Facebook, Website, etc.)?
I prefer to go out and sell my work myself rather than rely on galleries. I go to craft fairs, art shows and demonstrate etching at various venues. I enjoy meeting the people that buy my work and, I think, they enjoy meeting me! I get a great deal from the feedback that I recieve. I have had my Artweb site on my business card, which I give out at all venues, and this generates sales too. I have only recently started to use Facebook to promote my work, but I still feel that personal interaction with folk is most important. I also sell greetings cards and prints at Trade Shows too.
What would you do different if you had to do it all over again?
Not much… except that I should never have started smoking whilst I was at college!
What’s your best piece of advice to the folks who are just starting out?
If you want to do it badly enough then you have to do it the long, hard way. There are no short cuts, it is a constant learning curve. Always have a Plan B but never really take it seriously as an option! If things are going badly don’t just give up, figure out why it is going badly and how you could do it better in future. As I tell my girls, “be like water, flow over, around or wear down a problem” This is from a Bruce Lee quote by the way!
What do you do to regularly promote my work?
I just do it and it promotes itself. However, I do make greetings cards from my work and I sell at Trade fairs. This is a great way to get your work ‘out there’. As I am a printmaker, I believe that art should be available to everyone and at a price they can afford. Of course, I love to sell my original etchings, but if someone can only afford £2.50 for a card that’s fine with me too.
Thanks Louise for the words of wisdom! Look out for more artist advice articles coming very soon.