In the Art Marketing Minute Podcast, you’ll learn how to sell your art, how to market your paintings, and everything else you need to know in order to have a successful art career. 

In this Art Marketing Minute, Eric Rhoads shares guidance on when it’s the right time to approach an art gallery, and words of advice for newly graduated art students.

Listen to the Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 116 >

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FULL TRANSCRIPT of the Art Marketing Minute:
DISCLAIMER: The following is the output of a transcription from an audio recording of the Art Marketing Minute. Although the transcription is mostly correct, in some cases it is slightly inaccurate due to the recording and/or software transcription.

This is the Marketing Minute with Eric Rhoads, author of the number one Amazon bestseller “Make More Money Selling Your Art: Proven Techniques to Turn Your Passion Into Profit.”

Eric Rhoads:
I answer your art marketing questions you can upload a video question at or you can email me [email protected]. Amandine, my producer is going to read the first question. Last time we did a podcast, you were sick. So I guess you’re better now.

I feel better. Thank you. So the first question is from Jennifer from Jackson, Michigan. I’m learning and working on my craft, how do I go about building relationships with galleries? In the meantime, I don’t have any current connections to the art world. And I am wondering where to put my best efforts now. So that it might make it easier and quicker for me to get established with quality galleries when I’m ready. And any tips on what makes a quality gallery would also be helpful?

Eric Rhoads:
All right, that’s a great question, Jennifer, congratulations. I, I’ve got a lot of different conflicting thoughts on this. But let me just say something, I think that, you know, life is about a long game, not a short game. And one of the things that happens, you know, somebody I haven’t heard from in six years, contacts me and needs something. And, you know, it just feels a little like abuse. And I’m happy to do it if I can, but you know, if they were somebody who touched base once or twice a year, and, and I got to know them a little bit better, you know, then when they call and ask for something, it just feels a little better. So, in terms of having a perspective of looking in advance, you’re playing a long game. And so I think there’s nothing wrong with that. But I just want to caution you and everybody else listening, you know, you’re a new artist, you’re getting to the point where you’re just learning and you’re growing as an artist. And I wouldn’t really worry or even be thinking so much about gallery contacts, right now, you need to do one thing, and one thing only, and that is to get your artwork to a point where it is worth showing. And I don’t mean to be rude, it may be worth it now. But you know, we all have a tendency to fall in love with our work before other people do, most important thing you can do is get your work to a quality level that is worthy of being sold, and getting some feedback from others on the outside who are going to tell you lies so that you can know when you’re really ready to sell your work. Now, if you want to develop relationships with galleries in the meantime, I think it’s okay. But you know, galleries have their radar up all the time, because, you know, artists are always dropping in and what do they really want? Well, they really want to be in the gallery. So artists get art galleries get inundated with emails and packages and pictures, and visits and and they get very busy doing that stuff. And they don’t have time to do what they need to do. So you don’t necessarily need to do that. Now. If you want to establish friendships, get to know him. I think it’s great, can’t hurt to get to know some gallery people. But I don’t recommend being the artist who is only trying to get them to look at your work. As a matter of fact, it can hurt you if it’s too soon. Because that might mark you with their eyes, right? So I made the mistake, I contacted this gallery one time. And I thought I had just done the best piece of work I’d ever done in my life this a long time ago. And so I thought, well, this gallery really should carry my work. So rather than being direct about it, I called the guy and I said, Hey, listen, would you be willing to critique one of my paintings for me, and he said, Sure. And then once he got it, he was not very complimentary. It was is matter of fact, he told the truth, which I needed to hear. And it turned out what I thought was a good painting was not in his eyes, a good painting. And that was a very important thing for me to learn. But, uh, my, my hidden motive there was to try to secretly get him to say, Oh, I love your painting, I want to put it in my gallery. And of course, they’re on to that because everybody’s done that. So it didn’t work out that way. So I kind of marked myself and that created a little bit of a negative I suppose. So I don’t do it till you’re ready. And, and then be careful about how you approach them the goal and I teach this in my book, the goal is to get them to invite you not for you to push yourself on them. And as a sales, trainer and person, I you know, my tendency is to want to push but, you know, pull marketing is a lot more effective. If you get to a position of selling your art. Then you’re going to learn a lot more about what it’s going to take. So one of the things you could do is you could drop into a local gallery. If you have time on your hands and you could say listen, you know, I’m an artist. I’m not going to show you my work because my work is not ready yet. But I would love to learn more about art. And I’d be willing to volunteer here helping you hang paintings or helping you sell or helping you do anything, I don’t need any money for it. And I am never going to talk to your clients about my art, I’m not going to talk to you about my art. As a matter of fact, I’m not going to show it to you, because it’s just not ready yet. And if you volunteer and you say, Hey, I’d love to, to work, you’re going to learn so much because you’re going to encounter what they go through. And artists think that galleries don’t do anything and they complain about how much percentage they’re taking. They do so much. They do so much more than anybody ever even can possibly anticipate and understanding that will help you understanding what they go through to chase clients down to get them to buy something, understanding how people respond to artwork, when they’re looking at it and and how to answer questions that will help you a lot. So the other thing is, your taste will change. Most of us, when we first start painting, paint very, we try to paint very tight very photographically oftentimes, and our colors tend to be garish. And, and there’s a lot of things that will probably change as your tastes develops, and you have to develop taste. And the way to develop taste is to be around a really good gallery. Now you might go into a gallery that you think has good taste. Five years from now, you might think they don’t have good taste that’s happened to me, I have paintings that I bought, you know, 25 years ago that I don’t like anymore, because at the time, I thought they were good paintings, but now I look at them and say, not so great. But I think that if you develop tastes that will help you more than anything else. It’ll help you make your paintings better. And the way to develop taste is go to galleries, go to art shows, go to museums, study the art, find out what it is that you really respond to which artists do you respond to what style what color palettes, what moods so that you find things that really work for you that’s going to help you a lot. I’d also recommend that learning about art is really critical. And you know, I have become one of these guys. I read every art novel, I buy every art book, sometimes people send them to me, I just constantly consuming things not only looking at the pictures, but reading the articles and I read incessantly. I read Fine Art connoisseur, I really read plein air, I read my competitors, a lot of other things. But you know, you want to just really get to a point where you really understand art in a bigger way. And so that’s all about developing yourself. So anyway, I hope that’s been helpful. Next question.

The second question is from Glenn from Palmdale, California. Here’s one I get multiple times every semester from my student. What advice would you give to an art student between 18 and 24 years old? Graduating from junior college or four year college just starting out for the first time?

Eric Rhoads:
You know, that’s a great question. And that’s from Glenn Knowles. And Glenn is a brilliant teacher and a brilliant artist. And we got to know each other when he came on one of my painting trips to Cuba. What a great guy he is. And it’s a really terrific question. And he knows him because he’s been teaching for a long, long time. So so what happens is that young people will go to art school, and they’ll be all enthusiastic, and they’ll learn about how to create really beautiful artwork. And then they graduate from school, and then the struggle hits. And the struggle can really beat you down. The struggle beats down a lot of people and they end up not doing what they love, and they end up taking a job doing something else because of pressure from family or parents or something. And they fail. So let me ask you this question which is, which is better failing, are learning about the art business? You see, if you learn about the art business, you’re going to increase your chances of success. And that’s going to help you a lot of ways I have said to friends of mine that own art schools and affiliates. I will voluntarily come over and teach a class on art marketing or I will happily create a course on RT marketing and if you would require your students to watch it and know the responses. Well, you know, that’s not what we do. Well, the problem is, you know, it’s, it’s put yourself in a different world, you know, any, any school, let’s say it’s medical school, they teach you how to be a doctor, but they don’t teach you how to run your doctor business. And that’s something that should be part of the curriculum. You, you want to be learning these things. So here’s what I’m gonna tell you. It’s not what people want to hear. But the type of person who becomes an artist doesn’t want to do business, but they want to sell their paintings. But if you’re selling anything, whether it’s paintings or heroin, I don’t recommend that you’re, you’re in business, you’re selling something. So you need to invest in yourself in your education. And I highly recommend you do it while you’re in art school, because you have free time on your hands maybe, and start reading, you know, read everything you can get your hands on. Now, my best advice is, you know, what they call make your bed every morning. And there’s a whole book about that. Really, what it means is have discipline, you want the discipline of being a full time, business artist, meaning you pay your creativity, you paint what you love, you paint what you think is going to be what people want. But you also have to spend time, I think 20% of your week, one, one day a week focusing on your art marketing. And then you know, there’s other things like planning and bookkeeping, and scheduling and, and strategy and all of that other stuff. So you need to study it. And the way to study it is to read books, I have art, which has hundreds of articles on it for free, I’ve got books out, I’ve got videos out. And there are lots of other people who teach marketing. I recommend you don’t focus on things that teach art marketing, even though that’s what I do, I recommend you take a course in small business. Think about reading some books on small business, read some books on mindset is critical. You know, start with thinking Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, and read it once every couple of years, the rest of your life, I need to do that. That’s a reminder, it’s very important to understand that these things influence you, but you got to go to work every day. You know, rather than staying up till three o’clock in the morning and getting up at noon, and going and painting again, you know, set yourself out a schedule so that you can do normal business so that you can be there available for calls with clients and galleries and things like that set a schedule of painting time set a schedule of work time, planning time, all of those things that will make a big difference. Now, I did a video about goal setting, which I put on Instagram around right before the beginning of the year, you can find that at Eric Rhoads on Instagram. Take, you’ve got to have goals, you got to break your goals out monthly. And I think you’ve got to break out your goals weekly. And you need to make them measurable meaning you can tell when you’ve achieved them, you know, a goal might be $1 amount a goal might be getting, you know 10 certain things done, you want to measurable. And I recommend, especially on the financial side, check your goals every single week. So let me give an example. Now I just wrote an article about this in the oil painters of America newsletter, which you can find online. And this video that I just did. But here’s how to think about this way. Let’s say I’m going to use round numbers that are easy. Let’s say that you wanted to make $10,000 a month. So how do you do that? Well, you break it down into $2,500. Every week, that’s you know, let’s say an average four week month, then you break it down into $500 every day. And then you have to have that discipline of if I’m going to survive, I have to make $500 today. Now, if you make $1,000 today that buys you an extra day, but if you fall behind, you got to make it up. And if you give yourself that kind of a discipline, it’ll make all the difference in the world. I hate that kind of stuff. But you got to do it. And it’s running a business. And I have a friend that’s a gallery owner or was you know, his salespeople have a certain amount of money they have to bring in every single day and he checks with him. And if they don’t, he gives him a hard time because that’s how he makes his numbers. You got to give yourself a hard time. If you can’t be accountable. Get somebody to make you accountable. I have an accountability group. I’m at a board. I have a board of directors, I have to go meet with them quarterly and if I miss my numbers, they give me a hard time. And they should because I shouldn’t miss my numbers and they give me advice and they give me help and it’s always good to get outside advice from people who know how to do this stuff. If you have a partner, a husband, a wife, a spouse, a friend and who you can say look after make $500 every single week, I want you to check in with me once a week and see how I’m doing. And when you know they’re gonna do that it’s kind of like working out, right? If you have a trainer who checks in with you every day and says, Did you do your setups, you’re not going to want to lie to him. So you’re gonna do your setups, it’s the same thing. So accountability, the world that you live in, kind of revolves around social media, gaming, things like that. You have to ask yourself, Where am I spending my time? Is it helping or hurting? Is it helping my attitude? Is it actually helping me sell my art? Or is it not? You know, not everybody’s world is about the same things your world is about. And if you want to sell art, you need to know that there are many, many tools in many, many places. And it’s not all about what you think is cool. And those things are cool. But just because you’re spending all your time on Tiktok doesn’t mean that everybody who’s gonna buy art is you need to be every place that you possibly can be. That has what I call concentrated art audiences, right? Concentrated audiences would be like fine art connoisseur, which I have all these billionaires and multimillionaires who buy a lot of expensive art. And they’re all art lovers. And they all like the kind of representational art that’s in there. And so when you’re advertising there, you increase your odds, rather than just putting it out on, you know, anywhere, right? So think about those things. Listen to your customers, find out what they want, they will tell you exactly what they need, and listen and try to do those things. Those are some core principles. There’s a lot of other things, but most importantly, discipline, and study. Now, study is a lifetime thing. You know, I have a I have kids, and one of my kids is like, I hate to, I hate to read, I read almost every single night, I listen to podcasts almost every single day when I’m working out in the morning, I buy courses, I join organizations, so I can learn more. I am constantly learning. And I know a lot, but I don’t know everything. And if you imagine yourself standing on a dock in front of the ocean, and you’re looking out over the ocean and the sky and above the sky. That’s how much there is to learn out there. You got to just constantly be learning, especially if you want to stay ahead in life. And if you want to be a successful art business person, then that’s what it takes. Sorry. I know you don’t want to hear that. Anyway, that is today’s on that positive note. That is today’s art marketing minute.

This has been the marketing minute with Eric Rhoads. You can learn more at

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