Think of the Business of Art as an Art Competition

Artwork Archive | September 17, 2015 (Updated April 12, 2021)

About Our Guest Blogger: John R. Math is the owner and the gallery director of Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery, based in Jupiter, Florida. Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery conducts monthly themed online art competitions and art exhibitions for new and emerging artists on a worldwide basis. John is also a fine art photographer, selling his art to the corporate art market, and an art marketing specialist.

He shares his brilliant advice on the importance of presentation and the business of art as a competition:

The definition of the word competition is “the act of competing; rivalry for supremacy, a prize, etc”.  Every month Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery receives hundreds of entries for our online art competitions. After five years, we still receive a large number of sloppy or incomplete entries from artists.  If that happens to us, it is also happening to viewers and the potential buyers of that artist’s work!

Think of the presentation of your art as a competition against every other artist out there.  This is true whether the art is online, in person or in print.  Who will win this competition?  The winning artist will be the one with the best artistic skills and also the artist with the best presentation of their art.

I cannot say why some artists do not present their art professionally.  It may be that some artists do not care or they do not want to compete or they think that their art will sell itself.  Every artist should understand the challenges in showing their art well, attracting enough attention to get people to look at their work and finally motivating someone to actually buy their art.  

Every time your art is shown in person, in print, online or in social media, that is your one opportunity to make a great impression and to present your art as well, if not better than, any other artist.  Think of this presentation in terms of an art competition.  A mediocre and careless presentation of your work will not cut it and you surely will not win!

Here are some ways to improve your presentation when entering art competitions or showing your art online, in person or in print.

  • Label your entries precisely and consistently (At least your last name and title of your artwork).

  • Before you frame your art, have it photographed or scanned (No iPhone images).

  • Color correct and crop your images (There is no excuse for not doing this.   There are free programs on the web that you can use).

  • Do not show backgrounds, floors or easel stands (See above).

  • Have a well-written artist’s biography that has been spell checked and has good sentence structure.  (A list of art shows, events and awards is not a biography).

  • Have an artist’s statement. This tells the viewer what your art is about and what your motivation is for creating your art (In another words give the viewer a thoughtful meaning of your artwork).

  • Display a consistent body of artwork, which shows you are serious about your art. (Art galleries, art representatives, designers and art buyers want to be sure you are a serious and committed artist).

Remember that you are competing with all of the other serious artists who want the same thing as you, the recognition and ultimately the sale of their artworks.  To successfully make this happen, your presentation should be better than every other artist’s.

Want to Learn More from John R. Math?

Visit the Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery to apply to online art competitions and art exhibitions, and learn more fantastic business of art tips.

Want to Organize Your Art Business and Receive More Art Career Tips? Sign Up for Free Here.

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