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Knowing Where The Fish Are
by Sue Viders

The biggest problem I see when artists send me their work for evaluation is that they have created a wonderful painting with absolutely no idea of how to go about selling it.

There are many kinds and levels of artists and all are needed. Some paint simply for their own pleasure while others create for various therapeutic reasons. Wonderful. I say everyone should have some kind of creative outlet.

But if you paint to make money you need to know where the fish are.

For example, my daughter and her husband recently opened a high-end saltwater fish store where they sell not only custom built aquarium tanks but also all kinds of tropical fish. Knowing that the people who visit that store are interested in colorful fish, I created a marine fish calendar with twelve brightly colored fish, one for each month. I knew that I had a built-in audience for this particular project.

To make money in todays highly competitive marketplace the smart artist will have some sort of a marketing place in place before creating the project. You should envision not only the image you are going to create, but the appropriate audience that might be interested in it.

Once you have a handle on who the audience might be, you will be better prepared to find the right outlets for your work. If, for example, you paint flowers, perhaps your potential outlets might be

- local flower shops
- local silk flower shops
- the citys botanical gardens and its gift store
- various flower catalogs
- garden associations or organizations
- flower shows

Or perhaps you do only abstract work, large colorful designs. Who might your audience be? Aside from galleries, interior designers and decorators, there are all the furniture stores that love to use this type of art in their showcase settings. Also watch for other abstract art and see where it sells.

As for my fish calendar, the next step is to start advertising it with other fish stores and of course on the various fish web sites.

Sue Viders
9739 Tall Grass Circle
Lone Tree, Colorado 80124

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