As a visual artist you know first-hand how competitive the art market is. There are thousands of talented artists like yourself trying to obtain gallery representation. Trying to sell their works to private collectors and getting noticed by curators.

So how do you become a successful artist? Represented by one or two galleries, selling regularly to a loyal following of collectors, with your works placed in museum collections?

Simple. Start by doing our online course. In seven modules Katapult’s founder Annelien Bruins will show you the concepts, strategy and structure you need to take control of your art career and thrive.

Learning Objectives

You’ll Walk Away With:

  • A deep awareness of why being pro-active, entrepreneurial and strategic about your art career is the only way to be successful in the long run.

  • A keen understanding of why your artistic brand needs to be developed, articulated and communicated in the best possible way in order for you to stand out.

  • The ability to successfully master intimidating activities like networking, approaching galleries, selling your art and negotiating.

  • The ability to present your body of work in a cohesive, consistent way: how to write and talk about your art, how to curate and photograph your artworks in the best possible way and how to price them realistically.

  • A thorough understanding of how marketing is not a foreign business concept but simply a helpful strategic method for you to determine and achieve your career goals.

Course Outline

Module 1 - Introduction To The Course

Annelien explains the structure of the course and learning objectives.

Module 2 - Taking Charge Of Your Career

Contrary to what you may have been told, the contemporary art market is all about business. In this module Annelien explains why it is so important that you adopt an entrepreneurial, proactive attitude towards your art career. She also gives practical examples of the actions that successful artists take to move their career forward.

Module 3 - Discovering And Articulating Your Artistic Brand

As a visual artist, it is critical for you to be able to communicate your uniqueness to galleries and collectors. In order to do that successfully and to achieve your sales goals, you need to have a very clear understanding of what your artistic brand is. Annelien introduces the three components of your artistic brand: your artistic vision, your body of work and your career achievements. We refer to these as your brand assets.

Module 4 - How To Optimize Your Brand Assets

Your brand assets will grow and mature over the course of your career quite naturally. But you can also help yourself by optimizing your brand assets right now. If done well, how you write and talk about your artistic vision and your body of work, and how you present and price your artworks reinforces your unique artistic brand: making it easier to communicate to collectors, galleries and curators. Annelien will give you practical tips on how to achieve this: from finding out what your artistic brand is, to writing an effective artist statement and photographing and curating your artworks.

Module 5 - Understanding And Using Marketing

Marketing sounds intimidating. But it’s really not. Marketing is simply the idea that you are being strategic about how your promote yourself and your art. That you think about your long-term goals and the best ways to achieve them before you dive into tactics like blanket bombing galleries with your portfolio. That you work on creating a long-term pipeline of opportunities instead of surviving from one sale to the next. In this Module Annelien explains how you can apply a simple marketing structure to your outreach efforts so that you’ll be more effective in promoting and selling your art in the long term.

Module 6 - Conquering The Online Universe

As a visual artist who wants to sell art, you need to be online. A strong online presence does more than supporting your in-person networking and sales efforts. An effective website and well-run Instagram account can also serve as sales channels in their own right. Then there are the online sales platforms to consider: for example should you be listed on Saatchi Art? In this Module Annelien provides hands-on advice on creating a strong digital marketing strategy, including how to manage the communication to your followers in a consistent manner.

Module 7 - Being Effective At Personal Relationships

Nobody likes to be sold to. Therefore, as we saw in Module 1, it is vital for an artist to maintain long-term and fruitful relationships with collectors, gallery owners and curators. In this Module Annelien provides you with hands-on advice for successful, targeted networking and effective follow up via phone and email. This Module is all about learning to be a confident communicator without being pushy or coming across as desperate, so that you can network, sell and negotiate successfully.

Module 8 - How To Get Gallery Representation

In this Module Annelien provides a strategic framework for finding a gallery that’s the right fit for you, approaching the gallery and negotiating exhibitions and representation agreements. She also discusses what can you expect from the gallery once you sign on - and what you will have to deliver in return. Annelien briefly touches upon exclusivity and termination clauses in representation agreements. Please note that we are not lawyers and as such we cannot give you legal advice, nor should any advice we give you be taken as legal advice.

We provide helpful resources with each Module to help you work through the course materials: checklists, worksheets and quizzes.

Take The Course If:

  • You see yourself as a small business owner as well as a visual artist.

  • You are eager to take a proactive role in ensuring your artistic success.

  • You understand that the art market is competitive and that you need to stand out in order to be successful.

Don’t Take The Course If:

  • You feel that the art world owes you representation without having to work for it.

  • You believe that ‘good art sells itself’ and that you don’t need to leave your studio.

  • You believe a transactional attitude to relationships will make you successful in the long term.

About Your Coach

Katapult Coaching For Artists was set up in 2012 by Annelien Bruins who has worked within the international art world for 20 years. She's also the CEO of Tang Art Advisory. With her marketing and entrepreneurial background, artists started asking Annelien for advice on how to manage their marketing and pricing strategy, how to write their artist statements and how to negotiate gallery contracts. She has lectured at Chashama in New York City and the California College of Arts in San Francisco.