Sell Your Art into the Corporate Market

by Carolyn Edlund

Are you interested in having your artwork purchased for offices, boardrooms, lobbies, hotels, restaurants or healthcare environments?

 

This can be a viable market for artists who have the right type of work and understand the needs of these particular buyers. They may be architects, building managers, interior designers, or even curators looking for just the right art for their space.

 

Natasha Bacca

Artist Natasha Bacca, shown with her artwork, has work in a number of corporate collections.

 

I recently spoke with Natasha Bacca, an artist who has successfully sold her work into the corporate market. She creates artwork with flowing organic images and layers with pleasing colors that are just perfect for this type of application. Her art can be found in numerous collections.

How did she do it? “An art consultant contacted me by phone,” Bacca explains, “She had found my website through an internet search. And my world expanded! I was not familiar with art consultants before her contact, nor had I thought much about selling to the corporate and healthcare markets.”

 

Growth for All Seasons

“Growth for All Seasons” 60″ x 72″ (9 20″ x 24″ panels) by Natasha Bacca. Installed at Central Oregon Community College, Bend, OR

 

Art consultants can be excellent sources for connecting to decision makers in the corporate market (and they will typically take 50% of the sale as their commission) but artists can reach out to potential buyers directly, too. Bacca suggests Call for Entry as a good source of leads for this type of sale.

Your artwork must be appropriate for the setting to be considered, and clients will often select works from your website – so be prepared, with excellent presentation of your art on your website and even “in situ” photos to help the viewer imagine your work in their own space.

 

Natasha Bacca's artwork installed at Northern Arizona University

Natasha Bacca’s artwork installed at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ

 

Buyers will quite frequently choose existing work and make a purchase, Bacca says. She feels that prints are definitely more popular than originals due to cost. In her own work, images can be altered digitally to suit the décor of the space where the work will hang, or she can produce custom sizes as needed by the client.

“An artist must be savvy enough to alter images in size at minimum, if not further (such as color, cropping, etc.) and be able to provide high-quality images and prints,” she says.

These buyers have more than the appearance of the artwork as a concern before they purchase, and as the artist you should be aware of this.

Bacca says, “I find that most buyers are as interested in the artwork being durable and easily maintained as they are in the actual image. Safety and ADA compliance can be a concern as well. Sometimes there are also legal issues particular to different clients or states, which need to be addressed. These legal issues can be as predictable as payment and as unusual as needing to get licensed to work in a state before executing a project.”

 

Elliott House Collection

Art by Natasha Bacca, Collection of Elliott House, Sanford, FL

 

Objections to the sale can stop everything cold, unless you are prepared to deal with questions of installation, maintenance, etc. If you work with a consultant, go over everything with them carefully. Otherwise, head off all objections that you can in your initial presentation to the client. Put together your portfolio and information, and be ready to discuss their concerns and special needs to move the sale along.

“The sales process can take a long time,” says Bacca, “From initial interest to final purchase can easily be months and sometimes years.”

Clearly, organization and continuous follow-up are necessary to close the deal and to build a trusting relationship with the client. This can lead to multiple and repeat sales for the artist – and a corporate client to list as a collector.

Bacca’s best advice for artists considering this market is, “Work with an art consultant if possible, at least to begin. Having someone who is familiar with the process to help you is good advice in any field. Additionally, art consultants, like galleries, take on the bulk of the business side of the sale leaving artists to do what they do best – create wonderful artworks.”

If you plan to sell directly, she advises, “Do your research. Take note of the artwork at your doctor’s office, bank, restaurants, or any other public place. Before pursuing this market, be sure it is the correct market for you and your artwork. There are many avenues to selling artwork, and finding the one that works best for you is essential. The corporate market is a great one for many artists, but it is a business – complete with specific, high-quality artwork, invoices, legal paperwork, proposals, presentations, installations, hiring of other professionals, deadlines, and more!”

 

Comments

  1. Can you suggest a list of potential consultants?

  2. Hello stranger! You site looks amazing and I love your posts as usual. It would be great to swap guest posts again someday…what do you think? 🙂

  3. Fantastic tips! As someone who has worked as and with an art consultant for a number of years, Natasha’s advice is spot on. I especially appreciate that she addressed how long it can take for a sale to close, as well as issues of ADA compliance and the budget concerns. Great insight into what for some artists a mysterious process!

  4. Sandra Canning says:

    Congrats to the artist, Natasha, on finding and nurturing a profitable relationship in this niche market. Carolyn, you always know how to come up with articles that are not just compelling but so helpful. I have a consultant who I did a couple of hotel deals with. I just found out that 2 jobs were never paid and they are around 6 months delinquent. Are there any tips or suggestions on getting clients to pay other than small claims court? I have sent repeated emails and invoices, and I wanted to find out what others have done to get deadbeat clients to pay their bills.

  5. Great topic and post. I find art consultants offer significant advantages over other channels. For example, they are comfortable buying art based on images, they take care of framing, and they buy in multiples! As an artist I find it easier to work with art consultants nationally than to work with out of town galleries. But they are not easy to find. They spend their time chasing the big projects rather than looking for artists and they don’t advertise, nor open, to the public. Realizing how long it took me to find them and qualify them, I wrote all about this market: How art consultants work, what they are looking for, how to contact them, and how to price your art for the corporate market.

  6. Hi!

    I’m an swedish artist with an own style on my paintings.

    I wonder if you are intrested in selling my art forward to artlovers.

    My webbsight http://www.linodesign.se

    Regards
    Artist Caroline Örnstedt
    Sweden

    Skickat från min iPhone

  7. A little late to the discussion, but thanks as always Carolyn for all the great suggestions here. I really appreciate your support of artists like myself by sharing this type of information. And – as a past Artsy Shark featured artist – I will tell anyone considering applying, it’s a great opportunity for any artist and well worth submitting for. Thanks again Carolyn 🙂

  8. Hi,

    I loved your blog. Very insightful. I’m wondering if you can offer any further insight into pricing work and how the process of striking a deal with corporate clients works. I often find myself wondering…how do you go about getting the right people to see your work. Just having a website doesn’t do much if you don’t know how to drive corporate art buyer traffic to it. Also, if hiring an art consultant is the way to go, how much can we expect to pay a quality one. Also, what’s the best way to reach out to such a person?

  9. I am reading up on working with a consultant. This article has lots of good info. My take-away is Natasha’s info about being ready to alter size. Also, offering prints is something I have not yet considered. I’d like to but I paint on metal, and that is what makes it unique and interesting. Still, something to consider!

  10. Hi Carolyn:

    I’m an abstract photo artist, I think.

    I’m planning to target interior designers.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks.

  11. Hi. My name is Jason Michael pittman . iv made art for about twenty years and I was wondering what to do next with it . my email is [email protected]. i would love to send a sample . it is really great original work .

  12. I have tons of images (mostly photography I call “Photoartistry”) and some of my paintings that I have also captured via photography. Is this site still functioning to get answer? Thanks!

  13. Hello to you all! Thank you Carolyn and everyone else within this discussion. Wow! I have been a stay at home mom for 15 years, it wasn’t until this past year that I have actually decided to venture out and allow myself to blossom outside of the four walls of my home if you know what I mean. I’ve done art since my childhood and allowing myself to go out into the world with my arts was such a shaky and terrifying notion that at times I couldn’t even hold my paintbrush because my hand would be shaking and my heart would be palpitating so fast.
    I’ve come along way in a year and I thank God for that. I’ve been shown in one gallery exhibition, sold eight pieces and I was commissioned for four; this blew me away that people actually like my art other than my sweet husband and precious mom. But I have had no knowledge about marketing my art outside of a gallery, to be honest even the thought of it was so confusing I didn’t even want to think about it. My husband built me a website; the whole marketing and technology world has been scary to me so I’ve even avoided paying attention to my own website. Ha!
    But this morning reading what you have written on your website Carolyn… wow what a breath of fresh air. Maybe this information isn’t the grandest or the most helpful out there, maybe it’s just that it simply the right time for me to hear it, but I have read so many posts and forums and nothing has given me such simple yet quick insight.
    I have so much to learn but all I can say is thank U thank U thank U even to everyone else who posted on this website, thank you.

    Smiles and Laughter,

    Heather Joy

  14. Im doing painting for decorating my room but someone advise me to sell them,so how can I sell my painting and how can I work with companies to do painting for decoration

  15. I attempted to subscribe, but got a notice that I don’t have permission.

    • Jennifer, sorry you have a problem subscribing. I will manually add you to my subscriber list, and send you our free ecourse Where to Sell Art Online which comes with the subscription.

  16. As an artist who wants to sell my work to corporations and businesses etc. Can you point me to examples of what to write in an email to a corporation?

    Thank you

    • Sarah, Thanks for your question. Artists in the corporate art market usually work through intermediaries – such as interior designers, curators, art consultants, architects, etc. Normally, you would not simply write to employees at a corporation. There would be a project such as building or renovation, or redecorating going on and design professionals would normally be involved. Although I have heard of management “finding an artist” that they love and insisting on their work being incorporated in an interior, it usually works the other way. So, for example of your art were represented by a consultancy it may be presented to a client if appropriate for a job. You could get started by doing an online search for art consultants in your local area, and visiting their websites. Often they will accept submissions from artists.

  17. How to sell art in India?

    • Manishi, I believe you would do the same research in India that anyone would do in any country. Find out about interior designers, art consultants, and how business is done in that sector in India.

  18. My name is Mike Walsh. I am an artist. You can view my art by going to my website mikewalshart.com. I am interested in selling prints of my work. I do not produce prints. How do I have this happen?

Speak Your Mind

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.