How to Leverage Artist Publicity

by Carolyn Edlund

When major publicity comes your way, you need a plan to make the most of the opportunity.


How artists can leverage publicity


As an artist, if you make a decision to seek press or publicity or have a big public event coming up, it can be nerve-racking. Once you get over the initial excitement and jitters, take action to maximize the effectiveness of the attention you will receive. There are strategies to leverage publicity in order to reach your goals and keep the promotion going.

You may have landed an important interview or the cover of a well-known publication. You might have a solo exhibition or an art fair appearance coming up. Maybe your art will be televised or promoted widely. All of these are opportunities to expand your audience, gain further interest, and make sales.

Mindset and Readiness

Natascha Wernick is a filmmaker, business coach and manager of Put Some Colour in Your Life, which produces television episodes of studio visits with artists, shown in 50 countries around the world. She shared helpful strategies to help artists prepare.

Wernick stresses that “a positive mindset needs to occur at the very beginning.” She finds that successful artists easily commit to investing in the filming, saying, “They realize it is a marketing tool and an exciting business decision. They know they will receive much more exposure than an art fair or an art magazine ad. These artists understand that sharing their technique is not about giving up secrets, but inspiring others. They are prepared and ready.”

Readiness also means an online presence able to receive and guide traffic. “Their website clearly shows where the viewer can shop, how the viewer can book a workshop or a commission, and how they can be contacted,” says Wernick. “They will have a landing page to collect emails and begin an email relationship with their fans. They will have the show embedded on their website once it is released.”


Artist De Gillett Interviewed on Colour In Your Life

Artist De Gillett is interviewed during an episode of Colour In Your Life.


Wernick adds, “The confident artist practices telling their stories in front of a mirror to get the effect they desire. They ensure they present themselves in their best light and that the studio is reflective of their personality. They’re willing to be authentic and vulnerable for the camera to build a deeper relationship with the viewer.”

Will you be perceived as a talented artist and confident expert? Review what you know about the upcoming interview. Decide on the message you want to convey so you can frame answers in terms that best explain what you do.

Build Excitement

Getting ready might involve writing a press release announcing the upcoming event. Reach out directly to press members with full information, links, and images that make it easy for them to share your news. Contact influencers on social media, or consider whether you want to place an ad. If you blog, write a post to preview your event.

Social media is a great place to tease an upcoming event or interview, or even show the process as it unfolds. Artist Leslie Kell posted “before and after” gallery photos on her Instagram account to promote an upcoming solo show, which drove a lot of interest and engagement.


Before and after gallery exhibition

Artist Leslie Kell built anticipation for her gallery show with before and after photos on social media.


Wernick agrees with this strategy and urges artists featured on their television show to carry it through during and after the event. “Socials will be full of discussion and excitement about the show leading up to the filming, during the filming phase and after it has launched,” she says. “Put aside time to respond to YouTube comments and messages from viewers in the first two weeks of the show going to air.”

Extend the Life of Your Publicity

Once you’ve gotten coverage, had your interviewed printed or televised, or made your appearance, don’t let the buzz die down. Continue to share with your audience. Fans may have missed the initial announcement or want to catch up. Send emails and create social posts that link to the article, or video of your appearance. These links are likely permanent, or long-lasting, and can promote you on a long-term basis.

Don’t take past publicity for granted. Include it in your resume, mention it when reaching out for additional press coverage, or even link to it in your email signature. Each time you gain exposure as an artist you have another accomplishment to add to your repertoire. Over time, this works to build your reputation and authority as an expert artist who deserves recognition and attention.



Want to stay current on cutting edge business articles from Artsy Shark, plus artist features, and an invitation to the next Call for Artists? Subscribe to our twice-monthly Updates, and get a free e-book on Where to Sell Art Online right now!


Speak Your Mind