How to get your art into galleries, a conversation with Clint Watson

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(in production) One of the most common questions I hear from artists is "How do I get my work into galleries?" The myth of being discovered is a wonderful bedtime story, but it provides little practical advice for how to get your work shown now.

As former director of a national gallery and creator of the portfoilio site, Fine Art Studio Online, Clint Watson has a great deal of experience to draw from on both sides of the gallery submission process. Clint's number one answer to how to get galleries to look at your work will probably surprise you. Learn which rules you can break and which rules you should break when submitting to galleries.

In this conversation Clint and I discuss:

  • How to research galleries.
  • How to find a gallery that is a good fit for your art.
  • How should you approach gallery owners?
  • What to include in a proposal to a new gallery and what not to worry about.
  • Common mistakes artists make when dealing with galleries.
  • What to expect from a gallery in terms of support and marketing.
  • How to effectively split marketing tasks with a gallery.
  • How to address selling your work directly when you also show in galleries.
  • How to protect yourself with a gallery contract and what items should be spelled out.

Clint Watson calls himself a "Software Craftsman and Art Fanatic."

Even as a child, his two main passions were tinkering with computer programming and creating art. After graduating with an Information Systems degree in 1993, Clint became a director and, later, a partner at Greenhouse Gallery of Fine Art, a major national art gallery. He spent the next eleven years learning the art marketing game. As one of the gallery's primary salespeople, Clint gained experience by helping clients connect with artworks and artists that they truly loved… resulting in total personal sales in seven-figures, and, more-importantly countless lives enriched through artwork. This experience gives him an authoritative platform from which to now advise artists on art marketing and sales— teaching them what really works— and what to ignore as hype or fads.

Realizing that the Internet was destined to play an ever-increasing role in the marketing strategy of artists, in 2001, Clint launched, a website creation tool and marketing system for fine artists. He subsequently left the gallery business and now focuses all of his attention on helping his artist clients create websites and providing them with marketing ideas, opportunities and advice. He firmly believes that artists can change the world with their artworks and strives daily to help them make that a reality. Clint lives in Texas and the virtual world. He often takes time out to enjoy the great outdoors.

Learn More about Clint Watson

  1. Read Clint's blog FineArtViews: Straight talk about art marketing, inspiration - daily to your inbox.
  2. Follow Clint on Twitter

Further Resources:

  1. FASO: Want Your Art Career to Grow? Set up an Artist Website with FASO.
  2. Canvoo: Art Marketing, Artist Websites, art contests and more.
  3. InformedCollector: Free daily briefs about today's finest artists in your inbox.
  4. BoldBrush Contest: Monthly Online Painting Contest with over $4,000 in awards.

Show Highlights: Excerpts From the Conversation

Once the transcription is completed I'll include some of the best portions here.

« How to get started in public Art, a conversation with Jon Pounds, Director of Chicago Public Art Group | Main | The competitive advantage of hiring artists, A conversation with Chris Ashworth »

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Statement + Bio | Curriculum Vitae | Bibliography

I'm best known as an artist and designer. Relaxing makes me tense, so I tend to put in a lot of hours on diverse projects.

On the way to a successful art career I've been a poet and writer, a tech geek, a print and web designer, illustrator, industrial designer, musician, teacher, actor, set designer and even a paid guru once.

It's all the same thing in the end— I wake up most days thinking about how I want to change, fix or improve some aspect of the world. And after a couple cups of coffee I get started on it.

My specialty is impossibility remediation: if it can't be done, I'm on it.

Mobile: 231.584.2710 (9 to 5 PST only) | Email me
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