In my quest to expand my art career with the goal of being a full-time artist I’ve been leaving no stone unturned. I have read and followed much of the advice in Alyson Stanfield’s wonderful book I’d Rather Be in the Studio: The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion, and have recently been digesting Jackie Battenfield’s The Artist’s Guide: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love.
They’ve really opened my eyes to the many opportunities artists have to market our work in today’s world. My website and my blog are part of my new marketing plan, along with seeking alternative exhibition opportunities. I’m active in a few forums and post my artwork regularly on Flickr. Of course I’m still approaching galleries and entering juried shows as well.
Recently I’ve realized that I’ve been overlooking one of the simplest, most effective, and cheapest methods for gaining exposure for my art. While I had certainly heard of Artist Registries before, for whatever reason it never clicked that I should be submitting my work to be included.
Many large cities, most states, and numerous private and non-profit art organizations maintain artist registries. An art registry is a listing of artists, often including images of their art, bios, and relevant experience, that is made available to art collectors, gallery directors, buyers, and pretty much anyone else interested in the arts. Often public art programs (or percent for art) include an artist registry as a first step in the selection process.
Artist registries are sometimes referred to as slide registries, an old throwback term to the days when slide carousels ruled the art world. Today most registries are online and digital. This provides the added benefit of a back link to your art website or blog which helps increase your ranking in search results.
Registries are a low-cost, and often times free, promotional tool for artists. Many young artists (myself included) mistakenly think of registries as something unique to New York and other big league art cities, but artist registries are a valuable resource anywhere.
Type in “artist registry” in your favorite flavored internet search engine and you’ll be rewarded with countless links. Many registries have residency requirements, so adding location keywords such as a state or city name can help narrow the results.
Using this simple process I’ve identified a dozen or so registries, several specific to my home state of Texas along with a few national databases, which seem like a good fit for my work.
While the submission process for some registries can be lengthy, the potential rewards for promoting your art are enormous. With the whole world now connected by the web, there’s simply no excuse for not taking advantage of artist registries.