Zain Siddiqui .

Everything an artist wants - satisfaction from artwork, fame, money - comes from the quality of his artwork, its theme and its story.

Then does an artist really need to know about marketing? It's a fundamental question that we want to explore with you.

What do you think?

Originally Posted Here
26 Comments

Krishna Arora

No matter what you do if people dont come to know about what you do you aint making a penny and marketing is a means to that so everyone should know marketing not only artisits.

Zain Siddiqui

But artists are the storytellers. Dont you think good stories sell themselves?

Krishna Arora

No , i dont think so. If you sell paintings and dont put up ads and be present at the right exibitions i dont think you can sustain a living out of it.

Zain Siddiqui

Really? Arunaday Basu is he right?

Arunaday Basu

yes I gotta agree with Krishna. Art is no more a hobby. People are making a living out of it. So if you have to grow in your career, you gotta do what you gotta do - personal branding and marketing.

Zain Siddiqui

Arunaday Basu I was talking of serious artists only.

Arunaday Basu

Zain Siddiqui oh so then the question changes cause then you're talking about PR for artists (which is a subset of marketing) but marketing I feel is an instrument best used when people don't know about the "brand." When the brand already exists then I hardly feel then is any need at all for marketing. The person might need a bit of PR.

Zain Siddiqui

Arunaday Basu Exactly. But that's a question for a different time. As of now, I feel marketing of art piece without a celebrity artist means making an art piece tell such a powerful story that it doesnt need gimmicks like press release or social media post etc for it to be sold.

Arunaday Basu

Zain Siddiqui Then again, we are back to restricting the creative process/freedom of the artist. Cause making an artwork takes times and space.If you tell the artist to make one artwork every week, even that might not be plausible for a fine artist. The best fine artists take months to make a single masterpiece. How are you gonna convince that person to get into a schedule? I am also curious to know now what you have in mind.

Zain Siddiqui

Arunaday Basu Read again, I just said that we are not dictating anything. No one except the artist and the concept he has are the ones responsible to make the art piece viral and eventually sell.

Arunaday Basu

Zain Siddiqui hmmm. So, they will need a template but not a rigid one. Something that they can modify according to their purpose. Actually that's what marketing really is, just that we try to implement the same things for everyone and that's why it fails.

Krishna Arora

Zain Siddiqui is their any example you know of who managed to go viral simply because of art work ? Without having a personal brand.

Harshit Soni

A basic sense of marketing is must for an artist so that s/he can get more people and eyeballs.

Like, need not be an expert but can't be lacking the fundamentals of marketing if he needs more people to reach him.

Zain Siddiqui

But question is bro, if an artwork is so good, so amazing in itself that everyone shares it, would the artists still need to market it?

Harshit Soni

Zain, taking an example that he posts on Instagram!

Do you think his artwork will reach anyone if he doesn't know that he needs to put the right hashtags, decent engaging caption? I doubt that.

Hence, some basics are must.

Like one might not be good at sales as a profession but fundamentally he has to know the basics else he can't go a far way.

Zain Siddiqui

Harshit Soni So your are saying that without hashtag, and without caption artwork cannot go viral? I think that's a wrong thought process.

Arunaday Basu

I would say yes yes yes.. Because this is one of the reasons which pushed us to do Klothart. The artists are surely brilliant artists, but practically no one know about them. And they themselves are terrible at personal branding.

We tried to be the marketing channel through which people might get to know these lesser known artists (something like Cupick or Behance), but there is a major issue:

If I tell my artist to make something that "I" think will "sell" then I am technically restricting the artistic freedom of the human being (often what happens to a lot of designers who work with bigger agencies) to express herself in the way that she wants to.

But artistic freedom only sells if you're that big. Like, there is thought involved in MF Hussain's artworks but not much effort. While if you see Manjit Bawa then there is so much effort involved, that MF Hussain looks lazy. But then, whose artworks sell for more? Who can get away with laziness? Only the ones who understand personal branding well.

That's why we need marketing for artists.

Zain Siddiqui

Arunaday Basu Now you hit the nail on the head. Personal branding is main difference in marketing an artwork or not. If you have personal brand (which is technically pre-marketing) then you have sold your next artwork even before you have created it.

Reading about futures options in art market was an eye opener. Jeff Koonz pioneered it.

Arunaday Basu

Zain Siddiqui agreed 💯

Neha Khazanchi

I would like to hear your opinion on this (or anyone else who has any suggestion)....I've been a travel/wildlife photographer for a while and have had to diversify into commercial photography and videography because (let me be honest) the photography market is oversaturated (thanks to Instagram) and it's not the easiest thing to sustain and make yourself stand out ....I certainly don't have that kind of marketing sense/I genuinely feel like I'm being very self obsessed if I keep talking about/promoting my work (maybe I'm looking at it the wrong way)....but how do you think an artist should handle it and get a grasp on their branding/marketing

Zain Siddiqui

It's an attention grabbing game Neha.

Run to where there is less competition. Choose a platform like LinkedIn where your end client sits. Choose TikTok where not many professional photographers have managed to grab a foothold.

Do things that make no sense. The uniqueness of an account is somehow the pillar of success. The more unusual it is, the faster people flock to it.

Positioning is the most important aspect of an artists branding and marketing. The rest is a long story.

Neha Khazanchi

I'm going to think about this! Thankyou

Atray Agrawal

Zain Siddiqui Thanks for the tag man, was stuck elsewhere so couldn't get back.

I love correlating and creating connections across industries. Till a few years back, scientists or great product people in tech had the same misconception - Great product=more money/fame. But that obviously shattered over time because of the sheer number of products out there.

It's the same with artists. They are in their own bubble as of now. Marketing is the lifeblood of any business or profession, irrespective of what they are doing. It's as applicable to a vegetable vendor on the road, as it is to the Tata's of the world. It's essentially the way you are finding, cultivating and monetizing your customers. And everyone has customers.

Artists, like ostriches, just want to avoid thinking about marketing because it's usually out of their comfort zone. Hoping to have a team around to help with all that stuff.

So do they need marketing? Yes.

Do they want to do their marketing? No.

Hope this answers your question.

P.S. Love your work with the graffiti artists. (From what I got from the website). How did the workshop go?

Zain Siddiqui

Atray Agrawal I couldn't have put it better. It was exactly what I was looking to hear back to be honest. This is the sad reality.

Zain Siddiqui

Atray Agrawal Amazing. We have few artists now who are completing my assignment for them chalking out their hero journey and trying to position themselves better.

Prithviraj Mallick

First of all I don't understand why a true artist would ever need marketing only if he has an objective. Secondly, if an artist already has an objective, then the entire process of creation becomes confined to what audience wants. That's commercial to decimal based on many factors from start to end. Thus commercial art, what sells! But should we really tag someone as artist to avail opportunities around him only to hinder his organic growth. Too much limelight ruins an artist's space. It doesn't let him remain real. What Zain Siddiqui said there I somehow agree and disagree. Just a thought.

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