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By guest author/artist: Matt LeBlanc
Anything we do in life has an equal or opposite reaction, whether it’s a negative or a positive outcome. Ever since I started my art career, I never have been shy to giving or donating art for charity .
I often hear that artists are prime targets of fundraisers, and many people feel bad for them.
I say, “embrace the the power of giving fellow artists!”
I made so many valuable contacts which has benefited my art business over the years by offering my art for a good cause or charity event. The important thing is that you embrace the opportunity vs. just giving a piece of art and saying good luck.
Here are a few things you should know before you embrace the power of giving in order to make it worthwhile for your art career:
1 – Research the event and cause
I get calls every month about giving art for fundraisers. If I know the organization or event it’s easy to make a decision right there and then but very often, I say I will get back them. I take time to look at the event and the cause to find out what they are all about. I can’t give to everyone so it’s important to know what type of audience will attend the event to make sure your art will be appreciated.
2 – Know your audience
A few years ago, I was asked to donate a piece for an event that would boost 2,000 people and the money was going to a great cause. I could of easily said yes right away but after researching the event, I realized that the 2,000 people attending the event were teenagers. Don’t get me wrong, the cause was a great one but the audience is not really into art. I politely declined the opportunity.
3 – What’s in it for you?
Most of the time, you hold the power my friend. If you’re the only artist in an auction, you have to capitalize on the fact that you are the only artist in the auction. Ask the organizer for free advertising before the show. Ask them to include your logo or a link to your website in the material. At the end of the day, you are not different from the other sponsors. Proposed some opportunities. All they can say is no but most of the time; they will promote you for free.
4 – Sell yourself
I’ve been to a few auctions where the only thing that sold the artist was his or her signature on the painting. I never understood how artist don’t take advantage of these opportunities. When I give a painting for an auction, I always ask if I can put my bio besides the painting and I also give enough cards for the anticipated number of people who will attend the event. I make sure to provide everything in advance including a freestanding plastic holder that will make my bio standout besides my painting.
5 – Attend the event
This is the most difficult part for artists but probably the most important one. You have the opportunity to attend a free event (yes you will get a free ticket) and most likely have free food or drinks along the way. However, the most important reason to go is to connect with your audience. I made a lot of contacts that resulted to business after attending these events. I had 3 people bidding on one of my piece at one particular event and I made sure to introduce myself to all of them during the evening and they all became clients. You just never know who will run into at these events.
Hopefully these tips will help you when someoene ask you to donate your art. We all have a talent so why not put it to good use. We have the ability to help a cause and make contacts for future business. It’s a win / win situation for all !!
Recently, Matt LeBlanc raised over $25,000 by creating 200 paintings within 6 months at his Art For Life gala in support of finding a cure for cancer which took his little sister’s life. Matt is an amazing person as well as a popular guest author/artist here at FineArttips.com. Matt lives and works in New Brunswick, Canada.
I am grateful I met Matt on Twitter! Thank you Matt, for another helpful and inspiring post. ~Lori
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