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Selling Art in a Digital Age

Min Kim & Graeme Stevenson
Min Kim & Graeme Stevenson

I have been an artist for nearly 40 years and have seen the dynamic of the art world change dramatically over the last four decades.

Virtually every decade of the last four has had something go drastically wrong. 2020 and 2021 are no exception, with the global menace of COVID-19 making its way into the homes of the old and the vulnerable—and sometimes the young and otherwise healthy. Along with all of this, global businesses are grinding to a halt and many are finding themselves out of work or losing their homes.

I have even seen a number of great art magazines and galleries going by the wayside and closing down due to the hesitation in the marketplace from people who are unsure of where their next dollar may be coming from.

Art Business Conference

Colour in Your Life Beginnings

I started Colour In Your Life (CIYL) 12 years ago when the 2008 financial crisis kicked in. I had been doing a Los Angeles TV show about art for a few years before that, and understood the power of this type of media. A moment of realisation came when a client of mine, who was the director of public TV in Australia and had just bought a painting from me said, “You can produce my own TV shows and pay for them to go to air.”

I had no idea what was possible, and being a man that never shied away from a challenge, I began doing the research to put this together. I ended up going back to college at the ripe old age of 50 and earned a degree in multimedia production. I filmed the first six shows myself, edited them, and paid for them to air on the PBS network.

I felt from the very beginning that if I could create a show for mainstream TV based around art education—and create individual documentaries on each artist—these artists could then use them to promote themselves on an ongoing basis to galleries, clients, students, and investors.

International Marketing Footprint

In the last ten years, I have trained other artists that have been on the show to be able to host and film the series as well. I have teams in London, New York, and Los Angeles, and am hoping to start teams in Hong Kong and Singapore in the coming 12 months. The artists pay a fee to be on the series—we are a business like any other—but unlike art magazines and other periodicals, when you get filmed by the CIYL team, you have a marketing tool that simply never goes away. You can send the link to established clients and to anyone that may be interested in purchasing your work. Our YouTube Channel alone reaches 120,000 subscribers, with episodes that top a million views, and we air on almost 100 TV networks.

Many artists have done the show twice due to the success they have found from their first time on the series. Artists have been able to demonstrate their artistic ability to students and clients and offer an inside look into the type of work they produce. Barry and Lucy McCann, full time professional artists who run McCann Fine Art based out of Armidale, New South Wales, Australia, have filmed with the CIYL team multiple times in the past and found great success.

“We are still receiving emails enquiring about our art and teaching methods and when asked ‘how did you hear about us?’ The reply is usually, ‘we saw you on Colour in Your Life,’” Barry McCann said. “The show appears to be going from strength to strength: exposing viewers to a huge variety of art. It is now being shown all around the world, and we are extremely proud to be a part of it.”

Produce Your Own Documentary with CIYL Skills

Over the many years we have been doing TV and video production, artists have asked us to create tutorials on how they can produce documentary video content for themselves. Pandemic culture has pushed artists, and all of us, to become more resourceful about what we can accomplish from our homes or studios—it’s a perfect time to offer the CIYL expertise to our community of artists around the world. We’re about to launch a program to do just that. We have spent millions of dollars learning how to do this at a professional level: this is extremely valuable information.

We will also be showing artists how to set up their own online courses, so that they can teach the world their artistic skills. If you would like to be put on our list for the new courses, I would be happy to contact you when the tutorials are live. Join CIYL for updates.

The bottom line is that if you don’t have some type of video in your marketing platforms, you will struggle in the future, as this type of marketing has taken hold of the artistic world.

Learn more about Colour in Your Life
How to be on the show

How to Sell More Art

Sell More Art

Sign up (free) for an introductory course for professional artists: Sales Strategies for Growth.

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Graeme StevensonGraeme Stevenson
Artist Graeme Stevenson is the CEO and host of Colour in Your Life. CIYL is an Australian production company that creates video documentaries for artists around the world.

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