art marketing

5 Things You Can Do To Boost Your Art Sales

by Monika Blichar

Let’s face it-the world of painting and sitting back while an agent or gallery sells your art is over! With a large majority of galleries making the move to online sales and closing art houses, it is more important now than ever to become your own art agent and invest in your own sales and marketing strategies. Here are 5 things you can do to boost your art sales! If you enjoy or find these useful, please share and follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


My exhibit at Art World Expo 2017 at Science World. I participate in about 15-20 exhibitions, markets, fairs, and trade shows annually.

1-Professional Branding

This means that you avoid slapping handwritten price tags on art that you want more than a few dollars for and you invest in proper branding! Logo, website, business cards, pamphlets, a portfolio and investing time into social media marketing with your branding. There is nothing worse than seeing gorgeous work without a price (or a handwritten scribble as a tag) out there! Serious collectors and buyers want to see you have taken the time to invest in proper branding and are representing yourself as a professional artist and business owner.


My new logo for 2018! I have decided to do an entire overhaul for my own brand.


Instagram is one of the most powerful tools for artists today. When posting, remember to post photos related to your brand-works of art in progress, completed works for sale with prices, art exhibitions, art sales and any contests or awards that you may have won. Instgram is a wonderful place to create your visual portfolio where collectors and buyers can see your work without distractions.  Be sure to remember to comment and connect with people on Instagram, the more you chat with people, the better your chances of building relationships and finding buyers.


Instagram also does great things like “Best Nine” where you can see which of your photos were the most popular in any given year.

3-Exhibit Your Work

If you haven’t done a show in a while-it’s time! (I recommend at least one show per quarter but of course, if you can manage more-then do it!) The more you are out with your work, the more your brand will be recognized, the more people you will meet and in turn, the more people will think of buying from your or asking for your assistance when they are looking for something. I also recommend opening your studio at peak times in the calendar year including Christmas as well as for holidays like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day Shopping events.

blushing_boutique_fashion_show (2)

My paintings and mixed media work as part of a display for a Fashion Show by Blushing Boutique in 2011.

4-Collaborate with Others

For some artists, this seems counter-intuitive. Why would I want to partner with my competition? Well-you don’t partner with someone who makes exactly what you do-you partner with someone who is different! Collaborate with another artisan and promote a special offer online. Find a business to work with and create a special. The possibilities are endless!


A night to raise awareness for BC Salmon with artists and designers at Sheila Wong Fashion Studio in Vancouver, BC. This opportunity allowed me to work with Jay Peachy and acclaimed artist Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun. Collaborations like this have given me great networking opportunities but also life long friends in the arts industry.

5-Start Writing!

This is one of the biggest tools I have learned that helps business in a lot of ways! My recommendation is to first start a blog, offer resources, share ideas, vlogs, and interview artists or business people you admire. Second, create a newsletter and build your mailing list. Third, create a worksheet, EBook, or course about your industry or specific type of art you are making. Last, write for other publications. All of this will help boost your authority in your industry and  connect directly to fans, buyers and clients.


“You’re Going to Make It-A Creativity Workbook to Help You Make Your Best Art!” was a creativity workbook that I created in 2016 to help my students. It has since sold almost 300 copies and has enabled me to generate passive and ongoing income from a piece of work that I created one time. Buy yours here: HERE

As with anything in business and life, your success depends on yourself. No one is going to do the work for you even if you pay someone! Today’s world is so limitless in possibilities for expansion, marketing, and overall success with the tools that we are given that it is so easy to get yourself out there! Never before have we had this option-what will you do with this possibility? I challenge you to take up your goals this year and kick it up a notch.

“Fortune comes to those who are prepared to work for it.”  


Monika Blichar, B.A. & B.C.C.T. University of Victoria

CEO & Founder-MAB Ventures Inc. An Arts & Entertainment Agency

MAB Art Studio & Boutique Gallery

Art World Expo-Vancouver, Edmonton & Toronto






Art World Tips: Why Should You Network?

by Monika Blichar, Producer & Owner Art World Expo


A shot of the Diamond Dolls Networking Group in 2013.


When I used to think of traditional networking, I used to think of early morning breakfast meetings, serious business suit types, and 60 second pitches with those little dingers to make sure you don’t go over your allotted time to talk about your business. 6:00am is not the best time for me to tell people about what I do, let alone try to condense my passion and creativity into 60 seconds! This is likely the case for many artists and creative types. (I’m also quite a recluse, believe it or not, and dread going to large events!) Instead of forcing myself to attend early morning meetings and go out to late night events, I dedicate my time to networking in different ways.

First, I focus on who I know already. My immediate circle of contacts are invaluable to me as I have known them the longest or have already had dealings with them. Who is in your network already? As an artist or creative entrepreneur, look at who you know already and see what they can help you with. Do you need places to post content, locations to show your work, or introductions to business professionals? Ask people you already know to help you out and send you referrals or recommendations. I’ve discovered that this can be done on Facebook too and that people are quite helpful with their comments and recommendations.

Since I really enjoy working from home and my studio and rather not waste precious time driving and running around the city to events or meetings that may or may not be worthwhile, I scour my social media networks. If I am looking for specific businesses or people, I search on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I send message to people or businesses directly through these channels first, and if I really feel that there could be a good collaboration, I also proceed to send them emails. If I really think that we should meet, I call and try to book an appointment or invite them to come by our studio and gallery.

Last, what I really tried to focus on in terms of networking last year and what I will continue to do this year is fostering relationships with my existing clients and affiliates. I worked hard to stay in touch with people; either via phone or email. I invited artists to participate in other opportunities throughout the year including our first Artisan Holiday Sales Catalog and being featured at local markets in our exhibition stalls. I worked hard to create relationships that were meaningful to me and also that benefited both parties when assessing business strategies and long term goals.

This year, I challenge you to look at your networking goals and really find out what you are looking for in terms of what you want from your business and career. For me, I know that the best things in my life come from authentic relationships, concise planning and intuitive instincts. When I look at my business and my relationships, I see a network and community that I love. This, I truly believe, also helps me succeed! After all, if you aren’t doing what you love, no amount of networking will help you!

Have some thoughts about this article? We love to hear from artists in our community! Be sure to touch base with us at or comment on this post! Get in touch with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and join our conversation there too!

Monika Blichar is an Entrepreneur and Artist. She is owner of MAB Art Studio & Boutique Gallery in North Vancouver and producer of Art World Expo and Painting Dreams International Art Tours. She is always pushing boundaries as an artist and creative entrepreneur. Her love of the arts has been a part of her life since childhood.

AWE TIPS: Why It’s Important to Participate in Trade Shows

by Monika Blichar

Each year, we get numerous questions about the overall experience of participating as a vendor in our event but also in other events in the area. Though there are many reasons we highly recommend participating in a variety of shows, it is up to each artist and vendor to really think about how each show will be the most useful for his or her business that fiscal year. Whether you are looking for new networking connections, selling more of your work, or simply adding to your CV of shows, everyone’s needs will be different but equally important.

When thinking about participating in an event, we came up with our top three tips for why it’s important to participate in trade shows! Have a look and if you have a suggestion, be sure to leave a comment!

1-New Market 

While the Internet and Social Media are wonderful tools, there is only so much you can do from behind a computer. As an artist and business owner, it is crucial to your success that you mingle with potential customers and fans. Artists who have the luxury of staying behind computers or in their studios have really good sales agents, affiliate dealers and promoters who are paid either hourly, on contract or commission. Even then, they still have to make appearances, do book signings, speaking engagements and show up to events. If you don’t have a budget to hire on contract, hourly or give up a percentage of your sales to an agent, you need to be at a variety of shows to expose your work to new markets. This will help you build a following in new markets and help build your brand identity and recognition.

2-Getting Out of Your Studio

The worst thing you can do is stay in your studio hoping that buyers will come knocking! How will they know you are there if you don’t invite them in? Sure you have event pages, Instagram #HASHTAGS and probably (or hopefully) an email marketing newsletter, but getting out to meet people in person is so much more effective it is ridiculous. Getting out of your studio doesn’t just mean that you need to go to trade shows and set up an expensive booth; you can get out of your studio an market in creative ways without spending a fortune. Here are some of our favourite ways to share work:

-Live painting at an event

-Giving a talk or demo at a workshop or trade show

-Partnering up with a local charity and giving back

-Donating to Swag Bags

-LIVE Streaming from events you are attending

-Offering Classes or Workshops at your studio

-Being a guest facilitator for a corporate client

3-Location, Location, Location 

Where do you want your work to be seen? If you have a higher priced product, will you sell it at a school craft fair? If you have a less expensive mass produced product, will you sell at a luxury boutique? Likely, you need to sit down and make sure to show and sell your work (and its varying degrees) in the right places. If you are participating in shows that don’t offer you what you are looking for not only in terms of sales, but of networking, affiliate marketing, and growth opportunities, why bother? Before you sign up for any show, make sure you ask yourself the questions: “Why am I doing this event?” and “What are my goals for this particular event?” Be sure to gain as much insight into your own responses as possible and work with the coordinator(s) of each event you participate in closely to help you achieve your goals.

Like this? Sharing is caring.

This year, we are participating in the West Coast Women’s Show again and we’d love to see you. Enter to win 2 tickets to the show by heading to our Facebook page and finding the photo below with the contest details! Contest closes October 15! Good luck! 



20 Tips on How to Market Your Art Work

by Monika Blichar

A large majority of artists that I work with throughout the year tell me the exact same thing. “I just want to paint, I don’t want to learn how to market. I want someone else to do that for me.” While that is a great goal to have, the reality is, if you don’t promote yourself, no one will. Period. 

Over the years, I have been able to get quite good at spotting trends, meausring statistics, and learning new tools to help promote my own work and also my projects. I can say that even though technology is constantly changing and new platforms are emerging all the time, once you have a basic idea of how to promote effectively, you will see some great results that will make your art career THAT much more successful.

Here are my top 20 tips on how to market your art work. If you enjoy, be sure to send this post to a friend and connect with me on my varied social media platforms. I love to help artists grow and by sharing, you can help others succeed too!

1-Be Consistent. Share on your networks on a regular basis. Your networks are like storefronts, make sure they are not empty for long periods of time or you won’t get any visitors!  

2-Be Positive. No one likes a negative nancy on social media or at events. Remember that you are the FACE of your brand as an artist and that you will attract positive customers and affilates if you are positive, enthusiastic and energetic about your work.

3-Engage with Your Followers. When your followers comment on a post or share your newsletter, be sure to thank them or respond in a timely fashion. This makes your followers feel as though they are really becoming a part of your community and in turn, they will help you share and engage when you post.  

4-Offer Tips and Education. Offering tips on “HOW TO USE GLAZES” or releasing a video of yourself creating art to help other aspiring artists engages other in your work. Think outside the box when you release tips, how can you help your audience?

5-Create Good Content. No one will keep reading if you post boring, out dated or irrelevant content. When was the last time you kept reading a boring book or watching a bad movie? Think about it.    

6-Cross Promote. Who can you cross promote with? The art supply company that you shop at? Another artist? The restaurant where you sell your work? Be creative and work with others to create cross promotions that will help both parties gain followers and fans.

7-Be Real. Don’t pretend to be someone you aren’t. Be yourself, everyone else is already taken….

8-Share your WIPs. When you are working on a piece, be sure to share your work in progress.  It’s interesting for others to watch HOW you create.

9-Learn How to POST effectively. Schedule time to analyse your website stats and find programs that help you measure and post on social media. I use HOOTSUITE. You can check it out FREE FOR 30 DAYS by visiting my affiliate link here:

HootSuite: Social Relationship Platform

10-Experiement. Not all your marketing will be online. Be sure to take advantage of local community boards, schools, events and fairs. Donate to auctions, offer different services like painting murals or doing art cards. Experiement with your work and the market.  

11-Contests. Everyone loves winning! #winning

12-Giveaways. Reward your fans by giving away tickets to an event, prints or cards. The investment that you make into giveaways will bring you more returns when your winners or fans feel appreciated. #everyonelovestobeloved

13-Sales. When you make a sale, be sure to share on your networks that it has sold. If you have sold something in a show or restaurant, be sure to practise a RED DOT for a few days so that others see you are an artist who sells. Some people are strange like that…they will ONLY buy if you demonstrate that you are successful in your sales records. (Be sure to keep track of your sales too-this will help you later in your career.)

14-Customers. Take photos with customers or ask them to take a pic with your art in their homes. Share on social media or even print pictures for a portfolio you can share with potential customers in your studio.

15-Affilates. BE AN AFFILIATE for other companies. Whether you promote products, software or events that you are using or exhibiting at, creating an affiliate income stream helps you share products, services or events you love while earning money for sharing. (Yes, you can make residual income by promoting other people’s products or services so long as they give you or you sign up for your own affiliate code!)

To sign up to be an Art World Expo Affiliate, visit: BE AN ART WORLD EXPO AFFILIATE!

16-Brands You Use. When you think of all the tools that you use, be sure to refer the useful ones with others so they can take advantage of great tools too! Sign up for an affiliate link first and then promote that link to people you think might like it too. For example, we use Freshbooks for our accounting software and when we recommend it, we share our affiliate link here:

17-Share Other People’s Work. Your fans and followers will appreciate you sharing because it will introduce them to new people and other areas in your industry, but because if they are really interested in your work, they too want to see what’s going on in your creative journey. This also helps you cross promote with other artists which helps both of you build bigger communities!

18-Inspirations. Post things that inspire you as an artist. Nature, fabric, old tires. Memes. W H A T E V E R. Show your audience how your mind works and don’t be afraid to open up.

19-Professional Development. Be sure to post when you are enlisted in professional development realted to your career. A painting retreat, specialty classes, or workshops are great ways to show your audience that you are always trying to improve your craft. If you are intersted in travelling to Europe with me this summer, please visit: Painting Dreams Art Tours Info (Our next info session is February 5 at my studio and gallery in North Vancouver.)

20-Participate in Events. Last, but not least, whatever kind of art or craft you practise, be sure to participate in events in your community or outside of it. Paint live on stage at a fashion show, organize an open studio at your space, enroll in events where you can set up an exhibit in your city or others. By far, the most effective way to sell your art is to be available in person so that you can share your story and why you do what you do. Make sure you participate in at least one event each quarter.

If you enjoyed these tips, be sure to share the love with other creative people you care about!

Have a question? Follow me on Periscope and ask questions during my live broadcasts! 


Monika Blichar possesses a B.A. from the University of Victoria with a major in English and minor in French. She has also successfully completed the post degree teaching program and is a member of the BC College of Teachers. She is fluent in English, French, Polish and basic Spanish. Her love for culture, languages and artistic pursuits continues to grow as she develops her own creativity and imagination through her varied interests in the art world.

 This post is sponsored by Twin Peaks Construction.


Free Gift for Artists!

As artists, many of us forget that we are running businesses. We love to spend time creating and often put on hold or aside the tasks related to marketing, sales, advertising, promotions and accounting. If this sounds like you, you might want to check out this free eBook just for artists! Geared at any artist that is looking to learn how to promote their artwork and meet new buyers, a great way to start or refresh your thinking about the business of your art. Click this link below to get your FREE copy of 5 EXPERT Marketing Strategies for Visual Artist.