Connecting with Your Audience: Exploring New Opportunities

Connecting with Your Audience: Exploring New Opportunities

Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most famous artists, recognized today for his genius work. However, throughout his lifetime, the artist struggled immensely to succeed in the art world. He sold one artwork for $100 during his life and only became popular 20 years after his death. That posthumous recognition from the public is due to the effort of his sister-in-law, Jo Van Gogh-Bonger, who, after his death, capitalized on his talent and leveraged her marketing skills to increase the popularity of the artist.

Like Van Gogh, many emerging artists of today possess talent but face challenges in gaining recognition for their creations. It is crucial for them to enhance their artistic techniques while simultaneously building their notoriety through effective marketing.

In business, marketers aim to reach their target customers and establish brand or personal recognition using various techniques, such as the marketing mix or the 4Ps. The 4Ps encompass product, price, promotion, and place. In this article, we will dig deeper into this concept to assist you, as an emerging artist, in reaching your target audience and securing new opportunities.

Digging Deeper into the 4 P’s:



As an emerging artist, it’s important to know what you are selling exactly and what makes your offering different or special compared to others in the market.

For your artwork to be recognized, improved upon, and compared to others, you’ll need to meet and build relationships with fellow artists, participate in exhibitions, engage potential customers, land opportunities in residency programs, and compete for awards.

We’ve consulted top experts, who recommend emerging artists explore the following opportunities to level up their artwork: Biennial of Contemporary African Art in Dakar, Senegal (from May 16th to June 16th, 2024), the Norval Sovereign African Art Prize, Access Art Prize in Nigeria, Art Moves Africa, and Gallery 1057 award.

The more you put yourself out there, the more you’re going to learn, develop your network, land more opportunities and improve your technique.



Putting the right price for your artwork is crucial for a sustainable business and building your notoriety. In the business world, there are many ways to set a price for a product or service. Let’s dig into them.

The first and most straightforward one is to determine how much it costs you to produce the artwork by adding together what it costs to make the goods you’re selling. This should include the costs of raw materials and the time spent for production and applying a margin to that cost. This technique is widely used in the industrial sector to set the pricing for goods. Van Gogh most probably used this technique to sell his unique artwork during his life.

His sister-in-law used another technique which is value-based pricing. This means, your pricing is not set through a rational computation, but rather through the customer’s perceived value of a product or service. This pricing strategy can only be applied if your value proposition is clear, quality is high, and notoriety is good.

4 Tips to Set a Fair Price:

  • Use a formula. Compute the cost of production through this formula: (hourly wage x hours spent) + cost of materials.
  • Consider intermediaries such as galleries. they usually take a commission out of a sale, so make sure that the price after commission is good for you.
  • Take your market into account. If you started your career as an emerging artist, make sure the price you set is within the range applied in your market for similar productions. 
  • Define your notoriety. The artwork of a well-known artist doesn’t cost the same as the artwork of an unknown artist. To be able to sell Van Gogh’s artwork for millions of dollars, Jo published his letters to his brother and loaned his artwork for exhibitions. Little by little, people got fascinated by his life, and his artwork increased in value due to the increased demand and the limited artworks available.



Promoting yourself, your artwork and your style is crucial to land a sale. Luckily, this part is more and more accessible for emerging artists post-covid. With us being confined during the pandemic, the way we used to consume art shifted towards the digital space. This shift brought with it a new audience, the one who fears crowded space and prefer looking at art from the comfort of their homes.

Online platforms to be conquered by emerging artists are numerous. Among them, we can site Instagram and Pinterest for social media, websites, and newsletters, as well as specialized online Art Platforms such as Latitudes Online, and Artsy. While the urge to be on all of them may invade you, you must prioritize those you should be on.

3 Questions to Ask Yourself:

  • Which platforms do you like engaging with daily?
  • How much time and budget do you have to dedicate to those platforms?
  • Who do I target to see and buy my artwork?

If you’ve answered those questions, you’re free to create your account on this platform and get started to reach your target audience. To do this, make sure your name is consistent through the different platforms, have high-resolution photos of your art at hand, a well-put-together bio in a short and long version, and clear details of your artwork (pricing, technique, dimensions, etc.). A bonus tip is to have your artwork in situ to help your audience see how your artwork will look in their room.



Deciding where you’re going to showcase and sell your artwork is another important component to escalate the ladder as an artist. Loading the artwork of Van Gogh for exhibitions contributed to increasing its value, and notoriety.

The initial step in identifying the right place is to familiarize yourself with the key players in the African art ecosystem, establish connections with them, and comprehend their operations. Fortunately, we live in a world where information is readily accessible with just a click. To connect with relevant individuals, social media platforms like LinkedIn can be instrumental. A quick method for discovering interesting people involves using the search bar on LinkedIn. Simply input keywords and filter the results by location. For instance, if you're seeking an art curator or a museum curator, you would use a search query like: "art curator" OR "museum curator" (words between "*" represent your keywords, and you can use logical words such as AND, OR, NOT to refine your search). This approach can be replicated on various social media networks based on your target audience and objectives. In Africa, the ecosystem is primarily composed of active and significant players, including museums, with the most prominent ones located in Benin, South Africa, and Madagascar. Additionally, there are art curators and critics, noteworthy galleries like Gallery 1957 in Accra, Ghana, and art residencies such as the International Studio and Curation Program (ISCP).

Some opportunities might not be visible to you, so make sure to also use different approaches such as attending exhibitions and connecting with guests applying for programs (residency, fellowship, etc.) and building your online presence. Doing this will allow you to understand where your audience is, and how and where to market your artwork.

We hope this gives you the resources needed to make your artwork visible to the world. Share your thoughts and tips in the comments below; we’d love to hear from you soon!

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