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How Selling Calligraphy Can Get You to Your Heart's Desire

Like most artists we have to pay for life’s running cost, so we have a full-time or part-time job. Not saying a day job is bad, but wouldn’t you be happier creating Calligraphy, sumi-e or anything else you love and get paid to do it? Hopefully these tips will provide you with some ideas on how to better promote your work and attain your dream.

1. Do great work: Remember that quality does matter. If you want people to purchase your work, make it worth purchasing. Practice your craft as an artist; Experiment, try different types of the brushes, inks and paper as but one example. See what results. If the affect speaks to you and makes you more creative, go with it.

2. Create the unusual: Make your work stand out by thinking outside of the box. You have over 20,000 plus different Kanji to play with and combine, but most people pick the same characters repeatedly, e.g. Dragon. With Sumi-e the sky is the limit. Examples of artists that think outside of the box, Yoshiteru Otani, Simon Silaidis or Kaoru Akagawa.

3. Blog your Calligraphy/Sumi-e: If you have a blog, post your best pieces of work and use other services like Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, you name it. If you do not have a blog, write a guest post or offer to do an interview with an online site. When you do post tell people about it and share the post.

4. Participate in the community where you post your work: Get to know people if they live in your area. The bond created when meeting in person is stronger than email or the comments people write about your or their work. Make it personal.

5. Document: Always write a description of your calligraphy/sumi-e/art. Many people just do not take the time to do this. If there is only one thing you get from this post make it this. This might be one of the most important things one can do to have their work found and sold. Let’s say you have a dragon work for sale, give a full description beginning with title, size, medium. Add details to further inform. What style is the kanji, did you combine an image of a dragon with something else, was the image used or available for tattoo or is it fine art? What kind of ink and paper did you use? Is it mounted or not? Was it custom work? Be detailed but let the work speak for itself without writing your own praising description.

figure_7_why_the_world_would_end_without_stroke_orders_todUndMaedchen

Kana de l’Art® by Kaoru Akagawa
Title: Id, Ego and Super-ego
Frame Size: 100cm x 100cm
The text in this image is the notes of the “The String Quartet No. 14 in D minor”, known as “Death and the Maiden” by Franz Schubert interpreted into Japanese syllables.

If you begin to regularly work on doing all of the above, you can indeed get to your heart’s desire.

Posted in

Dave Gosine

Dave Gosine is the founder of Beyond Calligraphy an e-magazine exploring particular aspects of calligraphy around the world.

2 Comments

  1. Mohsen Pakari on 13/05/2014 at 04:13

    Hello,
    I am a master of Persian Calligraphy, “Nastalik”, wanna know can you help me to sell my works or exhibit my calligraphy works?

    Best
    Mohsen

    • Dave Gosine on 13/05/2014 at 14:06

      Dear Mohsen,

      We would be happy to help you. Please use our contact us form so we can start a conversation.

      Best
      Dave

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