I recently designed, painted, and launched my first collection of artwork and this seemed like the perfect time to share how I went about this. As usual, I hope my journey inspires you to not only create, but put your creations out there with confidence.
So let's dive into this!
What is an art collection?
Broadly speaking, an art collection is a set of works that are connected or tied together in some way. For example, my art collection is called The Rain Tree and all the paintings in this collection are inspired by this tree and the life it supports.
You can choose to define what an art collection means to you. You can decide what connects your work together, which can be anything from a colour, style, theme, inspiration, etc. For fine arts, anywhere between 5 and 25 paintings is a good number for a collection.
Why paint a collection?
As an artist, you are likely to be doing more than just painting to earn a living. For instance, I do commissioned projects, create content for social media, teach art, etc. This also means less focused time to just paint.
When you paint in collections, you will not only be able to build a solid body of artwork, it will also give you the opportunity to focus on painting or creating for a certain amount of time. If you are a beginner, this can also be a great way to understand yourself as an artist better by helping you define and establish your art style.
How to create an art collection?
The first step of course is finding your inspiration. This can be just about anything, eg: a moment in your life, an image, a mood, etc.
Once I found my inspiration, I put together a mood board. I used a digital platform called Milanote. You can also create a physical one. The mood board will basically be a visual representation of your inspiration. You can add colours, pictures, references, similar work from other artists, quotes, etc that you can go back to when you’re feeling a little lost or overwhelmed.
Once you’ve got this down you can start roughly sketching out your pieces and once you’re satisfied with what you’ve got, you can fine-tune it. While you’re doing this, you can also start thinking about the medium and style.
Now all you have to do is paint! I would recommend that you try and set aside large chunks of focused time for this. This way, you will not lose the flow and you will be fully immersed in your work. Once done, remember to varnish your work so that you can protect and preserve your work.
Finally, it’s time to think about packaging. You have to explore and choose how you are doing to get your artwork safely to your customer. But that is only one aspect. The other is giving your customer an experience in the process. You can add to their experience by adding a personalised note or a card, a certificate of authenticity, basically a little something extra to make them feel special and connected to you and your work.
Marketing your collection
Ideally, you should start building an audience for your work as soon as you have some structure. I did this when I started my rough sketches. I started building an audience for my collection by sharing my journey as I created my first collection on my social media. My aim was to get people excited and involved in the process so they look forward to the launch.
Another smart thing to do as you build a market for your art is to build an email list. I did this by creating a Collectors Club and I incentivised people to join it by promising early access to my collection. I also added to my email list through newsletter subscriptions, sign-ups for workshops and classes, etc. This helped me reach out and connect to my audience, and keep them engaged, updated, and interested in my work. So by the time I launched, I already had customers who were excited to make a purchase!
I hope this article helps and inspires you to create your own art collection and I’d love to hear all about it! Check out my art collection here and if you’d like to know more about how I went about it. If you’re a beginner or budding artist and you’d like some help figuring out what your style is before you jump into creating your collection, then check out this video!