9 Ways to Make Your Art Stand Out! (Online & IRL)

9 Ways to Make Your Art Stand Out! (Online & IRL)

You know what I’m in the mood for?

Leaving you guys with some dope ways to expand your art into real-life and online situations. I’m talking about increasing your art presence so that people can see the amazing visuals you create!

Now before you start thinking of all the reasons why you think you can’t do this, read this list of common procrastination thoughts from my head:

Why is this important?

Why is this not important? Okay that came off a bit too aggressive. I’ll explain:

if a tree falls down in a forest and nobody's around to hear it, does it make a sound? It does...but since no one witnessed it, it virtually doesn’t have any sound.

Basically this silly analogy I've shamelessly made, ties in with you like this:

Without an audience, your art doesn’t exist to the world.

Your art is real of course and not a hypothetical fallen tree out in the middle of nowhere (AKA "in the cut"). 

I want your art to have a voice and to be acknowledged so that is what we’ll be working on today!



What If I don’t have an audience at all?

You can still try out these tips even if you “think” you don’t have an audience. Chances are you have at least one person in your life that knows about your creativity and is rooting for you!

Is advertising my work going to cost money?

There are an abundance of ways to advertise yourself without using money. You can grow your audience organically, AKA free. 

I don’t have a computer what should I do?

If you at least have a smartphone you will still be able to expand your art presence. Vayne Rebelle mainly uses his mobile devices to build his social media and online presence. (P.S. he does horror-themed abstract art / 80's Art and is also my boyfriend, check out his stuff ! ).

I’m more of an introvert so this is hard for me…

I feel you. I like to say that I’m a functioning introvert; I can be extrovert when I need to be but I’d much rather stay indoors with my turtle and popcorn than attend huge social events. I promise you, you can still be able to introvert and put yourself out there for your art. Baby steps!


1 | Tell your friends & family about what you’re going after


I touched on this a bit in 5 Steps to finding your client for your creativebiz but I’m going to go a bit deeper. These are probably the closest connections that you have in your life and I believe these people would be supportive to you.  

And even though I said “friends & family” apply this to whoever your “friends & family” are.

When you tell someone that cares about you what you are trying to do, they end up looking for ways to help you make that happen. Even if they don’t need the thing you’re selling, they will at least try to find someone who does. That’s when the referrals start happening.

Make it super easy for someone to pass along your info to someone else. Nesha Woolery has a post on a few email templates you can use to send to your folks about referring someone to you + more. I love them, you can read her post here

2 | Create an artbook to use as a catalog, portfolio or look-book.


If you run into the awkward moment of not having a sample of your art ready to show someone IRL (in-real life) that is interested in you then this should help solve that. An art book is a book full of art, self-explanatory I know.

Books like this focus on the visuals and sometimes contain captions about each piece in the book.

This one is mine! I made it during college mainly to collect all the art I did during my three years. When I started to sell my book at comic conventions it became a tool to inspire others. 

This is my art book The Syllestial Collection VOL. 1.  Want to learn a few ways to grow your art presence? Check out my 9 ways when you click through! >>


You can have your book serve as a catalog, look-book or a collection of recent work or anything you can think of really! Now if this project sounds like something you would like to do you are in luck.

I’m developing the How to Create an Artbook Over the Weekend and I’ll be releasing the free ebook to my art-hustlers first so sign up for the email list to be included in the pre-release!




3 | Pick a social media outlet to be your headquarters


You don’t always have to have a website to be known for your work. You do need a digital space that represents you when you aren’t around. You can use a social media account as your visual gallery until you feel ready to graduate to a website.

Instagram or Pinterest have become very effective ways to promote visual art and make honest connections with people at the same time! But don't take my word for it (Reading Rainbow plug) , there’s a ton of different media outlets to communicate with people.

But how do you figure out which one to use?

One approach is to look at your current followings on social media. Which ones have the most engagement with you (comments, meaningful interactions, likes)? 

4 | Offer a service for free or under $10 for a limited time


Now I’m not saying you should work for free but instead, offer something for free (or a small price) as a sample of what you can do.

Back in July a little something called the #stylechallenge and it became a trending hashtag on Instagram and resulted in giving me an extra 500 followers overnight. Cra-zy.

I did the first 3 for free as gifts and then began selling them for $10 each.

You can still grab one for yourself it you would like!

Those small intro projects led to bigger commissions afterwards! When you offer something for free or a low price put as much value into it as you would for a fully priced piece. The work you put into it will show so make it your best effort.

5 | Join an online community (or real-life)  and stay engaged with the group


Online places like Facebook Groups, DeviantArt and Twitter Chats can be great places to connect with like minded creatives and reach an audience that wants to find creatives like you.

I highly recommend taking a step or two outside of your art niche and join a group that promotes being a solopreneur, blogger, or a freelancer because many of the tips can be applied to your art career. For IRL groups you can see if your community does any Meet-ups for full-time artists or other groups related to what you do. You never know what you might find!

6 | Sign-up for a local art show in your town


This seems like a big step but I really think it’s an important one to try at least once. Maybe this is the kick-in-the-butt that you needed.

These art shows can be anywhere: schools, community centers, art exhibits, club venues, coffee shops, the list goes on.  Pick shows that you think your audience would be likely to attend.

Some shows may have fees to enter, others may ask for a commission fee should any of your artwork sell. For myself I tried out RAW ARTIST more than a few times, you can read about how I felt here.

The goal is make connections with the venues and producers of the art show. They’ll keep you posted on new events and recommend you to others for work.

7 |  Create a blog or vlog about behind-the-scenes of your studio


This would be a great way to not only share your artist experience with others but it will also give your audience a chance to engage with you. You know, see what being about the art life is like.

You never know who your art may touch so even just inspiring someone would be a fantastic win for you. When someone sees how much work you put into something , they know that any artwork coming from you will have that same effort.

Katie Jobling does a great job of creating studio updates ! She focuses on art tutorials and vlogging her life as an artist. 



Deluxds keeps up with her Twitter & Instagram followers by posting work-in-progress shots and let people experience her art journey with her. P.S. You should follow her and her art! 


I also appreciate that Jacquelin de Leon creates speed paints and photos of her works. P.S. She's amazing and has tutorials on her youtube page!

8 | Attend trade shows like comic-con, anime-con etc.


The first time I showed my art in a public space was the Pittsburgh Comicon back in 2013. I was honestly surprised at how well it went! I actually didn’t have any comic art at all and did on the spot commissions, sold my art book, posters of my fantasy art and little things like bookmarks & keychains..

I was the only person doing what I was doing and because of that I attracted people to me. (Ha I turned 21 in that photo, and the little person that looks like me is my sister Lexis, you can find her digital art here).

Another great thing is that the convention goers are going to remember you when time comes around again. If you happen to have Mailchimp this would also be a good way to collect emails on your iPad from people who are interested in your work so that you can stay in contact with them after the convention is over.

Oh and maybe you should take this expense chart so that you don’t go broke by accident. That rent isn't going to pay itself.


9 | Host Your Own Art Exhibition


I saved the best for last because I think you would really love to do this. I didn’t think this was possible until I watched a video about Shantell Martin and her talk about her life. She made her own opportunities and hosted her own art shows in any space she could.

You don’t need a fancy gallery space to show your work. You don’t need thousands or hundreds of dollars to spend on a gallery either. If you think this is the route for you then you might want to check out this post on 5 DIY ways to host your own art gallery.

So that’s what I have for you this week ! You can take any step in any order to help get your name out there, no rush to complete the list all at the same time! 

What are some real life or online ways that you have tried to self-promote your art? Let me know in the comments below. Peace out homies!