Many artists feel that they lose creativity if they begin changing their artwork for the marketplace and give up what makes them fulfilled as an artist. I recommend doing some soul searching on what makes you happy.
Why not find a market that wants what you have to offer? Now, you may be saying that's exactly what I want to do! Well you're going to need to do some research again. The word "research" sometimes sends chills down peoples's spines for it means work. Not hard work, but it does take some work. But this work can pay off handsomely in the long run. Here is some suggestions on how to do some market research:
1. Go to your local public library and ask your librarian if they carry a reference book by SRDS called Lifestyle Analysis. This book will give you a wealth of information on lifestyle interests of people across the country (USA that is). If you are viewing this article outside the US, see if there is a similar guide in your library. This guide breaks down about 75 different interests that people have, where they are located, how popular it is in various areas, etc. By doing this before diving head into a series of pieces you will discover if you have a "buying market" where you are planning to sell your pieces. I am not telling you to design around the interest level of the area (although you could) but to find out if there is an interest in your type of work.
2. Do research using search engines such as www.google.com to see if there is an interest in your type of art and subject media. How many search results come back? Are there alot of advertisers competing for the "sponsored ads" on the sides of the pages? This will indicate that people are willing to pay for this traffic and there is a demand for this art.
3. Go to local art shows and see if other "like or similar" artists are successfully selling their work. If you are not timid go up to the artist and introduce yourself and engage in conversation. If you approach them in a friendly manner, many will be happy to share with you what has been working well for them and if the art is being bought. If you do not feel comfortable going up to the displaying artist, then watch from a distance and see if people are visiting their booths or walking right by. Are people stopping and looking or not even paying attention? Take notes! Look what people are carrying away from the art shows...paintings, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry...etc.
4. Go to galleries and local stores that would carry the type of work you create. Look for what is selling for them and what doesn't. Ask the salespeople what people buy and what they ask for. Once again you need to ask if you want answers.
These are some methods for finding out what is selling in your area and what is not. Now back to what I originally said...don't change for the marketplace. You may not want to change but just realize that after doing the above research, if you find that your form of art is not being sought in the art marketplace you may have to get more creative in your marketing. How can you create a market for your work? How can you make prospective buyers want what you have to offer? I tend to try to create my work with this in mind. What can I create that satisfies my needs as an artist yet meets the buying market. There can be a happy medium.
If your work does not have a ready and knowledgeable buying audience, you may be sitting on pieces for a while. My last suggestion is to do an art show and survey people that go by on their viewpoint in regards to your art. What do they like about it? What does it communicate to them? Is it something that they would want to own? What would make them want to own it? Why don't they like it? What they would like to see you make? Take your results and evaluate. Can you adapt or do you need to create the interest level? Compromise is not a bad thing...is it?
Art Marketing Resources: Advice for Marketing Art
Tips & Tutorials for Artists