ARTIST APPLICATION

Artist Cindy Rashid dropping off her latest encaustic.

ARE YOU A PROFESSIONAL MICHIGAN ARTIST?

If you've been in to see our shop, you'll know that we exclusively feature artists and makers with Michigan roots. We take pride in offering our customers an incredible selection of fine art made by talented creatives in our home state. Our collection features a diverse range of artistic mediums and subject matters to appeal to our customers' varied tastes. 

When evaluating whether artists will be a good fit for Main Street Art, we look for originality & voice, consistency in themes and styles, skill, and professional experience. If you think that might be you, please fill out the form below. (If not, read our tips for budding artists in the next section!) We will review your website and get back to you. We can't wait to see your work!

ARE YOU A BUDDING MICHIGAN ARTIST?

We are a shop run by artists so we know how hard it is to get started in your art career! We want to make it easy for you by providing you with some ideas for how to polish your portfolio, find shows, present your work in galleries, etc. Here's a list of our do's and don'ts when marketing and selling your work. 

DO

  • Find your muse & your voice.
    Know what inspires you (i.e. nature, Michigan & simplicity) and how you want to express it (i.e. linocut prints of nature & Michigan scenes with limited color).
  • Specialize in one medium.
    Practice makes perfect and the more time you spend with one medium the brighter your work will shine. Large portfolios under one medium are easy to market and demonstrate your skill and passion. If you decide to make a switch into a new medium, try that as a hobby until you create enough consistent, skilled pieces to form a new portfolio.
  • Package your work professionally.
    Packaging will differ by medium, but here are some examples for 2D work: put wire on the back of frames, place prints inside of clear bags that fit the dimensions of your work, create business cards and artist statements to go on the back of your work and to pass out. 
  • Apply to juried art exhibits.
    Juried art exhibits are a great way to display your work and win awards. Start with free local ones and then branch out! Shows can easily be found at local art centers & non-profits, as well as online.
  • Build a website & social media presence.
    Showing your work in a gallery is a symbiotic marketing relationship. Galleries use your online presence to show off your credentials to their clients and you can use the gallery's online presence to direct people where to see your work in person.
  • Value your work appropriately.
    Learn how to price your work by researching online and asking other artists. Don't undervalue your work!
  • Seek out feedback & stay open-minded.
    While as artists we sometimes pour our heart and soul into a piece and rejection can sting, we always need to remember that art is subjective. Not all art vibes with all people, and not all art fits in all galleries, but that is okay. Every "no" is an opportunity just as every "yes" is.

DON'T

  • Spread yourself too thin thematically or stylistically.
    A portfolio with too wide a range of subject matters  & themes is a nightmare to market. Think of your portfolio as a brand. A Nike designer might love sewing evening gowns in her free time, but she wouldn't sell that at Nike.

    You might have a couple different themes or evolve from an impressionist to an abstract painter over time, but a large portfolio around a single theme is easiest for gallery representatives to speak to customers about to sell your work! 
  • Become a medium generalist.
    Artists are notoriously curious about other mediums and that's what makes us great! However, your galleries are going to want to depend on you for a specific type of work - the type of work you offered them originally.

    By all means try out new media at home as a hobby. When you've developed a complete portfolio under a new medium, then try to branch out and sell that work.
  • Sell your work for different prices in different locations.
    Inconsistent pricing looks unprofessional on you and looks like price gouging or devaluing on the part of galleries. Your prices need to be consistent across platforms, regardless of commission rates.

    Your are of course free to host your own promotional sales for holidays, pop ups & art fairs, marketing purposes.

ONLINE RESOURCES

  • LOCAL ARTS NON-PROFITS
    https://www.huronvalleyarts.org/
    https://milfordvfaa.org/
  • ART SHOWS & FAIRS
    https://www.callforentry.org/
    https://www.zapplication.org/
  • PACKAGING & PROMO MATERIALS
    https://www.uprinting.com/
    https://www.vistaprint.com/
    https://www.clearbags.com/

For more guidance, feel free to reach out with questions in the form below!