How others perceive you is based on four things: your art, yourself, the venues where you show and sell your art, and your marketing materials.
All of these are used in promoting your art. I have some ideas for how you can improve your image one step at a time. But first, let me ask you some questions about these four areas.
1. Your Art (and how you present it)
Do you have a recognizable style? Is your work “crafted” as best as it can be? Are your canvases sturdy?
Are you preparing your surfaces properly, or is everything going to fall apart in 5 years? Are your welded joints properly finished?
Are your mats perfectly cut? Are hanging devices properly attached? Do your pedestals have a clean coat of paint on them, or are they scuffed up? Are your display cases scratched?
Do you speak kindly of other artists and festival organizers? Are you generous or guarded?
Do you dress like a professional when you go out or do you find yourself embarrassed at the way you look when someone asks you about your art? Do you keep your word, meet deadlines, and follow through with projects?
3. Your Venues
Will you forever be known as The Coffee Shop Artist because you found a safe place to show your art and never left?
Or are your venues consistently improving? Did you build a site on Etsy.com and stop there?
4. Your Marketing Materials
Is your art always the most important part of your marketing, or have you gotten carried away with funky fonts and design elements?
Do your business cards, note cards, hang tags, and letterhead convey a consistent message? Do your website and blog promote the same message as the rest of your marketing materials?
FINAL WORD: Presentation is everything. Everyone has to start somewhere, but you also need to grow and improve. We get only one chance to make a first impression. Make yours count by spit shining your image in any or all of these four areas.