What's especially smart about this set-up, is when you go to the link the artist features, you find his personal work -- amazing, compelling photographs..... not the little tourist art on his display. The link rewards an audience that is curious about artists and art. Win-win!!
What I found very astute about what this artist was doing was the way he was juggling both sides of his art work-life. Yes, he was doing the street art, knocking off little canvases to fill a niche in the tourist market. But he was also using that art to spark some interest in his personal work. He was using the tourist art as a bridge to connect followers to work that he valued more.
You build that loyal following of clients who are invested in you. That's not just "likes" and "shares." That's financial support. They learn your story, support your vision, and will spend money every year on your work.
Do the math.
If you live in an expensive city, are free lance having to self-fund your benefits, and especially if you have dependents.. you may need $100,000 a year. That feels like an impossible goal...
But look at the problem another way.... can you market your art to attract 1,000 clients who will spend $100 a year on your art.
The possibilities can become realities.
You have to see the business opportunities.
At the end of our chat, I insisted on paying a token amount for his time and the permission to take the photos. I told him I didn't want to just take photos and not pay for them... that I wanted other tourists to see that I wasn't just taking the photos without compensating him somehow for his work. He would only accept my money if I accepted a painting in return. I fear I didn't pay him enough given how much I really enjoy that little painting...... Meanwhile.. I encourage all of you reading this to check out his Instagram.
His photography there is AMAZING!!! He deserves an exhibition for the images is producing.
And these little canvases could lead a larger audience to his valuable personal work.