As an artist, you should always have business cards with you – and this article will help you to make the most of them with these business card ideas and tips.
If you are working on your art part time and have another type of “day job” with business cards that relate to that profession or role, unless you’re at a social event that relates to that role or profession, use your artist business card whenever meeting new people.
Even if you’re a hobbyist or part-time artist. Even if you’re an introvert. Even if you don’t think others will like your art.
CRITIC: The critic would dwindle your confidence, pointing out the various reasons that an artist business card is useless.
MUSE: Your inner muse knows better (listen closely!) and wants you to shine as brightly as possible, and you can’t do that without building your confidence enough to take some risks.
If you’re serious about increasing visibility as an artist, you need to embrace your identity as an artist and break through any hesitation or fears about getting yourself “out there.”
So now that that’s clear, here are some creative business card ideas for making the MOST out of your networking.
- Use a unique size (but not larger than wallet-size – maximum size should be 3 1/4″ x 2 1/2″)
Printing unique sizes is more widely available these days, but it may cost a bit more. I’m a fan of a standard business card size, but a non-traditional size will stand out, so that can be a plus. The downside is that because it stands out, it may not be kept with the person’s other business cards and may get lost in the shuffle of trying to figure out what to do with it. Weigh the pros and cons of an odd size and choose what suits you and your style best.
- Include a head shot
Including a head shot makes a visual impression beyond your art – it reminds them what you look like and may trigger memories of any conversations you had when first meeting. If you use the same photo you have on any social media accounts or your blog or website, that’s even better for face recognition.
- Include your signature
Since your signature is something that is added to your artwork (traditionally), it’s a great item to include on your business card for branding your signature image.
- Include your name, basic contact information, website/blog, and social media handles — Do not include home address…use PO Box, studio address, or just city/state/region
- You can include a title (such as “figurative artist” or “visual artist” or “artist/blogger” or something along those lines), though depending on your overall card design, it may not be necessary if one can look at your card and KNOW you’re an artist based on the overall card content and design
- Include a photo of your art
Use an image that seems to best represent your artistic style and include it either on the front or back of the card. When reducing the image, ensure that the quality is not compromised too much, and if so, choose an image that looks better when reduced.
- Use front and back
I’m a HUGE fan of printing on both sides of your business card. It doesn’t cost much more and it’s valuable real estate to put to maximum use. One idea is to print the following two lines of text on the back, leaving room under each to write something in:
Where we met: (then when meeting, you can write in the social event or venue where you met)
Follow up: (what do you want to happen next? Write it down when giving them your card…maybe just “keep in touch!” or “let’s meet for coffee soon” or “let’s discuss ways to collaborate” or anything you would like to see as a follow up to meeting)
- Keep it clean and clear – not too cluttered and use easy to read fonts
Simplicity and readability are key, as well as brand recognition.
- Do NOT use gloss for the back side
You’ll want to use the back side for notes (see number 7 above) and gloss makes that challenging.
- Make the card itself something really unique to showcase your creativity. While many online printers only offer traditional style business cards, services like Moo.com offer more interesting choices, such as the ability to have a different image on each card with their “Printfinity” feature…and for an artist, that’s a fabulous idea! Imagine pulling out a small stack of business cards, each with an image of your art, and asking the person you’re handing it to which one they’d like to have. It’s like a small portfolio, and this option is offered at no extra charge through Moo.com. With a creative slant, you’re limited only by your imagination (well…and budget if you’re looking to do something really off the beaten path from a printing perspective.)
- Include a call to action (visit my blog at or visit the studio)
- Give cards to family and friends and ask them to share with anyone who may have an interest
- When you give a card to someone, ask for a card in return (or phone number or email address or some way to follow up).
- If the person seems open and friendly, consider giving them more than one card and ask them to pass along to anyone they meet who may be interested (especially if you know them to be socially well-connected with either other artists or potential art buyers).
- Always have business cards with you and share them freely.
Be sociable and remember that anyone you meet is someone who could be an artist, potential art buyer, perhaps connected to either group, or someone who can help you connect to others to inspire you, learn from, collaborate with, or any number of things.
The more you put yourself out there, the more opportunities will arise.
Want more tips like these? The C&M Insider’s Newsletter will keep you informed and inspired.
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