Launch your art career!

Learn how to establish yourself in the competitive art industry with our professional white paper. We speak to the artists and experts to give you the advice you need to succeed and achieve your dream.

launching your professional art career

Part of the Halcyon Fine Art Group, Washington Green Fine Art is the UK’s leading art publisher. We have helped hundreds of talented artists from around the world develop their professional careers and become established within the contemporary art market. Since launching in 1986, we have specialised in publishing limited edition collections by an array of artists, from Bob Dylan and Ronnie Wood to Raphael Mazzucco and Alex Echo. ABOUT WASHINGTON GREEN FINE ART

Artworks we publish are sold through our subsidiary, Castle Fine Art, and by other independent fine art retailers worldwide.

ABOUT THIS GUIDE Establishing yourself in the art world is no easy feat. Even if you boast a first-class education from the best art school in the nation, success isn’t always guaranteed, and many aspiring artists underestimate the challenges they’ll face when going it alone in the industry. This guide offers you an exclusive look at the workings of the fine art publishing world from one of the biggest players in the game. It’ll address the roadblocks encountered by contemporary artists trying to make a break in today’s market, as well as providing unique insight from publishing experts and artists on how, with the right support, you can pave the way towards a flourishing career.


A ‘record label’ for the art world

Fine art publishers represent and invest in talented visual artists, nurturing their careers and helping them to expand their collector bases.

We get your work ‘out there’

Publishers take an artist’s original works and translate them into fine quality collectable limited editions, making them accessible to a wider audience.

You create the art; we take care of the rest

Finding the time to create in between self promoting and building your brand can become a juggling act. Publishers take away the admin, allowing artists to spend all their time on what they enjoy – making art.

The best art is often where you least expect it

they could be missing out on a huge opportunity and shooting themselves in the foot, so to say. You can sell to the masses and not lose credibility, just look at Damien Hirst.”


“As a publisher, you often don’t know what you’re looking for in a new artist until you see it. It’s important that we’re open-minded and don’t rule anything out. Sometimes great quality art is found where you least expect it. For example, I encourage artists to keep hold of the work they’re going to throw in the bin – often it’s the best stuff because they’ve painted it for themselves without overthinking it or holding back.”


Help can go a long way

“There’s no doubt that establishing yourself as a successful commercial artist without any help can be done, but for many new talents, building credibility and a strong presence on your own can be tough. You have to find the hours to create enough work, often whilst holding down a separate part or full-time job, alongside networking and promoting your art. You also have to take into consideration the costs, from framing to buying supplies, hosting events and even creating your own brochures. “In contrast, we work with our artists on a retained basis. We help them find a studio and we support them throughout their formative years because it’s in our interest to make them as successful as we possibly can. We can protect them – we don’t let their work go to the wrong place. It’s a partnership. We’ve got to make sure our artists are well and happy.”


Education isn’t everything


“Having come from an art college background myself, I know that to be a great artist, it doesn’t matter if you have an education or you’re self-taught. Anybody can be taught to paint, but you can’t be taught to have a great vision of what you’re going to put down on canvas. That’s what makes an artist.”



You are your only limit

“Half of the time artists just need to be told ‘it’s okay to do that’, and to be given the freedom and encouragement to really express themselves. An artist is only limited by their own imagination, and having the ability to break through that barrier is what truly sets a great artist apart from the rest.”

Glyn Washington has lived and breathed the contemporary art scene for more than 30 years, representing and nurturing some of the finest artists and sculptors in the world. Here, he shares the things that really matter when it comes to forging your art career…


You should never give up too easily

“The best thing you can do as a new artist is paint, paint, paint. Put yourself out there and be proactive. Visit art fairs and don’t be afraid to speak to other artists and immerse yourself in their work. Study the market and identify your own niche. It may be cliché but most importantly, don’t give up. I view hundreds of art submissions every week and, just because something may not be right for us at this moment, doesn’t mean it won’t be in the future. Many of our artists were just about to quit in the months before we spotted them, but through being persistent have gone on to become best sellers.”


Being published can be life-changing

“I will always be in support of the commercial art business – publishing is not a dirty word. Some people think working with a publisher is detrimental to your career, you become commercial and essentially ‘sell out’, but over the years we’ve helped a lot of artists change their lives. Only a select number of artists trying to get their work into museums and public galleries will be successful and, by ruling out commercial gallery representation,



Robert Oxley was signed to Washington Green in 2015

and has since gone on to become one of our bestselling artists.

“Before becoming a published artist I worked many different jobs, always painting every day. From 2010 to 2015 I quit all work to live as an artist. With or without money, I didn’t care. I took part in local art shows, joined art communities and entered as many nationwide competitions as I could afford. I also sent my work to publishers and contacted hundreds of galleries worldwide. I didn’t get rejected, I got ignored. “Fast forward, and since being signed by Washington Green in 2015, I’ve benefited in so many ways. First and foremost, Washington Green has a large network of galleries on the high street which my work is sold through. They also support me with my marketing and promotion and they print my work. The printing is huge for me – I couldn’t do it alone. If I had to do it all I wouldn’t produce enough work to have anything to promote. My programme manager Holly has been a tremendous support. She knows my work well and has encouraged my growth from day one. “The evolution of my work isn’t wholly down to me - it’s a group effort between Washington Green, the clients, the gallery staff and myself. “Being signed is the biggest achievement of my career. Since then I’ve enjoyed many things from working with a big cat sanctuary to meeting collectors (and actually having collectors!). I’ve enjoyed proving the people wrong who said I would never make it – it’s a great feeling. Seeing my work in galleries and in print for the first time was emotional. “When trying to make it as a full-time artist, selling your work and making enough money from it is a huge challenge. A lot of artists end up creating art as a hobby because they can’t get any exposure. To those people, I’d say try and get some money from local council groups, get your name and work out there to publishers and, until then, do like me and find a partner who loves the idea of living with a struggling artist! “Stay connected to your dream. Try to develop your own style and don’t fall into the trap of making a facsimile of what’s already out there. Also, you have to love what you’re doing so much that even when it frustrates you, you still want to do it.”


Holly Rackham is an artist programme manager at Washington Green and has been managing Robert Oxley since he first came on board. She has witnessed Robert’s art career go from strength to strength. “I would describe my relationship with Robert as a partnership. I’ve been involved in his career from the very beginning so he will often use me as a sounding board for new ideas and concepts. I help him navigate through projects, new collection launches and gallery appearances. I take care of all the logistics so he can focus on what he does best – creating stunning artwork. “When Robert submitted his work it immediately caught my attention. There is so much wildlife art out there but Robert takes natural history painting in a new direction by giving his work a psychedelic feel, and his art is unlike anything else I’ve seen. “As his publisher we’re not the only ones enamoured by Robert and his talent - galleries and clients alike can’t seem to get enough of him. Since joining us, he has had the chance to exhibit his work in galleries nationwide, which in turn has helped him build a great, loyal client base. He’s now one of our most sought after artists. “Since becoming a published artist, Robert has had the time to refine his style and techniques, but one thing that remains unchanged is his enthusiasm for his subject matter, and this is what makes him really stand out. He is just as passionate about wildlife as he is about his craft. Whilst his work has changed over the years, Robert has kept hold of the trademark style that makes his paintings instantly recognisable. “He creates artwork that is consistent but still fresh, and this is key to having a sucessful publishing career.”



“You have to find a gallery staffed by professional, knowledgeable, friendly and enthusiastic people and for me this is Castle Fine Art.” - Jeff, Castle Fine Art customer


Over the last 30 years we’ve established ourselves as a reckoning force within the art publishing world. Skilled and talented people work across our business to ensure our artwork is presented to the highest quality and promoted to the right audience. Here’s how we could help you…


Our artists’ work is sold by Castle Fine Art, our network of 36 galleries across the UK, as well as through a number of national and international trade galleries, giving them access to a broad and diverse collector base. Gallery staff receive regular and extensive training about the artwork they sell and have personal relationships with collectors. Their awareness of collectors’ likes and dislikes allows them to showcase individual artwork to the people who will appreciate it most.

“It’s the attention to detail that makes our frames stand out. You only have to see the skills of our craftsmen and the care they put into their work to appreciate that.” - Tim Goodwin, Operations Director


As an artist you’re essentially your own brand and, in order to get people to buy into you and your work, your message needs to be clear and consistent. Our Marketing & Design department functions as an internal agency, providing a full service support to our artists. From exhibition catalogues and social media campaigns, to bespoke invitations for gallery appearances and building features about our artists into the internally produced biannual magazine, Fine Art Collector , they handle it all


Every piece of art we sell is mounted, glazed and framed by hand, with our bespoke framing service selected by our dedicated team. We work closely with FSC accredited suppliers to ensure our frames are sustainable to protect the environment. Having our own in house creative teams saves a lot of cost and time. An artist working independently would have to vet suppliers or go out and buy the frames themselves, which can be quite time consuming and overwhelming. Our creative teams are well versed in knowing which frames work best for which artwork. Often, the right frame can add a subtle but important change to the overall finish of the artwork.


Sometimes it’s not just what you know, it’s who you know. This is why we have a dedicated PR team with a wealth of media contacts who ensure news of artists’ work and exhibitions lands in front of the right people. From The Times to the BBC and GQ Magazine, our artists have enjoyed spreads in some of the most read publications nationwide.


Printing encompasses more than merely putting ink on paper. Our knowledge and experience means we know which medium works best for each of our artists. Our creative teams are often working on developing new techniques, adapting printing technologies originally intended for other applications to fine art production. We also benefit hugely from the inputs of our external suppliers whose varying expertise and technologies are all brought together to provide us with a multitude of options for the way we present our art.



Each of our artists are assigned a manager who provides a wealth of support, from developing personalised publishing schedules and curating shows, to sharing creative direction and, importantly, handling time-consuming admin. If there is anyone as invested in our artists’ success as they are, it’s their managers.

We encourage the artists we work with to go out and forge relationships with the people who buy their work through our events programme, which sees them regularly take part in ‘meet the artist’ appearances, offering them the chance to visit galleries and network with their collectors.

“As artist managers it’s our duty to ensure that all our artists have to do is create, so we take care of everything else. Aside from looking after the day to day, we act as a general support and sounding board, often forging close and valuable working relationships. “Spending all day alone in your studio can be quite lonely and isolating for some, so often something as simple as a quick chat about what an artist is up to can make a world of difference.” – Demelza Morrow


There’s a common misconception that artists who sign with a publisher aren’t afforded the chance to exhibit at esteemed museums, but this isn’t the case at all. We strongly believe in supporting our artists in any goals and dreams they may have, and a number of our artists have gone on to exhibit at prestigious museums around the world, from Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and The Great North Museum, to Titanic Belfast, Manchester Central Library and Leeds City Museum.

“With my work being quite time-consuming and costly to produce, there’s no way I could do it without the help of my publisher.” – Dan Lane, artist


Please send samples of your work along with a covering letter or CV to: Art Review c/o Holly Rackham Washington Green Fine Art Publishing Company Ltd Unit 15 Spitfire Park, Spitfire Road, Birmingham, B24 9PR, UK You can send samples in any of the followng formats: - On disk (JPEG images) - Colour photographs - Colour laserprints - Transparencies or Slides PLEASE DON’T SEND ORIGINAL ARTWORK and ensure all samples are clearly marked with your name and contact details.

SUBMITTING YOUR ART We strive to support and encourage both our existing and new artists and are always on hand to offer advice, support or direction whenever it’s needed. We’re always looking to discover the next generation of talent and actively encourage new artists to submit samples of their work for consideration.

BY EMAIL Please email artreview @ and attach samples as low resolution jpegs, alongside an up to date CV or some general background information.

We look forward to seeing your submissions.

Glyn Washington, creative director Holly Rackham, artist programme manager Demelza Morrow, artist programme manager Dan Lane, artist

Robert Oxley, artist Matt Johnson, design

For more information on anything raised above please contact

Cover artwork Artist: Plume | Title: Conclave

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