You have a sales force right under your nose: your collectors.
The people who loved your art enough to buy it and live with it are your biggest fans and are probably itching to share your art with their friends, families, and colleagues.
Help them out!
Your first step to turn them into an art-selling brigade is to stay in touch with them. Sending email newsletters, private emails, postcards, and holiday and birthday cards keeps your name in front of them.
People are more likely to remember to recommend your art if you remind them that you’re still working in the studio.
Here are some ways you can make it easy for people to promote you and your art.
Suggest an unveiling.
Collectors are proud of their acquisitions, especially if it’s something they’ve commissioned. Gently suggest that they host an unveiling of your art.
With their friends in attendance, you can yank off the black fabric and give a little talk about the piece.
Be ready with business cards, brochures, or flyers about your work.
Have a show in a collector’s home.
Everyone likes to help out artists! If your collectors live in homes that
There’s too much art hiding in studios, basements, and garages.
If you have a problem with overflowing inventory, especially a lot of earlier art that you aren’t excited about showing, how about finding new homes for that work? At the same time, you’ll create room for new art, support a good cause, and earn income.
Organize a Fundraiser
Yep, I’m talking about a fundraiser.
Now before you cut me off because you think I’m going to tell you to donate your art, hang tight. Just the opposite is true because you’re going to make money on this fundraiser.
There must be a cause that is close to your heart: animals, the environment, education, an art center. Pick one and ask a nonprofit organization to partner with you.
This partnership is key because the organization should have a solid list
You know the type.
She attends your show and tells you what a wonderful artist you are. This makes you feel good. You’re happy for people to connect with your work this way.
She comes to the next opening and gushes in a way that makes you blush.
She raves repeatedly about your art. I love your work! she says.
Yet, she never buys. She’s implying, I love your art, but it’s not for me.
Exercise Your Courage Muscle
Who knows why people don’t buy. Maybe they don’t dig that yellow speck in the lower left. Or maybe they just emptied their bank account to pay for a root canal.
If not closing the sale is bothering you, maybe it’s time to exercise your courage muscle and ask the repeat fan why she’s not pulling out her
There are all kinds of opportunities for artists to show and to sell their work.
Your inbox probably has an email from a rich oil sheik in Qatar who wants to buy your art right now.
What do you do? How can you tell the good opportunities from those you should avoid?
My advice is always to trust first and to be cautious second and most importantly.
Janice McDonald, Helen Hiebert, and Alyson. Helen had a fantastic working experience with a Denver-area library that purchased her piece (above) titled The Wish.
As with everything in your art business, the onus is on you to verify all of the facts. Here’s how you do that.
Visit When You Can
Peruse online gallery sites for signs of business legitimacy and also to see the range of art they’re showing.
You are up to your eyeballs in unsold work!
What you’d really like to do is just get rid of it. It’s taking up your energy and you can’t afford to rent storage just for early work.
Deep Thought: What do you do with early work that hasn’t sold and no one seems to want?
How do you get rid of an inventory of reproductions, note cards, calendars, or anything else you no longer want to promote and sell? Have a sale! Here are some parameters for structuring your sale. Count your inventory.
You have to have thick skin and and iron stomach to endure the rejection and hard work that come with being an artist. Most artists weren’t born with this gene, but many of you have adapted. If you are missing the gene or haven’t been able to adapt to running an art business, there is no reason to feel like a failure.
If you are struggling with the thought of marketing your art, stop thinking about selling so much – share, don’t sell! Sharing is authentic and comes from your heart. You don’t have to be a salesperson or do anything that isn’t natural. All you have to be is confident in your work and enthusiastic about sharing it with others.
Papa didn’t care for any art other than his own and didn’t know the “rules” of the art world. Heck, he didn’t even know there was an art world! Getting into a gallery never entered his thoughts. He just drove around with a trunk full of sculptures to show to people.
To plunge into the Web’s round-the-clock marketplace is both daunting and compelling. It’s delicious to imagine prodigious sales allowing you to “Quit Your Day Job” so you can ship hoards of orders in your Dr. Denton’s and then glide into your studio to make more.