Traps and Tricks In Seeking Gallery Representation

Gallery representation is no longer the be all and end all for artists.These days we have so many different choices available to us when marketing our art. Even 10 years ago we did not have much choice. Traditionally the artist has to rely on the art gallery, or even further back in time the salon.

gallery representation,art gallery photo

Of course there are still bricks-and-mortar galleries, but an artist  no longer need rely on this one outlet for people to see their art.
Let’s make a list of places where your art can be seen, or sold from. This is by no means a closed list. In no particular order, these are some of the better known places you might display your work.

  1. Bricks and mortar Galleries
  2. Online galleries
  3. Facebook
  4. Twitter
  5. Instagram
  6. Pinterest
  7. Flickr
  8. Tumblr
  9. Your own website/gallery
  10. Ebay
  11. Etsy

There are so many different options now available, that it can often be difficult to decide which road to take.  Of course they all have different advantages or disadvantages associated with them.

Out of all these choices, however there is one that stands out as absolutely essential for the modern artist and that is number nine on the list.  You must have your own website. This is not really a choice in today’s world.  The first thing people who are interested in your work will do is google you.  If you don’t have your own piece of internet real estate, you will not generally be perceived as being professional and serious about your work. 

So even if you haven’t been painting long, this is something you can begin working on. Now you may ask, why can’t I just put my work on Facebook or some other online gallery?  Well you can certainly do that, however the risk with only relying on a space that someone else owns, is that if they decide to close that space, there goes your representation. I have exhibited in several galleries that no longer exist, one of which ran for over 20 years. There is more and more art being bought on-line these days, it is convenient and easy for buyers to research the artists they are interested in.

Also a space you control, can be set up to however you like.  You determine what happens in that space.

 

This Weeks Question: What are your top three choices for showing your art?

Look For Next Week’s PostMindset – How To Avoid The Minimalist Mindset Trap

impact.

Photo by Paul Stevenson

Art Is A Business

art is a business photo

 

Beginnings

Once a month I am going to be posting some thoughts on the idea that,  ‘Art is a Business’, including business tips, pitfalls to avoid and advice for artists. I am actually doing an artbiz course with Alyson Stanfield  at the moment and it will be fun to share some of the great takeaways with you. One of the biggest problems artists have generally, I believe, is to do with their mindset. Many of them find it difficult to make the transition from being a ‘hobby’ painter to becoming a professional artist.

Neglecting the necessary changes you must make to your mindset in regard to your art practice and the business side of things is always a big mistake. If you want to sell your art, then, like it or not, you are in ‘business’ and like any other professional business person, there are things you need to put in place. Art is a business, it is the business you are in.

So the place to begin is with your own mindset. Let’s look at some of the issues that need to be dealt with.

  • Firstly, what do you project into the world?  – Are you confident about your art work and your ability to sell it?
  • What kind of self talk do you engage in? Every time you express your negative thoughts and expectations about yourself, you are actually attracting that very thing back to your self.  Let’s say for example that you have a habit of saying things like 
    • I’m not  really an artist – who do I think I’m kidding
    • No one will want my art 
    • I’m not good enough to be asking money for my work
    • My arts not really worth anything
    • I’m not a sales person, I hate selling – I’m not pushy enough to be a sales person
    • I can’t sell and I’m terrible at marketing my work
  • All of the above things only bring you more of that. Instead try thinking about the whole art marketing thing form a totally different angle.

As Alyson puts it – “Will you define your self by your limitations and failings – or will you define yourself by your hopes and aspirations.?” Because you know what?  Either way you become a self-fulfilling prophecy and the question is how would you rather be?

 

success photo

 

This Weeks Question: What is your mindset around your art business?

Look For Next Monday’s Post: What’s happening in the studio this month?

 

 

Photo Credits: Gallery Photo –   tpsdave (Pixabay)

Phot of woman – PublicDomainPictures (Pixabay)

 

Art Marketing

Art Marketing – Your own business

Art Marketing is something you can’t get away from if you are an artist. There are so many different aspects to it and I will be covering some of them in this and up coming posts. I guess the first thing you need to decide is how seriously you really want to get into selling your art.  Only you can decide that.  However, having decided that yes, you’d like to be able to make some money from your creative endeavours – whether you are a painter, sculptor writer or what ever, the second most important thing to recognize is, that if you are going to be successful at this then you are creating / starting your own business.

art marketing - exhibition photo

 

For some of you this is not what you are going to want to hear.  Fortunately or unfortunately depending on how you look at things, it is no longer enough to just have a couple of galleries to show your work, or a publisher willing to publish your book.  We live in the age of social marketing and self promotion  and even if someone takes you on, they will be expecting you to do your bit too.  This of course means a lot of different things depending on how ‘successful’ you wish to become.  Here are some questions to think about.

  • What business are you in?
  • Who is your customer – is it The Gallery, the person in the street – Who????
  • Does your product have its own fingerprint?
  • How much time can you spend marketing your work?
  • How much time should  you spend marketing your work?
  • Do you have a marketing plan?

In future posts I will go into some of these thorny questions and hopefully throw a bit of light on the subject for you.

This week’s question: What business are you in?

Look For Thursday’s Post: Wardrobe cancelled for Breaking News ……!!!!!!

Next Monday’s Post: What is a fingerprint?…..

Posted By: Kadira Jennings

 

Photo by jmmcdgll

Guerilla Marketing For Artists – a review of Barney Davey’s book.

Barney Davey has many years experience in the art print market and has held workshops in art marketing.  This book ‘ Guerilla Marketing For Artists’ outlines a different approach for artists to selling their work in today’s diverse art selling ground. This book is well worth the small investment of buying it, if you are considering selling your art.

These days we are fortunate because there are many different avenues that we can use to market our work. Barney’s book looks at how art marketing has evolved over recent years.  He discusses how the internet has made a huge difference to methods of buying and selling art and discusses the importance of every artist having their own website.

When it comes down to it, business practices have changed in recent years for everyone.  With the advent of social media, it has become more important than ever to develop a relationship with your buyers and collectors.  This has both advantages and pitfalls for the artist  and ‘Guerilla Marketing For Artists’ covers this in chapter 7 – Marketing You.

If you want to sell your art then you need to understand what business you are in, what you are selling to people and why you are your own best promoter.

If you are looking for help in the area of selling your work, Barney’s book is a great place to begin. Below is a link to Barney’s book if you’d like to get it.

This Week’s Question: Do you have a plan for selling your work?

Next Thursday’s Post: Songs Of The Sea

Next Monday’s Post: The Calling To Create

Posted By: Kadira Jennings

Now here’s a subject to make even the more resilient of artists, blanch and go weak at the knees, never mind the newbie.  Why are we so afraid of selling do you think? Well, come to think of it, it’s not necessarily about selling is it?  More often than not it’s about just even showing our work.  It’s so confronting, so challenging emotionally.  Now why would that be? Well for one thing we have a lot invested in the whole thing. For some its the cost of the materials – the time and effort and feeling we can’t charge enough to get all that back. Rather more than this however, it is about the investment of ourselves.  When we put a painting on show, there is always that questioning of our self-worth.

  • Is it good enough?
  • Who, me exhibit… I couldn’t possibly, I mean I’m not really an artist ……am I?
  • Will anybody like it?
  • Will anybody like it enough to buy it
  • And then if they do – oh .. I don’t think I can possibly part with it – look at all the time and effort I put into it, it’s my baby.
Exhibition

Let those babies go

 

Our art works are our children – they are creations that we put a lot of time and effort into. However like all children, at some point we must let them go.

I think that many of the things Kahil Gibran said about children can be related to our art –

“Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.”

As do our art works.  And this ………….

“You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.”

Our creations are made to be released into the world, to be shared with others so our unique vision may be shared with the world

This weeks Question: What artworks haven’t you let go of yet that you could?

Next Week Look For: What makes an artist successful?

 

Get Adobe Flash player