Sunday, June 22, 2014

How do you feel about selling your work? Part 2!

River Path, Oil 12x36" at Magnolia Gallery, in Greensboro, GA

Where are you showing your work?

In Part 1, I mentioned many different places I show my work: Facebook, Pinterest, a personal blog, Daily Paintworks, Etsy, Fine Art America, art organizations, other on-line sites. I use all of these! But, there are many more. 

Let's start with galleries

Are you in a gallery? If you are not, is it something you want to pursue? It does require a bit of "thick skin" to send your portfolio to galleries, or to call them and ask their procedure for submitting your work to them for consideration. Is there a gift shop that you think is appropriate for your work, or some other retail location that wants your work. Do you have friends that have mentioned your work might fit wonderfully in "thus and such" location? Follow up on these leads. Do not get caught up in someone else saying, "I won't show except in a gallery." Do what is best for you. 

So, where else can you physically show your work with a chance for it to sell?

Think outside the box ... an over used expression, but very good advice. Be creative about where! Do you paint horses? So, put them in a place that caters to people that own horses, and where they purchase the paraphernalia that goes along with owning or riding horses! Dog portraits, same thing ... where do dog lovers go? Flowers ... how about a flower shop, or a nice nursery that has gifts? Are you beginning to see where I am going with this?

Have a home show ... your home, or the home of a friend. Make it a party. Make it about the connections you or your friend has. Have little note cards with images of your work on them as door prizes, or gift to attendees. Think of a way to "give" as well as wanting people to purchase! Offer to install the piece for them if they purchase! Take a photo of it hanging, give them a Certificate of Authenticity, and provide them with a receipt ... all this so they can give it to their insurance company to prove the insurance value. Added value is a big deal right now to many people.

The painting above was painted this year, and is going to a gallery this week. 

It was first shown at my solo show in Blue Ridge, GA in April. When I brought it home, I submitted it to the Oil Painters of America Eastern Regional, but it was not accepted. So, I have taken steps to have it seen, and hopefully place it in position for a potential sale! It is being taken this week to a new gallery for me: Magnolia Gallery, Greensboro, GA. I will also be taking a 24x36, another oil painting to the same gallery. I will be picking up two large pastels, 36x24, that were there for the Women Painters of the Southeast show in April. Those two will come home with me and hopefully my gallery in Marietta, Frameworks Gallery, will want them.

Next time we will talk about social media and on-line sites. If you have suggestions I did not mention above, let me know and I'll do my best to find some research ... ask my friends if they have used "it."

Keep painting ... or producing if another type of art ... keep on showing up in the studio or workshop!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

How do you feel about selling your work? Part 1!

Misty Flowers / Oil 12"x16"
Purchase through Etsy

Some of my thoughts on selling my art!

I was asked in a post on Facebook "could you share some ideas on how we can be more successful in selling our paintings." This is a difficult subject ... and it will be different for each individual. And what does "successful" mean to you?

The most important thing is to produce paintings that you are comfortable selling ... know where you are in your professional / quality of work. Many artists want to start selling too quickly. Now ... having said that, there is nothing wrong with selling a piece your friend or family wants to buy.  They fell in love with a piece, but do not be deceived ... they think you are wonderful and have enjoyed seeing your progress, and how much you have improved. Do not let this fool you into thinking you are ready for marketing. You only want to put out there in marketing efforts the best work you possibly can.

What is a good indication of "time to start marketing?"

When you have entered some shows and been accepted, or people are asking quite often to purchase, you might be ready for full-scale marketing to sell your work. Full scale?  The first question is: what amount of time are you willing to give to your marketing efforts? I say, start small!

Where is your mailing list? Have you started one? Who is on it? Who mentioned they want one of your paintings (or whatever type of art you produce)? Answer these questions before you start.

Best first place to market!

Your mailing list is the first place to start! It does not have to be a large mailing list. Send to those people that are closest to you and have known your work for some time. Don't send to people you just met.

Send out a newsletter showcasing a recently finished piece of art. Tell a story about it, what inspired you, or also why someone might want this particular piece of artwork. Be engaging and talk to them in the newsletter as if you were standing in front of them carrying on a personal conversation. This is not just sales! This is about your connection on a more personal level with them. 

Be sure to have an account you can accept a credit card payment for the work ... or even for payment in parts! I have done that. I have a Paypal account! They are the standard for on-line payment. And the client does not need to have a Paypal account. Just you.

Second, third or more places to put your work! 

I am going to stop here ... but tease you with naming places and we will talk about them in another post: Facebook, Pinterest, a personal blog, Daily Paintworks, Etsy, Fine Art America, your art organizations, other on-line sites. I use all of these! But, there are many more.

Get that mailing list in order, and have a way to send those newsletters --- either physical through the U.S. Post Office, or an e-mail or contact company (I use MailChimp -- the free version). Let me know if would like, where are you focusing your time consistently?