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Saturday, May 7, 2016

Marketing Boot Camp - Day Two

Eric and Stuart Johnson

Whew, another very early morning, alarm goes off in enough time to take a quick shower, put on clothes and makeup, make it to food court, and eat something, drink coffee... hurry, hurry! We did get a little better seat, actually the front row!

In our seats before 6:30 am and ready to pay attention to Eric Rhodes second day of Marketing Boot Camp. Today Eric spoke first about being in, or getting in, galleries.
View of cactus, homes, and mountain
from the back side of El Conquistador Resort

Eric had Stuart Johnson, of Settler's West Gallery, on the stage to give advice from the gallery owner’s perspective. We took copious notes, and photos of things he posted on the screen so we didn't have to try to write so fast! Very interesting conversation so that it might help those that were looking to be in a gallery, and how the gallery wanted to be approached and dealt with if you were taken into it.

View the opposite way of the mountains
Art being created of these
views behind the resort!
If someone is referring you to them, he takes into consideration where the information is coming from. When someone mentions you name, same thing, where the information is coming from! 



Important Career Advice

- Know what the market needs, and for advice about
         raising prices (and when).
- They can build a collector base
Saguaro and artists on the golf green!
- They may be observing you unknowingly.
- Establish a relationship before it is needed.
 - Get invited in
- Do your homework.
- Understand who your collector is.
- Are you a good fit for the gallery.
- Do you know any of the artists
      ... They might introduce you!

 What is at the top of his list of most important?

Mr. Johnson said the number one thing they look for is consistency! The body of work is important along with a certain amount of available inventory. But he cautioned about producing “too much material” and thinks it is a detriment to your career! Over 40/50 finished pieces is not good probably. It intrigues collectors as well as the gallery... Scarcity is sometimes the key.

As an artist grows, you start competing only with yourself. ... and this is how you get invited. Be visible! He advised artists to focus, but be broad enough -- fresh -- in your concepts. Staying in the same genre is mostly what is considered acceptable.

He gave advice on pricing ... and about increasing the prices only gradually. Sometimes the prices are too low and can turn off a collector. Lower price points are for people decorating their home.

Prickly pear ... what i wanted to paint.


So now you are new in the gallery
... what now?

- Be open for some criticism. A good critic.
- The gallery introduces the artist to the public, maybe other shows.
- Be ready early – work ahead!

Mr. Johnson said: The Kiss of Death! Sending a painting that has been in another show! Older dated paintings. Missing deadlines more than a day or two.

Palo Verde tree blooms!


Here are some random thoughts, or answers to questions asked at the end of his part:
1. Story of the painting... titles should be better. So what was going on when doing it!
2. Galleries should allow us the name and address of client purchasing a painting so we can send a thank you handwritten note.
3. Out of sight, out of mind
4. On plein air, need to do studio work as well.
5. Size? How important? The larger it gets, the more difficult it is to sell. There should be a variety of sizes in your repertoire.
6. In his gallery, there is a lowest price point of a few under $1,000, and he has a few at the highest price point, with many that are in the middle.

I hope you are enjoying the notes I took during the Boot Camp discussions. Do know there was probably much more that I missed and spoke to someone else at a different place in their career. I will be working on the notes from Day 3 over the next few days!



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