Monday, August 15, 2011

Mull it Over Monday: Advice You Might Resist

I could design cat cards all day.   (:
When I started making lots of art and realized I needed to start selling it:  I knew I had to get it in front of people.  What a lot of non-artists don't realize is that our creations are like our children.  We are personally invested and completely in love with some of them--and sometimes we might lack objectivity.  We think:   People who see my art will be intantly smitten, I'm sure of it!  So the idea of getting our fabulous-ness in front of people seems like just the ticket.  What people one might ask?  Why anybody and everyone of course!  Wrong!   If you want sales, don't waste your good energy by placing your original art in un-attended lobbies, daycares and cafes.  It's sort of like a car salesman trying to sell Audis at a Job Seekers Convention.  If I had a ten dollar bill for every non-art venue I tried to sell art in (and failed) I could buy of you a coffee at Starbucks

Keifer is smitten with your art.
Here's a bit of advice:  Sell art in places where people look for and buy art.  Your art might be good, people might be smitten by it--  but if they aren't there for art and actively looking to buy art, you're probably spinning your wheels.  There are exceptions and truth be told, I've had a couple.  I am curious about other artist's experiences:  Have you successfully sold art in a non-art venue??   (like a salon, lobby or other non-art destination?) ...and if so, why do think you it worked for you (besides your art being brilliant, of course!) 


  1. Thanks for the advice! At a festival this summer I sold a painting that I really wanted to keep. The venue was more arts and crafts, I have yet to invest my time in trying to get in a gallery. I don't really know how to start. It seems gallery owners are full. Dawn

  2. Great post, Diane! I'm still trying to figure it all out. I've only been selling for about a year. I move all of the time so it makes it difficult to build up a community presence. Would love if you would share some of your successes:)

  3. Hi Dawn, thanks for your input. I've seen a lot of festivals this summer that were heavy on jewelry and lawn ornaments-- I'm never sure if that is good or bad for the painters who exhibit?! Hi Carrie! I did sell some art out of a hair salon once and I will talk about that next week-- My success there had more to do with the woman who owned the salon. For someone like yourself who moves a lot I imagine your blog is a great resource!! Thanks for your comment.

  4. Couldn't agree with you more. I've tried various non-conventional venues with almost no results. The worst being a dentist's office. Ouch! When the patients get their bill there's no way they're going to turn around and buy the art off the walls too.

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  6. I had some success at a cafe in town. They had just moved to a new location and for the first 6-8 months I had regular sales there, even large, expensive paintings. However, it soon calmed down and although, I did get a lot of local name recognition, sales went out the window.

    I stopped showing my work in these type of venues. Another issue I had was constant damage to frames.

  7. Hi Diane,
    I agree with you...fine art doesn't have a place at craft show festivals with all the beaded whatnots and tea-cozies! That only de-values the art.
    Constant e-submissions to galleries that would benefit from your type of art with a website link on the page is a good way to at least let them know you're there. They might not have room today, but may keep you in mind. It's rare to be picked up by a gallery this way, but i have had many galleries show interest in my work. The point is I dont want any old gallery...I want a gallery with an owner who loves art and loves selling it. They are few and far between. In the meantime...paying the fees and doing juried artist shows is another good way to get work noticed. I picked up a gallery this way last year. I find quite a lot of gallery owners looking for new work will frequent these types of shows.

  8. Thanks Kristeena--me too. I was thinking I'd have many more artists chime in about successes in non-art venues, but that is sure not the case! Carol-ditto! Painterchum: Yep, with regards to art festivals: on one hand you know a lot of people are showing up for the tea cozies--and maybe they end up buying paintings, maybe not so much... (:


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