First Time Selling Your Art
New artists or been-long artists would like the best advice on how to sell their pieces of art for the very first time.
You are a fine artist and a painter but you have art stacking in darkness. Why is that? It is high time to put them out to the bright side, dust them, uncover them, expose them, sell them, and make profits out of them.
Spring and summer, the seasons that make us jolly. The seasons of full colour. The seasons when people venture out under where the sun is shining. The seasons to show your art out. If your art is exposed, you are definitely exposing yourself.
From Vision to Crowd
- Show off! Show it off and cater your pricing to the crowd you are targeting, considering the location of where your artwork will be exhibited.
- The price is right. My art professor used to remind us that for outdoor & school exhibits, we have to keep our prices low since the art lovers, customers and art critics would know if the artist is a beginner, except if you have established your name and work. My classmate sold a few and it was enough to make him proud of his work. I bet he is successful now.
- Set up a creative display. If you can hang them low on trees without damaging your paintings, why not? You can also utilize the facade of your house or terrace like a homey galleria.
- Check the weather! A clear sky and not too hot days are better. Better for you, better for your art and better for the crowd.
- Make-shift studio. From the comfort of your own home or set up a garage-studio.
- Love thy neighbour. Ask thy neighbour. A very good neighbour is standing by. Approach that neighbour who might be all willing to share his front yard to expose and sell your paintings. This will be a fresh, convenient and economical start for you. Lucky you!
- Arty offering. Be ready to sacrifice a painting as a gift to your kind neighbour.
- What a refreshing art! Include welcome refreshments of easy finger food you can bake from home and a summer beverage. Or combine art with bake sale. Give it an encouraging and creative "name" for the event. This way, you are not losing any sales. Either people get attracted to your paintings or the baked items you are selling on the side. For sure, they will stop to look at your painting display and you can hand out your flyers and cards.
- Go Green. Hand-out to your outdoor guests an economical and environmentally friendly piece of information. You can apply your artistic talents onto producing your own eco-friendly flyers and business cards. Use the inside part of paper bags (e.g. liquor, wine bags) and print your event's venue and other catching details. Do not overload. A simple flyer with a catching message is enough. Bold out your telephone number. Add a bit of helpful tips or offer to contact you for questions about painting and framing. For a business card, go beyond the normal regular size. Be it less the size of a postcard or a 5x7 postcard size would be worth reposting on a corkboard in an office, or at a workstation from home. I like keeping cool card and invitation designs (just a thought). You may also magnetize your contact information by gluing on your labelled solid colour, white or canvas type fabric onto the fridge magnet. Use fabrics or canvas pieces to run your contact information through a home printer so easily, then brush with some acrylic paint to give it a design. If you do not have a portable printer at home, call some local printers if they can do it for you. Check out http://craftingagreenworld.com/2009/01/23/5-ways-to-make-your-own-fabric-labels/
- Warm colour attracts. Put up some red, orange, yellow balloons or triangular string of flags or streamers that attracts attention because of its colour and movement.
- The speaking armour. Have your best friend be around or yourself on-guard to answering questions and entertaining visitors, customers or mere on-lookers. We wouldn't want to bother our good neighbour who already is lending his space.
- Get ready, set, go! Be equipped with a pen, paper, business cards and more importantly a measuring tape (just in case someone would like to know if it fits in his car or the door at home or a space on his wall).
- Mad with Ads. Advertise on your street and a few blocks away. Make it attractive. Hand-out colourful flyers with pictures of your painting. Distribute them in stores as well as in supermarkets (where they allow the community and consumers to post anything on a billboard that has been provided). Keep in mind the cheapest way to save in your advertising. Speak to the friendly local store owners (convenience stores, neighbourhood restaurants, coffee shops) where you frequent your visits if you can leave some flyers and business cards. They should be familiar with you too to convince them. If they are interested to concession your art, this would be a great opportunity for you (as long as it does not eat up their own space, hahah!).
The Artist Warrior
"An artist is a lover and a warrior"
- Go out and attend exhibits and galleries of other artists.
- Explore and admire their work.
- Ask questions that could give you tips learning from the artist himself with already a background on putting up art exhibits.
- Possibilities are limitless. If you have gathered enough quantity of your quality paintings, you can start online selling wherever the profitable websites are like Ebay.
- Art donation. Be good in heart and donate some of your art that could help raise funds for charities. Connect with hospitals, fundraisers, the non-profit organizations. This will reap rewards for you.
- Early bird haste. Sign up early to any art exhibits at the convention centres. Find out months in advance. It should not be too expensive than renting out a galleria space around the city.
- No mall is small. Check out how to display your art inside the malls or a popular farmers market on weekends where people come down from all places.
- Check out, check in. Observe the city parks and plazas where exhibits and seasonal food fair comes around and apply to book a space.
- Don't just stare at fairs. Join exhibition fairs especially during summer.
- Mark it. Register in some art clubs and art-group member shows.
A pretty, cozy studio-gallery.
- Be yourself. Relax, be open-minded, be natural. An artist should be approachable and friendly. The artist should be cheerful and colourful, reflecting her/his paintings.
- Be interesting. Converse well and become an interesting "you" as well as your art. Add stories or whatever messages that will make your audience listen to you and get interested in your piece of art.
- Approach. You will spot those who show interest on your display. Talk to anyone who is inclined to share their thoughts and conversation with you because you might get contact referrals and learn other things from them.
- Be open. Aside from praises and compliments, be open to accept complaints, a bit of advice and what not.
- Tweet and Shout. Share information of your art selling event on Facebook, Twitter and other blog sites where you are already getting it for free. Add a slideshow.
- Let the message fly. Send out personal email invitations to friends, relatives and co-workers. I mean, do not group your recipients (because this may tend others to ignore your message). Address your email individually and the receiver will feel like he/she is a special guest. Use free online "Greeting Card & Invitation" sites to make them look more polished, designed and interesting. Attach a slideshow on your email.
- The higher, the better. Remember to include the higher-ups at work. Management staff from every department including the GM to the CEO. They will be there to support you if when schedule permits. If you're lucky, the human resources department even would help send out your message through the company's monthly or quarterly newsletters (I know this of a fellow employee for we worked in the same hotel); and at the time after your one-man/one-woman show, HR will publish some pictures again. And you will have an idea who are in those pictures (with you).
- Torch a personal touch. Specialize a personal invitation card for your V.I.P. and physically hand deliver at their most convenient time so you may have the chance to talk briefly about the event and the artist in you. Target these people with money or because they have a greater network of families, close friends, and business associates with whom they go golfing and fishing together.
I know a couple friends of mine who are artists (One, a sculptor and painter, the other is a portrait artist). Their work have successfully spread out to the families and friends of their bosses and the presidents of the companies they work for just by word of mouth and having bought from them art for their homes. My portrait-artist friend has been successful and still receiving on-going portrait painting commissions and projects of wedding couples (it started with his boss commissioning him to paint a wedding portrait of his daughter as a Christmas gift for the couple), and then his referrals had spread on from the boss's daughter to her friends, friends of her friends...and so on. Visitors to his boss's home during the holiday season were amazed of the fine painting my friend had made; his profit did not stop from there.
If it is not too much to work on, prepare 4x4 or 5x5 square paintings to give out to your selected "promising" customers. Or use any scrap material to produce these miniature painting give-away. Frankly speaking, people love freebies and would look for them.
These miniature canvases can come as box-framed-ready (in dollar stores and craft supply stores). You may also choose to give-away loose miniature paintings to let the person who receives it come up with his own style of framing your tiny gift of art.
I wish you the best of luck!
≈ ♥ ≈ © coffeegginmyrice 2012