Thursday, June 17, 2010
Help Wanted - Starving Artist Funeral Planner Needed
Starving Artist Funeral Planner Needed
Hot Job? NOT! Why because it’s an absurd fallacy. Yet almost every artist has bought into this ridiculous myth. Why? Because artists don’t want or like to sell or market their art works or how to approach a gallery about selling it for them. Yet no one seems to have any problem getting a “real job” and doing it for someone else while dramatically suffering about the potential that could have been. Poor dear’s. Poor is right, poorly skilled and poorly prepared, but not in art. What a shame and the answer is right under their nose because they’re doing it for somebody else! Selling!
There are as many ways to sell art and become a financially successful as an artist as there are artists to go around. There is no competition to the creativity you hold with in you.
It is absurd to start an art business without having a desire to sell art.
It is absurd to pay a fortune for art school without learning what it takes to sell and market yourself and your art.
It is absurd to believe people will understand your art on their own and just “get it”
It is absurd to believe you must suffer for your talent and be a starving artist.
When was the last time you attended the funeral of an artist who starved to death making their art at all costs? Absurd.
Focus your art-making and art-selling learning while and after you are in art school. Your efforts will pay off big time. If you’re out of art school learn how to sell either through work and or taking classes on the subject. There is no experience like real hands on sales experience. There are however lots of over educated derelicts in the world waiting for someone else to do their job of selling themselves for them.
Focus on your efforts to be in the art business right where you live (the national and international shows and museum can wait).
Make your art and then get it out there in public view any way you can, ASAP. Wherever there’s a wall there’s an art show waiting to happen. Fresh art equals fresh sales. If people want to see the same pictures over and over, they go to the permanent collection at the museum, meanwhile you need to create, eat, pay your expense and have some left over for reinvesting in yourself, fun and savings. Yes you can do this selling your art. Here are some very important tips.
Listen to and HEAR what people say as you talk to them about your art or while at other art venues. This is valuable to a sense of who likes what and why. Also this will aid you in figuring out how to price it so it sells.
Get a business card with piece of your art on it and ALL your contact info and website on it. You are going to meet lot’s of people who may not be your customer but they may have a friend who is, people love to talk about artists they’ve met! You will stand out this way. This is called marketing.
Marketing is how you get in galleries, meet art reps, make sales, and all kinds of other great stuff you’ve heard about and want. It's how the art business works. It’s How Business Works.
Here's more of what you have to learn in order to thrive as an artist:
Sell Your Art You must do this.
If you can’t part with your art, you’re a hobbyist not a professional. Stop reading this article and go get another job. If you do sell your art, when you do so, keep a record of who bought it when and where. If you can take a picture of where it’s installed do so to show galleries how and in what environment it looks good.
If you’re not good at sales and want to learn how. Get a job selling something you love and believe in. Learn everything you can and apply it to your art sales. Movie stars and authors don’t go on Oprah’s TV shows to talk about the weather, they are there to sell a product for their studio, publisher or favorite charity. They are selling art!
Keep it Simple. Talk and write about your art in ways people understand, regardless of how little or how much they know about art. One to two sentences per piece. Know your product in the simplest of terms.
Price your art consistently and answer questions about your prices concisely. You must know what you are worth BEFORE you go into the gallery and you must know if your prices fit that gallery!
Be Genuine and appreciate your viewers. People will appreciate your art and feel like it's worth owning.
Criticism Mind your own business. Your business is art and joy. How you respond when people criticize your art it can make or break you. If someone critiques you, respond by saying “That’s an interesting point of view, tell me how you came to that conclusion.” You may learn somthing or you may not. If someone is mean spirited, they usually are full of fear that has nothing what so ever to do with you. Remember great art will always evoke an emotional response. It’s best to be compassionate and walk away.
Do not over saturate your gallery owner, rep or customer. Twenty to thirty pieces of art is enough and less than fifteen is not enough of a selection to start showing and selling. (unless they are huge installation pieces) Then less is more! Remember keep it simple, especially your portfolio.
Appealing Factor Know your audience and your customer art in ways that make it appealing to potential buyers. It must be appealing not just artistically but economically, emotionally and efficiently. Always put yourself in the gallery/customers shoes. Ask yourself What is it? Why do I need it?, How much does it cost? And, How fast can I get it?
A short remember-able story A few Biographical Highlights your art in ways that increase its appeal to potential buyers. Remember again, keep it simple. You can post your resume on your website for further interest.
Qualify your buyer make sure that anyone who's interested in your art work is able to buy something, regardless of how little or how much they have to spend. Be nice to everyone. I have wonderful folks come to the gallery and shows who have never bought a thing but enjoy talking my work up to their friends who DO buy.
If your audience can only spend two dollars a person you’d better have lots of one dollar items!
Look outside the box and sell your art outside of the gallery system. Wherever there’s a wall there’s a gallery. There are also many image licensing opportunities, art rental sales programs, publishing, apparel, house wares, co-opts, video, etc. if an image can go it your art can go on it.
Create your own venue when your art is not the kind of art that galleries sell. If you have your own follow start with open studios at home, you may one day have your own gallery. Many successful artists today do. It’s easier to answers questions from friends regarding your art as well and great practice for the future. You have to start somewhere.
Know your Market look for places outside of the gallery system to sell. Do charity events for you community, Give Back to what you love. Build your customer lists. Your gold is in your customer list.
Barter and Trade your art for goods or services. Business do it, including museums and galleries, you can too.
Look and speak Professional. Carry, speak and present yourself and your art in ways that don't sabotage your opportunities to make sales. No one wants an energy vampire in their place of business. So knock yourself off the pity pot and grow up.
Stop Taking More Art Classes, To Sell more art take Sales and Marketing classes, Hire a business coach to hold you accountable. Tell a good friend to hold you accountable.
Be Accountable and have Integrity Make appointments and keep them. Business’s will not do business with artist’s who are not accountable and artist’s should never do business with companies that lack integrity.
Keep Good Records A company that does not know its overhead is soon out of business.
Build your team of experts so you can make and sell your art. Your accountant, your attorney, your printer, your framer, business insurer, etc. You can’t do everything and you shouldn’t.
Galleries come and go, mostly because they don’t know how to sell and neither do their artists. Don’t put all your hope in a gallery thinking it will save you and sell, sell, sell your art. That’s absurd! The gallery is gone and you’re still here, you tell me now who’s starved to death? You must learn to sell your art.
Never forget this: HONOR your VALUE , TIME and WORTH and your Dream!!. Now go sell! You deserve to have the very best life ever! Sell It!
To Your Success!
RD Riccoboni, The Art Traveler
Artist and Founder of Beacon Artworks Gallery
Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
San Diego California