Tips for selling art
I asked on Quora if anyone had some art questions that they wanted to be answered.
Gaa Wai asked the first question which is as follows
"I am in the very early stages of producing my own work. I haven’t thought about what it would take to get myself out there, until now. So my questions revolve around selling one’s work. I have a few things on Saatchi and Society6, and I have a blog. I started my blog in 2017, but getting followers has been slow. I know I need to complete a portfolio, but I also like to think ahead. I’ve been working on a couple of things that might be worthy of putting in a portfolio, and I know adding to this can also take a lot of time. I want to do what I can now to minimize how much time everything (online presence, the work itself, getting the attention of galleries hopefully, selling my work) takes.
What can I do at this stage to increase my exposure? What should I know about galleries and how should I approach a gallery if I want them to showcase my work? Do I need an agent (to sell enough to make a living off of my work)? If so, when should I start looking for an agent?
Thank you in advance."
These are all common questions so let's start at the top.
Having a blog is a great start! It is a good way to get out there and interact with fellow artists and potential collectors.
If you are wanting to make sales then a complete portfolio is pretty necessary. You want a portfolio that shows who you are as an artist. It is good to have pieces that follow a similar theme as this helps brand you, and when showing artwork in a gallery it is great if the pieces can be shown together and be cohesive.
Increasing exposure is incredibly important. If people don't see your work then they can't buy it. You have a good start but look at other mediums to share. My favorite is Instagram (find out why here). It is the perfect platform for a visual artist.
You should also look at other artist and examine their online presence to get ideas.
Galleries can be particular. You want to research a gallery before you approach them, go in, look at their website and understand what kind of art they generally showcase. Does your art fit in with the general theme? Do you feel that your art and the gallery will be a good fit? Why do you want to show your art in this specific gallery? These are all important questions that you should know the answer to before you approach the gallery.
There are a variety of ways to approach a gallery and it all depends on the gallery itself. Check their website and see what it says. Is there an online form or just a phone number? It might even be better to go in with your portfolio. Once you have decided on what is the best way to approach them, make a plan about what you are going to say. Some important things are your main medium, if you have a particular style or concept that you follow (landscapes, abstract ext.), about how many pieces you would like to showcase and anything special about your art (is it in memorial, based on a childhood memory, made to reflect the beauty of nature?). I like to have at least a loose idea of what I am going to say so that I am more comfortable and confident.
I have never had an agent but I can see where they can be useful. They have the experience and expertise that you may be lacking in. And being your agent is their job so they will have much more time for the necessary things than you will. And you can use that time to create more art.
here is an article that is a guide to artist agents https://www.agora-gallery.com/advice/blog/2016/04/26/guide-artist-agents/
It is a great article that can help you decide if an agent is right for you, and if so, how to go about hiring one.
I hope you find this useful. If you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments.
And if you have a question you would like answered in the next blog post, post it in the comments!
The Adventuring Artist
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