IT TAKES PATIENCE AND ORGANIZATION TO SELL ARTWORK!
I may have mentioned it before, but I keep my artwork in multiple places. Besides the two art galleries, my work is on display in several restaurants in St Augustine. I also have artwork hanging in doctor's offices and real estate offices. In every case there are cards listing the name of the piece, the price, and with the exception of the art galleries, my contact info.
Wherever I go I look for places to display my artwork. In the case of restaurants, if they have blank spaces on their walls and they don't do a lot of frying that can affect the art, then I may approach them with the offer to hang artwork. I say "offer" because that is how I approach the subject. I'm not there to beg or to plead. I am very businesslike in my approach. I make sure that I am well dressed and I have an information packet with me. In that packet I include a flyer that I had made up, it's a large card with a photo of a painting, a short story about some of my work, in this case my "Ocean Meditations" series of paintings, and of course my contact info and website address. And I also include my business card. Not a lot of material, just enough to give them an idea of who I am and what I have to offer. I have a photo below and I order these through Vistaprint.com
If they seem to want to talk, I will show them some photos on my phone or tablet. I explain how I can handle all transactions if they like. Two restaurants handle it for me which is nice, but they will only take cash. If people want a larger painting (ie: more money requiring a card to pay) then the restaurant gives them my card so they can contact me directly. These restaurants are really nice because they do not ask a commission. Some may. So if you enter an arrangement with someone be sure you have an agreement that is clearly understood by everyone. In other words if there is any question, you might want to get it in writing. I have been very fortunate in that matter as all my restaurants, offices, etc have been very easy to work with! Now, the art galleries are another matter as contracts are the normal procedure there.
There's an important point to remember if you do this. You absolutely need to have an inventory of your artwork and where it is located! If you don't have a list or inventory, you can run the risk of forgetting where a particular piece is located should you need it. Or it may sell and you not know in order to collect the funds if the location isn't on the ball. I am careful to get to know the people before offering to enter an agreement with them. I feel much more confident about a good working relationship after I have known them for a while. And I'm sure they feel the same about us! Artist's in general have a reputation for being a little odd. But then, highly creative people are an oddity in this mundane world. Be that as it may, we need to have this inventory on our computer or in a ledger, etc. You'll be surprised at how quickly you lose track of artwork once you get on a creative roll! I remember when I thought it was a tall order to have 25 pieces of artwork on hand at any given time. Now I have approximately 100! So, yes it is vital to have that inventory. I created a spreadsheet that has columns for: the number, name, size, medium, framed or not, location, and whether sold or not. If sold, I put in the price it sold for. When I take artwork to the galleries this inventory sheet is narrowed down to the pieces delivered to them and I give them a copy for their records. They appreciate my efficiency and I appreciate having the records. I can't tell you how many times I have been so happy to have these records!
Case in point: A couple days ago, my husband and I were on our way to another city when I received a phone call. The caller was a lady who had seen a couple of my paintings that she really liked at one of the restaurants in town. She was building a home and decided if the paintings were still there when it was finished, she would buy them. When she returned they were gone, but the restaurant told her I had picked them up and gave her my card. She called, described the paintings, and wanted to know if I still had them. I knew exactly where they were and made arrangements to meet her. It made me look good that I was that organized and she was thrilled to get them! She invited me into her beautiful new home and the paintings looked wonderful hanging above the bed in the master bedroom. By the way, this artwork had hung in the restaurant for several months. So yes, you need to be patient! Artwork, in my experience seems to sell in spurts. I may sell a lot in a short time and then nothing for a while, then it repeats.
So, as you build inventory, be sure the artwork is in good shape as it represents you. Check out different places that you feel would be a good fit with your artwork. Then when you approach then about showing your artwork, have in mind what you want to say, have your information packet ready to share, wear a nice outfit and a big smile, and go for it! However, be careful not to approach them when they are really busy. It may take a few observation visits to determine a good time to talk to them, or just ask about a time. I will say that I took the time to get to know the waitress/waiter and asked them about who to talk to and when. With the doctor's offices, I got to know the doctor first, etc.
I have a photos below for your enjoyment. Thanks for looking!
"WORRIED and APRE"HENSIVE"
12 X 24
fluid acrylics on canvas framed in white
|The paintings on the wall in collector's home. |
The two spots on the left painting is light coming from the wall of windows
|A different angle shows them with less light reflection|