This Post is by Daniel J. Keys, Regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. Find out how you can be a guest author.
Ask my older sister anything about make-up – anything at all – and I guarantee that by the time she finishes informing you (if you’re a woman) all about the latest brands, colors, and popular applications today, you’ll be thinking of ways to rearrange your schedule to fit in a trip to Sephora on your way home from the office – even if it’s technically out of your way. In fact, she’s so perfected this skill that even women who detest wearing what I like to call female-war-paint will suddenly take up the habit after spending a reasonable amount of time with her.
So then I must ask myself: What kind of power does she posses that she’s able to inspire such a re-routing of another woman’s already set plans? The answer: Enthusiasm.
Now allow me to clarify something – my sister isn’t employed by Estee Lauder, Clarins, or any other well known cosmetics brand. In fact she isn’t employed by anyone, but rather remains a contented housewife. So what is it that makes her this enthusiastic salesperson unknowingly to herself? She believes in what she uses.
What causes enthusiasm where your art sales are concerned: Believing in your work.
Now everyone knows that the most enthusiastic marketers are the most successful. There are many artists out there who aren’t exactly the best at painting, drawing, or sculpting, yet they sell their creations like crazy simply because they’re so enthusiastic about their work. We too then must learn to be enthusiastic where our products are concerned.
Sure your finished piece may not be equal to the likes of master painter Michael Angelo, but your potential collectors don’t think that way, and they’re looking for a reason to collect art, not a reason to stop.
Build up your work
Never speak negatively about your work. Even if that pear in your recent oil painting is lop-sided, mention to the viewer about how well the colors of the pear pop against the dark background. Just as you would build up a person, build up the qualities of your work, and speak of its strengths, not its weaknesses.
The better that you feel about your product the more you’ll believe in it; and the more that you believe in it the more others will too. People want to be convinced to invest in your art. They’re already looking at it, and they’re going to spend their money somewhere – even in this economy – so if you could convince them to invest in yours wouldn’t you?
I’m not suggesting that you just put junk out there for potential clients to see. You do need to do whatever it takes to improve your ability, and work towards becoming the best that you can be. Whether it’s taking a workshop, soliciting the critique of an established artist, or investing in those expensive DVD’s you’ve been looking at, do what’s necessary to better the quality of your work.
Believe in the importance of what you do
We aren’t just hobbyists creating art in our spare time – we’re contributors to one of the most rewarding and enriching parts of human existence. We must remember this the next time that we’re hanging our work for exhibits, or speaking with a collector at an art show. It’ll change our attitude towards what it is that we do; and if our attitude changes we’re more likely to affect a change in others attitudes as well.
Be Prepared – It’s not just for Boy Scouts
Brace yourself for questions when going into a situation where you’ll be selling. Much like a good Lawyer never asks a question that he doesn’t already know the answer to - a good artist should never be unprepared when faced with a question about his/her work. Know exactly how you want your artwork to be perceived when being shown, and come up with answers before the questions are ever asked.
This isn’t to give you the appearance of a robot when conversing with potential collectors, but rather to fill your memory bank with answers that will keep you on track when it’s crucial for you to make the sale.
Be one in a million
Now is everyone that takes the time to read this article going to become a great success in today’s market? Certainly not! But probably not for the reason that you’re thinking of: It’s not that this will only work for a select few, it’s that only a select few will put this knowledge to work. Anyone can do what it takes to improve their artistic and marketing skills, but not everyone will. All the more reason for you to get out there!
When we become believers in what we do, others will be converted – they too will begin believing in the quality and significance of our work, and the sales will come!