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Believing in What You Do

by Daniel J. Keys on 7/8/2009 8:52:32 AM

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? 

Make improvements 

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!



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Related Posts:

Cultivating Collectors Face to Face

Art Marketing for Artists Who Want to Change the World

Engaging In Conversation

No Top Rung

Practicing Quiet Confidence


Topics: Art Business | art marketing | Inspiration | Productivity 

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 7 Comments

Lori Woodward Simons
via web
Daniel, love what you share here... I'm encouraged. Can't believe someone your age paints as well as you do, and now you are a professional writer too!

Can't wait for your next words of wisdom!

Angela Finney
via web
Great post --I just gone done practicing putting up my booth for my first art festival. I came inside for a cool drink, read this post and now I really fired up about marketing my work. Your advice about how to accentuate the postive and being preapared is very specific and helpful to me.

Kathleen Krucoff
via web
Spot on advice. Thanks for reminding us to believe in ourselves and our work.

mary tabar
via web
Hi Daniel, thanks for sharing your tips, you have made me feel that my own work is important. My medium is textiles and most people do not see this form of art as a fine art, and selling work is difficult. I am going to check your paintings!

Daniel J. Keys
via web
Lori - Thanks! I'm pleased that you enjoyed the article so much, and hope that the next one is as inspiring.

Angela - I hope that the show went well for you, and that implementing my advice was beneficial.

Kathleen, and Mary - Thanks for commenting. So nice to hear such positive feedback.



Doris Nickerson
via clintwatson.net
aniel, I also am preparing for an outdoor exhibit in September in a small town nearby. This exhibit has been held every year for 40 years but I am concerned about sales this year because of the economy. Your article was like a "pep talk" before a big football game and I'm getting into a "sales mode" the more I read on FASO. I am going to think positive and hope for the best. I have sold a good number of paintings in this area in the past 20 years but not in this way - just word-of-mouth mostly and have always offered the work at cost plus a little extra. Now my past clientele know this and I'm concerned. So keep up the encouraging words and helpful advice FASO.

asma abbasi
via clintwatson.net
Dear Daniel,
It's extreemly reassuring reading your article. Yesterday I got a rejection from one of the art galleries here stating my work was no 'saleable, you work for yourself not to sell'. I was a takenaback, specially when it was my complete dedication and nothing else. But later I walked out with my chin up high
knowing in my heart I had worked sinceely and would continue to do so. My family ofocuse supported me and so did my dear art friends.
Life in he art world could never be bleak.
regards
asma










 

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