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21st Century Art Marketing Strategies

by Lori Woodward on 1/19/2011 10:32:08 AM

Today's Post  is by Lori Woodward, Regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. She also writes "The Artist's Life" blog on American Artists' Forum. Lori is a member of The Putney Painters, an invitational group that paints under the direction of Richard Schmid and Nancy Guzik.  Find out how you can be a guest author. 

 

The ways in which art is marketed are rapidly changing. Ten years ago, I wrote a chapter on artist websites for Calvin Goodman, author of The Art Marketing Handbook for the 21st Century. Calvin has been a consultant to galleries and artists for over 40 years, but he didn't have the desire or knowledge to get involved in counseling artists about web design, so he asked me to author that chapter for his book.  Ironically, I interviewed a guy who was co-owner of a gallery and had just created some websites for artists.

 

That guy was Clint Watson. I think the year was 2000, maybe '01...

 

A lot has changed since that time. Successful artists were primarily selling from galleries and relatively few were selling anything from their websites. Many of us spent thousands of dollars on ads in art collecting magazines, hoping to get noticed by gallerists in important arts districts.

 

I get a fair number of emails from artists asking me how they can get their work into galleries, and they don't mean just any gallery, they mean the ones who advertise in art collector magazines. The sad news is that unless your work is as good as the artists they already have, or better - unless your work has won national awards or is already selling at another gallery, etc., you have little chance of even getting them to look at your portfolio. In fact, I think spending a lot of time on portfolios/photos, CD's and cover letters is a waste of time. It's a waste of time because galleries are not in a financial position to take on new artists. They don't have the time or money to promote those artists who are "unproven".

 

OK, so now that I've got you all down in the pit of despair, here's the good news! We don't need commercial galleries to make a decent living with art sales. In fact, on recent travels - I've met artists who are making plenty of money selling on their own. In many cases, they're doing better than many of the artists who have been working in galleries.

 

I'm wondering why that is? My guess is that the middle class is more interested in collecting artwork than ever before. There are different levels of collectors. It's unlikely that my work will ever be included in the realm of "professional collectors", but that doesn't mean my work doesn't get collected. It's in the middle/low price range: Starts at about $900 and goes up to $2500 for my oils. There are plenty of collectors out there who can afford my art.

 

Last week, I wrote about Richard Schmid. Starting prices for his originals are around $20,000. Large paintings have recently sold for $250,000. But here's the thing... Richard says to us (Putney Painters) that there are only a handful of collectors out there who can afford his work, but we have access to hundreds (maybe even thousands) of collectors who can afford our work.

 

I once read that someone who has bought your work in the past is 6 times more likely to buy again then someone who has never purchased your work. So guess what that means? We should spend a lot of time connecting with those who have collected our work in the past. And it's true, an email newsletter is one of the keys to staying in touch with those who are interested in seeing your new work and hearing about accomplishments.

 

Whether you choose to sell through agents or on your own, it doesn't hurt to build a resume. Enter competitions, both national and regional, participate in fundraisers as long as you can get a normal price for your work and at least 60% of the proceeds from your sale. Always request that the organization give you the names and contact information of  your buyers.

 

Some artists are selling on Ebay and Etsy. Others are selling very well at at outdoor shows. Daily Painters' artists seem to have an edge on direct sales.  An exciting new venue: artists open studio days and small group shows, when 5 to 8 artists band together annually to put on their own show in a rented space. One such group is the Left Bank Artists in Peterborough NH. They hold a show in early December and I'm sure their shared collector list is quite long. Peterborough is a nice community - lots of retirees. It's the town that Thorton Wilder used as his setting for the play "Our Town" and it is quaint!

 

If you're selling without agents or galleries, I'd love for you to share what you're doing here. By sharing ideas and what's actually working, we can all benefit.

Sincerely,

Lori



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Related Posts:

Make Amazing Art, Be Authentic, Tell Your Stories and the Art Will Sell

On Selling Art - Part 1

How to Sell Art

Building Relationships with Your Collectors


Topics: art marketing | FineArtViews | sell art 

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 47 Comments

Michael Cardosa
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Hi Lori,

Always look forward to reading your posts! Thanks again. As you keep saying there are no silver bullets to marketing our art as artists. Each of us needs to work out what we need and just DO IT! Thanks again for all the good advice.

Michael


mimi torchia boothby watercolors
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so far, for me, Ebay was a waste of time. but I have sold a few pieces via my blog and Facebook.


Maria Soto Robbins
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Hi Lori,
Great post. I'm a newbie but like Mimi, I've sold dozens of paintings on ebay and it wasn't a waste of time for me, because otherwise they'd be sitting on my studio, waiting for a home. But I really like your idea of "artists open studio days and small group shows". Thanks for the great ideas!

Karen Winters
via canvoo.com
From what I've seen, Ebay is filled with bargain hunters. I sold through there a few years back, but I haven't pursued it since. I know there are some people who do very well there, so it might be worth a second look.

I agree with what Michael said, there are no silver bullets. For me it's a combination of venues (blog, website, juried shows, etc.) that is most effective.

Equally important to improving our marketing is working very hard to improve our product - because there are new (and excellent) artists entering the market every day.

deb
via canvoo.com
I happen to know most of the Left Bank artists, and have been to their shows. I've also participated in several group shows and have enjoyed them immensely. There are almost always public buildings with space to rent at a nominal fee, so the cost of organizing a group show is relatively small, per artist. Find an interesting or catchy name for your group - the Left Bank Artists are so called because their first show was in one of two adjacent bank buildings in downtown Peterborough.. the "left" one, of course!
And to encourage even more traffic to your show, try to schedule it to coincide with a community event or perhaps holiday shopping season! You can decide on a "theme" for your show, or even offer to contribute a portion of sales to a community project or local charity - supporters of said project are more likely to come, look, and buy, and it's always a good thing to "give back" through our art!


Lori Woodward
via canvoo.com
Deb, Ha! I always thought Left Bank meant the left bank of the river.

I'm currently looking into holding a show in Keene NH for Kyle Stuckey and possibly Rosemary Ladd. If I can get Kathy Anderson to attend as well, it'll be a lot of fun, if anything. We'll keep it small and pool our collector base. Kyle's looking into the new Marriot because it has parking and is in the heart of downtown. It's a college town, so there's tons of restaurants. Most of Kyle's collectors are from out of state, so they'll want a place to stay.



Carol McIntyre
via canvoo.com
Lori, over the past couple of years I have been telling and showing (appropriately) my work to the various professionals I in my life - doctors, accountant, dentist, vet, surgeons, service folks, cashiers, insurance agents, etc. Whenever someone asks me "what do you do?" I hand them a biz card or brochure or my handy-dandy 7x5 photo portfolio.

The results are not huge, but worth a few thousand dollars. I believe we forget about the potential these people have - not only their purchasing power but their various networks.

It is time to show off a little and not hide our gifts to the world!

Lori Woodward
via canvoo.com
Thanks for mentioning Carol. That's so true; My dentist owns several of my paintings.

Katarzyna Lappin
via canvoo.com
Hi Lori,
thanks for your post. It is encouraging and explains so well that the artists can be successful on their own.

I am not represented by any gallery and I love it. I love the freedom I have to promote my works the way I like, to raise or lower my prices when ever I think it's good for me, to check and test available ways of promotion, to choose which art shows I want to be part of or not. I like to take things in own hands.

I have to admit that websites are great, I love my FASO website and it serves me great as my communication "office", but in my case most of the sales are coming through displaying my art in the actual shows or exhibits.
Where my sales came from ?

1. One group of works was sold through the art organization I am a member of and they organize the shows on a regular basis.

2. The other group of sales came through my own solo exhibit. The local church decided to open their community art gallery so I went to check it out and as a result they let me have my own exhibit, but I had to take care of everything like marketing, hanging, receptions and so on and it was great to have that freedom.


3. Art shows.

4. Refferals.

I appreciate more and more a "newsletter" idea. Collecting the own database is the big treasure.
Especially local people who can have easier access to see the artist's works in person.

My plan for this year is to finalize one room for the purpuse of a private gallery when from time to time selected people can be invited for mini art receptions.

I believe it is all about seeing the opportunities around and not being afraid of a failure. Even a failure is an opportunity to turn around into something good.


Lori Woodward
via canvoo.com
Deb, I think you're probably right about the Left Bank artists.

Yes, I know that Sarah and Susan are going to have to close. I introduced Kyle's work to them shortly after they opened and Sarah agreed to take his work. She's done such a great job and is truly a wonderful gallery owner.

So last weekend, Kyle and I brainstormed. He's in Legacy Gallery in Scottsdale and sales are slow there too - so we thought we'd take marketing into our own hands. He doesn't like selling directly to collectors, so we thought up having a show once or twice a year.

It all depends on how things go at the Legacy Figurative show in February... if he sells his big painting or any of his others there, that may spark other sales. His big painting is 14,000, but his others are reasonable. We're hoping for the best!

BTW: I started teaching Kyle when he was 17 - drawing lessons, and now he's won several national awards and is the current judge for the Bold Brush Competition. He's only 23 years old!!! He works really hard and never gives up.

Here's his website: http://kylestuckey.com
I'm like a proud parent. I never had any kids.


Lori Woodward
via canvoo.com
OOPS... Deb sent me the news about the gallery via email, and now I've let the cat out of the bag. So if you're wondering what the heck I'm responding to, it was in my email account.



Sandy Askey-Adams
via canvoo.com
Good post again Lori...

I do the outdoor art shows and have done them for a living since the late 1970's...Wow, that is a long time. I was 14 when I started doing them..(Not really) But, I was very young.
I could really write a book about selling at the outdoor art shows and other things about those shows.

My husband had an appointment with a new doctor yesterday, so I went along, but also took my business card with me. We got to talking about art and I handed him my card and also the office people. They had happened to have commissioned an artist last year to do a painting of the Doctor's dog as a present.

I also participate in indoor Benefit Shows in this area. These shows take any where between 30 percent and 35 percent..one takes 40 percent which is too high for a BENEFIT show when the others take less, but they do get the artists and buyers. That show has not done as well the last couple of years.

The shows last from one weekend to a week or two weeks...and they are exactly what the name means...Benefit for some kind of way of making money for a charity. They make sure the customers know that their purchase is tax deductible also. That helps sales. The shows are juried ahead of time and then they select the artists from that jurying. Sometimes, the committees from the benefit shows visit outdoor art shows and check out the work quality. From that, an artist might get invited to do one of the benefit shows.

At one of the benefit shows, I was lucky and made a little over $10,000 in one weekend. An art collector who saw my work and had the money bought many of my pieces; plus then, other people did also. Every year, the art collector came back and bought more of my work. Plus, she also purchased other artists works. Now that is not in the category at all of well known artist Richard Schmid, but it was a good show for artists in the same category (whatever that is) as me. :)
AS a matter of fact, I have been busy getting work painted and framed for several benefit art shows coming up...one benefit show after another. It is great when they are held at this time of the year where they do not interfere with the outdoor art shows.

Then too, some years ago, I had been involved in an artists group show where about 10 to 12 of us Artists got together, had meetings beforehand and planned, arranged and handled an amazing, very profitable art show thanks to two artist friends who originally came up with the idea. We also juried each artists work to make sure it was worthy of being in the show and offered different mediums and styles to the public. We did our own publicity and had our own display racks. Each artist was given about a 10 x 15 display area to set up their display racks.
WHERE DID WE HOLD IT?? you might ask....well, We were able to rent a gorgeous hall to have the show. We split the cost between us. Each of us volunteered to help do something also. We advertised and had an art reception with wonderful food, wine,etc and even had live music. (There happened to be a baby grand piano and I ended up playing the piano when the painist did not show up. Oh well. None of my artist friends even knew I played which was cool.)
Every artist in the show had a great show.
We did it for many years until an art association and also another group of artists saw what we were doing and then they ended up renting the hall also bringing in more art at different times of the year which caused the event(s) to become over-saturated and bit into sales on all ends. We stopped doing it. When someone comes up with a great idea, there are always those ready to jump on the bandwagon. NOT that they don't have the right. They certainly do, but use common sense and do it somewhere else.
But, a few of us have been talking on and off to start the show again somewhere. Our problem is finding a place to hold the show. Has to be the right rent, the right building, the right area...and the right time of the year and with artists who are all willing to work on the show together and get along well.





Sandy Askey-Adams
via canvoo.com
Hello again.

Oh..almsot forgot to mention...

I run monthly exhibits for artists at the beautiful large local library in this area. A different artist each month.

We (the library) hung the Walker Display System up in the library for the art exhibits. VERY professional. Just used one long wall to hang the system on......and also have a special made display case introducing the artist to the public with a couple of their pieces also in the display case besides hanging the majority of their work on the wall. They can hang a lot of paintings.
The artist must hang their own work and take it down at the end of the month for the next incoming artist exhibit.
The library does not take a commission on sales and the artist must have their background information and contact information available to anyone who might be interested in their work.
Each artist must also do their own publicity.

If an artist does it right, and works with the publicity for the exhibit, they can do well. It is an opportunity for them to have a month long exhibit where people can go to see their work.
IF the artist is lazy and just hangs the work and depends on only the people who visit the library, they may or may not do as well. They can make the exhibit what they want it to be...a success or not.

The library is very generous in allowing the artists to do this. The artists contact me if they are interested in exhibiting and I jury their work ... I also have a pretty good list of artists who have exhibited in the library over the years.


Esther J. Williams
via canvoo.com
Lori, if I come up with any new ideas, I will let you know. So far, most of my sales have come from eBay (40 sales from 2001-2008), art shows, exhibitions, painting on location and meeting people, co-op galleries and several retail galleries in that order. I haven`t totaled the sales on all these venues yet. On top of that some more places are my FASO website (1 sale so far), and my FineArtAmerica website (3 sales). Oh, several Facebook sales just from posting my art on my profile. Then a few neighbors and one extended family member have purchased directly from me.
I began to sell more in my co-op galleries and art shows, so I stayed off eBay for a year or more. Yes, eBay is a bargain hunter`s paradise. But we can market to that. I recently painted some postcard size works and sold them both on eBay. I will sell originals only, it is what people prefer, although I do see people selling giclees every so often. I think the reason I can sell on eBay is my years of being on there and having a long detailed career biography on my ME page. It is a page that you can link to your listing page and tell people about yourself with images and links. eBay will cancel your listing if you dare put a website link on the bidding page itself. It is to deter redirecting people to other websites, eBay wants to keep the buyers in their realm. Plus, I try to paint what I think the eBay people will like. None of my medium size to large size gallery or exhibition works will ever get posted on eBay. It`s a different animal that deserves better placement.
Anyhow, like Karen Winters says above, I am also dedicating many hours to raising the quality of my art. That is proving to pay off, I can see the results and I hear the comments. My art prices have gone up steadily in the past ten years. I am being careful in those increases though. I am counting my lucky stars too!
Now, I must get back to my easel. A place where I spend every minute I can.

Sharon Weaver
via canvoo.com
I have been involved with Plein Air events and have had some wonderful experiences and good sales. I have seen sales cool down last year but am hopeful that this year will rebound.

Sandy Askey-Adams
via canvoo.com
BTW...

If there are not any Benefit Art shows in your area like the one's I mentioned in my post up above, you can always suggest having an art show to charitable organizations. There are hundreds of charitable organizations.
These shows have at least 100 or more artists particiapating in them and are highly well organized.

Even some of the colleges have benefit art shows which are highly successful. One would not believe the sales they have.
Some schools have them also.

Oh, the art association's have ran art auctions too in the area. They will join up with a local church or school...the one that I use to be involved with was in cooperation betwen the art association and the Woman's group of the church.
Naturally it was not one of those large fancy art auctions held by those huge art galleries that are advertised in the national art magazines....this type of art auction is for local artists who may belong to an art league along with a local charitable organization.

I highly recommend having an artists group show though. The one we held here was a huge success. Customers looked forward to it each year..and we did share our customer list. We sent out postcards and other publicity information. We Had signs posted and billboard type signs, etc..etc..

Joanne Benson
via canvoo.com
Good post Lori as always! I have not tried to sell anything on line yet. Most of my sales are from local shows, word of mouth, people I meet at work and friends. I have also sold note cards and prints in small quantities or as singles through a local arts council. Much of what has sold is commission work. I don't sell vast quantities of paintings but enough to keep me in supplies and motivated!

Kim
via canvoo.com
In September I sold 2 paintings through a venue that many people have access to but overlook: state fairs. I've entered two years running here in New Mexico and won a cash award the first year, and sold two paintings the second year, so it has been a worthwhile endeavor for me so far. Thousands of people go through state fair exhibit halls, and while most are just lookers, there are some serious buyers who go early and purchase either within the first day or just before the end of the fair. I would encourage everyone to look into their area's state fair. The entry fees are usually very affordable and you may make a sale or win a cash award.

Carol McIntyre
via canvoo.com
Sandy, do try to write a book or Kindle book about your many years selling in art fairs. I am sure you would have some incredible stories to tell from which we could learn or perhaps laugh with you!

Sandy Askey-Adams
via canvoo.com
Carol...

LOL, just reading your sentence made me burst out in laughter because it seemed like a flood of funny happenings burst into my thoughts. Unbelievable things. Plus tons of information, tips, how to do this or that, even names of shows and contact info,,,oh...just a lot of stuff.
Actually, I had started one several years ago...and then set it aside wondering if there would be any use for it.
Even had someone proof it for me...but here it sits...with more to be added.




deb
via canvoo.com
Hey Kim! Fellow New Mexican! Where are you in the state? I'm up in the Jemez, but haven't been here long enough to know what kind of fairs,or events take place regularly.

Carol McIntyre
via canvoo.com
Sandy, let me know if I can help you in any way. ( I wrote a book several years ago and I have had art fair experience. Even with my limited experience, I have stories, as does everyone.) I think you could really add something to the artist library. I bet some great cartoons could even be generated? (PS When is your eye surgery?)

Sandy Askey-Adams
via canvoo.com
Hello Carol...

You have me thinking here... I may just call on you.
That is part of it...I have been trying to gather even more stories together also besides what I already have...giving due credit of course.

EYE surgery...UGH...March 8th. Thank you for asking. I am trying to get some paintings done before then for the benefit shows because I will not be able to paint for a couple weeks afterwards.
I have not been able to find anyone else in the U.S. with this same thing....Ptygerium. Not that I wish it on anyone, I just would like to know what they have experienced with it.

Sorry Lori for taking up your post with this.

AND thank you again for all your great articles..they always bring so much information forward ..it is like one article can lead to more and more and more interesting things, happenings and sharing.




George De Chiara
via canvoo.com
Like a few others here I've been selling on ebay for that last year or so. For me smaller works sells best (read cheaper pieces). I'll list a larger work from time to time, but they never seem to sell. Jack White had a pretty good article a while ago in Art Calendar about selling on ebay. I've tried to follow a lot of his advise. I no longer do the .99 cent listings like he suggests. I just couldn't ever generate the bids to justify it. I do have a few repeat buyers and have even done a commission for someone that saw my work on ebay.

I also try to do a few shows every year to get my larger work out there and have had some luck selling the piece in the show. In the next year or so I'd like to start doing some outdoor shows so Sandy, if you write that book, let me know:)



Kim
via canvoo.com
deb, I'm in Las Vegas (San Miguel County). Sadly there aren't as many opportunities as you might imagine, which is ironic, given that we are near what are the historic New Mexico art colonies. ABQ has some events, such as the Masterworks of NM and the annual Weems show, and different towns/cities have their annual art studio tours. Taos has an art fair, Santa Fe has a regular artists' market, but I'm not sure if residency is a factor. I do know that artists use the parks in and around SF's plaza, and residency is definitely a condition for those. If I hear or think of anything more I'll mention it. Welcome and good luck!

Kim VanDerHoek
via canvoo.com
Hi Lori,

I've been selling my artwork on Etsy since 2006 and I've had a very positive experience there. Because buyers understand that Etsy is offering handmade items they aren't expecting yard sale prices like they do when shopping on Ebay. Also, the Etsy community is amazing and filled with resources that will help you along the way.

Now, that doesn't mean that after opening up a shop on Etsy you can expect to be an overnight success. It's taken me a long time and a lot of marketing work to get a following. For example, I blog, send out postcards, email newsletters, FB, Tweet, maintain my FASO site, hang my work in art shows and galleries and belong to several painting groups.

The nice thing about all those efforts is that now, other people on Etsy promote my work by adding my paintings to their Treasuries (kind of like a curated digital art show - it's an Etsy thing) which they then further promote by sharing via FB and Twitter. Other Etsy sellers have also featured my art on their blogs. One of the best aspects of the site is that sellers work in cooperation to promote each others work.

There isn't a magic formula I've discovered for succeeding on Etsy, just a whole lot of hard work.

Spencer Meagher
via canvoo.com
It's encouraging to know that there is more than one way to succeed as an artist. As creative people we just have to look for creative ways to market our work.

Stede Barber
via canvoo.com
Hi fellow New Mexicans, Stede here from Medanales (Abiquiu area)...Deb, you might look into the Los Alamos Public Library which has a beautiful gallery on the 2nd floor...well lit, great hanging system. It's often booked a bit ahead, but get yourself on the list.
Also in Los Alamos is the Fuller Lodge Art Center, under new management and I'm hearing good things. They do juried shows, have a portal gallery that you can request a showing in, and a gift shop.
Santa Fe Artists Market is an outdoor show across from the SF Farmer's Market. You need to be a Northern New Mexico resident. Check out their website for jurying process, which is taking place through March.
There are also shows in Cathedral Park, SF, but I'm not sure who organizes those. The market in the bank parking lot by the Plaza is for SF County residents only.
Lori, thank you for this article. My spirits are very lifted, and I hadn't realized they needed it!
Warmly,
Stede

Stede Barber
via canvoo.com
Kim, thanks for the insight into Etsy, which I've heard of but wasn't sure it was right for me. Sounds interesting and supportive. May I ask what price range seems successful for you there?

deb
via canvoo.com
Hey Stede,
Small world. Abiquiu is a beautiful place. We love hiking at Ghost Ranch.
Thanks for these tips. I'll definitely check the library and Fuller Lodge portal gallery... I'm closer to LA than any place else, though we're sort of in the boonies and not close to anything.
If you ever do plein air and want company, email me at mtnrunner02 AT gmail DOT com


Kim VanDerHoek
via canvoo.com
Stede - Of course the lower price points sell quickly. $100 and under. However, the last two years I've found that my lower priced studies become gateway sales for larger more expensive paintings ($250-$600). Often a collector will return to my Etsy shop for a larger gallery quality work sometimes as much as a year or two after their first purchase.

Another thing I forgot to mention about Etsy is that they have great integration with all the social media sites. Something I wish FASO had more of. As soon as you list something on Etsy you can share it with any of the sites you have an account with.

If you, or anyone here decides to join, look me up and send me a convo. (Esty's communication system), I'd be more than happy to do some co-op promotion. Search by Etsy seller username VanDerHoekArt.

Kim
via canvoo.com
Thanks to Stede for more NM art info for Deb--I knew about Fuller Lodge but the name escaped me when I responded earlier.

George De Chiara
via canvoo.com
Kim,
Thanks for the info on Etsy. I've been using ebay for a while now and I'm thinking of changing.





Kim VanDerHoek
via canvoo.com
You're welcome George. Ebay has it's advantages, like it's huge customer base but, I prefer Etsy. At least if you give it a try Etsy isn't a big investment. Plus, unlike Ebay, Etsy doesn't mind if you promote your web site or blog.

I hope my input helps!

Sandy Askey-Adams
via canvoo.com
Hello:

I find the input interesting about Ebay and Etsy.

Why have I always had the impression that Ebay is a place for selling art work cheap? Is that true?
Well, actually, to be honest, that is what I have been told.

AND Etsy, is that a step or two above Ebay?

:)Sandy


mimi torchia boothby watercolors
via canvoo.com
I would like to know how people are successfully selling on Etsy. It seems like there are a million vendors on there, how can anyone find you?

Kim VanDerHoek
via canvoo.com
Sandy and Mimi - If you look back through the last few posts on this topic like 9 or so), I believe I answer your questions.

Sandy Askey-Adams
via canvoo.com
Hmmmm Kim,
Interesting...it sounds like it really has worked out quite well for you. IT is wonderful that clients ended up buying larger art work from you later on down the road.
Guess it is all about what you put into it...meaning the marketing.

I did scan thru your posts too quickly on an earlier past day. Too fast, because what you wrote did not stick with me.

We must remember to maybe re-read what our fellow posters have to say in their posts and let it sink in.

Thank you Kim...but I do not think Etsy is for me..at least not at this time.
I went on the site to check it out, and all I noticed were mostly prints/art related items for $20 or $25 or even less.
Although I did see a few possible originals for $100 or a bit more than that.

Best to you,
:)


Esther J. Williams
via canvoo.com
I need to retract what I said about eBay in an earlier post. eBay is not all bargain hunters. An artist friend of mine sold a larger painting on there for $800 a few months ago. He puts small ones up and then a few larger ones in his eBay store. With an eBay store you can keep a listing up for 3 months.
Also, I have sold antiques, dolls and collectibles on eBay since 1997, just after they began. I was selling rare dolls, some for $3,000 each and down. I just looked at my Social Security income statement the other day, one year I pulled in over $30,000. I was a stay at home mom with young children then. After 9-11-2001, eBay took a dive and I went into selling art. I gradually did this, I still sold collectibles and linked people to my art listings. It was tough going but I wanted to be that mom and kept at it, getting little sleep.
The way I see buyers on eBay, you have all kinds, some are seriously wealthy collectors, some are cheap as all get out and then you get the middle person who wants to get a start on collecting. As an artist we need to make ourselves collectible and the degree of art we make will attract the certain above buyers. What I am saying is not to price your art far lower than you would in a gallery. Sure most everyone does, but that is attracting those bargain hunters. Let people know you are a professional and show the bio, awards, exhibition list. Tell them you have sold many paintings if you have and if any are in corporate collections.
Enough for now, I am going to paint in the wilderness and need to get out the door.

Lori Woodward
via canvoo.com
Thanks for sharing that encouraging advice Esther. you've made an excellent point about not bringing our prices down for bargain hunters. Our art is worth what it's worth.

I agree, We should have stable prices no matter where we sell.


Kim VanDerHoek
via canvoo.com
I agree for the most part, but, I do think there is a place for affordable art. Often new collectors begin a collection with a small, less expensive purchase because they aren't sure of themselves yet. It is important to value your work in the right price range but, and I'll probably take a lot of heat for this, I don't see anything wrong with offering a small selection of affordable art in order to create a clan (Clint's term). Again, I emphasize the words - small selection.

Sandy Askey-Adams
via canvoo.com
Kim..

I agree with you about also offering affordable art.
The problem I have and disagree with is when the art is priced too low and out of the market range that other artists have on their works.

IN other words, when the art is priced like a "Give away" or trying to underprice other artists. It happens.



Karen Winters
via canvoo.com
Sandy, I see that kind of low-balling behavior a lot, including in some merchant online sites. There is a double-edged sword to doing that.

Some collectors see work they like but when it's priced too low they question 1)the credibility, professionalism and confidence of artist 2) the value of the "investment."

I'll never forget being an a co-op gallery one time where I was gallery sitting. She liked a painting by an artist and asked me if the artist was "listed." I said I didn't know but could find out. She looked back at the price tag and said "the price is too low, she couldn't be." And walked away. The low price was a turn off. If it had been higher, based upon my observation, it may well have sold.

Low-ballers may be shooting themselves in the foot. There are a plethora of reasons why people do that other than lack of confidence, of course. I'm just mentioning one potential consequence of that kind underpricing.

Kim VanDerHoek
via canvoo.com
Sandy and Karen, I agree and have seen similar situations. It's such a fine line to walk.

Barb
via canvoo.com
Yes, to sell or not to sell if that is the question! you can put paintings on a wall in a gallery and hope! or you take your life in your own hands and sell all the other ways we've all mentioned here! Great topic!

Carol Schmauder
via canvoo.com
Lori, another wonderful article! Thank you for you always prudent advice.

Brian Sherwin
via canvoo.com
I can remember people scoffing about the idea of selling art online in the late 1990s. Especially within the context of the mainstream art world. That is one reason why so many 'prestigious' galleries had very, very, very bad site design up until a few years ago when the major art fairs started to embrace the internet.

It is kind of funny-- many of the people who are praising VIP Art Fair-- the first online art fair-- are the same people who have bashed the idea of selling art online off and on up until now. Paddy Johnson and Edward Winkleman come to mind. I'm a fan of their writing-- but both have downplayed the idea of utilizing e-Commerce to market art until recently. VIP Art Fair comes along and all of the sudden selling art online is "revolutionary" and "Ground-breaking". I guess they forgot that artists paved the way.

With all of that in mind-- I can understand why some professionals within the art world were skeptical about online marketing at first. I recall reading a book by Daniel Grant that detailed how some artists were paying as much as $40,000 to have their website designed and promoted in 2001!!!

On top of that, I can recall websites that only allowed artist to post a single image for a rather expensive fee. Basically artists were paying hundreds per month for a single page. Things have changed-- and with people like Clint and the FASO team things will only get better.










 

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