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Respect Your Collectors Part 6

by Luann Udell on 2/17/2011 9:14:20 AM

This post is by  Luann Udell, regular contributing author for FineArtViews.  Luann also writes a column ("Craft Matters") for The Crafts Report magazine (a monthly business resource for the crafts professional) where she explores the funnier side of her life in craft.  She's a double-juried member of the prestigious League of New Hampshire Craftsmen (fiber & art jewelry).  Her work has appeared in books, magazines and newspapers across the country and she is a published writer.  She's blogged since 2002 about the business side--and the spiritual inside--of art.  She says, "I share my experiences so you won't have to make ALL the same mistakes I did...." You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.

 

 

Give Them Your Very Best

 

Your best work, your best attention, your best intention.

 

There was a time you could load your art stuff into a truck, drive to a show, set up a table, throw a cloth on it, and sell your stuff. 

 

There was a time when an artist could sit in his chair, sniff at customers browsing at his book, look off into the distance disdainfully and say, “My art speaks for itself."

 

All you had to do was show up.

 

Those days are so over.

 

Now, even people with money want a reason to buy your work.  They can go to any number of stores, websites, shows, and find well-made, beautiful stuff.  So why should they buy yours?

 

They will buy your work if it’s good enough.  But more importantly, they will buy your work if it speaks to them.  And they’ll buy your work if YOU speak to them.

 

I’ve been discouraged about the market for art and fine craft.  My sales first tanked at wholesale shows and then the major fine craft shows I tried.  Awhile back, even the very loyal crowd at my beloved League of NH Craftsmen show had a muted attendance.  I had my worst show in ten years a few years back.  Even a hearteningly big sale on the very last day was overturned when, a week later, the customer insisted on returning her purchase. I was totally disheartened.

 

I’d come to the conclusion that, even if I had to go back to a day job, I was still going to make my stuff.  Maybe I couldn’t afford to do a booth at the show anymore (almost $1,500 for a 10’x10’ space).  But somehow, I would keep making it.  My passion for what I have to say would not be stopped.

 

I decided to give it one last shot.  Not to make a killing, but to say goodbye to my customers there.   I treated my booth as a one-woman show.  Using museum-like display and more signage, I shared what was in my heart when I made each piece.  I displayed a beautiful poem for the first time, one that spoke of the purpose of my work.  I’d always felt it was too “out there” for a craft show.  But what the heck?  I wore my proverbial heart on my literal sleeve and went for it.

 

Then a funny thing happened.   

 

I had one of my best shows ever.

 

People came out in droves that year.  Some were new visitors.  Some were customers I hadn’t seen in years, even a decade or more.  Some had already bought significant pieces from me. 

 

But everyone said the same thing:  “This is the year…..”

 

“I’ve been following your work for ages, and this is the year I’m going to get something.”

 

“I’ve bought your work as gifts for others, but this is the year I’m getting something for MYSELF.”

 

“I’ve had a horrible year, my savings are in shambles and I’ve been so depressed.  But I don’t want to be in that place anymore.  This is the year I promised myself I’d buy one of your beautiful horses.”

 

Something in my messages of hope rising out of the ashes of despair; my story of the importance of doing our heart’s work; my respect and attention to even the most modest collector—something spoke to these people.  Something I said, or made, or shared, simply spoke to their heart.  And they wanted a piece of it, to hold, to keep with them.  To remind them to be brave, or patient, or bold.  To reassure them that they have a place in the world.  To teach them that they, too, have a story to tell.

 

People don’t buy our work because we explore the tension between light and shadow or because we balance fine line work vs. textured paint.  They are attracted to it because they like how it looks.  It reminds them of a remembered scene from their childhood or of a life-altering journey they made.

 

There may be people who love to be brow-beaten by a sullen artist who feels unappreciated by the masses.  But it’s more likely they’ll be attracted to the passion you have for your work, to the enthusiasm you show for your subject.

 

There are high-concept artists who can lay down a line of art-speak and academese, garnering rave reviews from art critics.  But most of our customers simply want something they can look at every day in their home or workspace, something that makes their heart sing.

 

Some artists may attain careers the rest of us can only dream of.  The rest of us will have our own definition of success, individual to each of us.  It may involve how much money we make or how many books and magazines cite our work.

 

But bottom line, I believe most of us make the work we do because it MEANS something profound to us.  And our greatest success is when it connects on a similar level with someone else-- someone who used to be a stranger, but is now our collector.  Someone who finds their life enriched, empowered, impassioned, CHANGED by our work.

 

That’s what we owe our collectors.

 

We owe them the most passion we can bring to our work.  We owe them the courage it takes to keep moving forward with our work, taking it constantly to new heights and new challenges.  We owe them our best effort to keep making the best work we can.  We owe them the true power in our hearts, that comes from doing the work we were put on earth to do.

 

We owe it to ourselves to find the highest, best use of our artistic drive and energy. 

 

Years ago, when I first met Lori Simons, she said something that’s always stayed with me.  We were discussing what it took to be a successful artist.  She said, “It HELPS to be a good artist.”  I loved her little hesitation and the emphasis on “helps”. 

 

Yes, it helps us tremendously to do good work, to be good at what we do, and to perfect our skills and techniques.  But there are many other factors involved, including a little dash of luck.  (Although remember, luck is opportunity plus preparedness!)

 

Respect your collectors by sharing the best of who you are and they will reward you many times over—and in many different ways.

 



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Related Posts:

Respect Your Collectors Part 2

Respect Your Collectors Part 4

Respect Your Collectors Part 1

Respect Your Collectors Part 3

Respect Your Collectors Part 5


Topics: art marketing | FineArtViews | inspiration | sell art 

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 41 Comments

Sandy Askey-Adams
via faso.com
Hello Luann....
I have been doing the art shows since the late 70's and I do not remember any time that I could just drive to an art show, throw on a table cloth and sell my "stuff."

Guess I NEVER looked at it that way. From the time I began doing the outdoor art shows, it was very important how I represented my work and myself...and presented my work and myself.
I always respected the way the work was presented.
If I wanted to appeal to the public, I had to be appealing....my work as well as my own appearance.
It showed respect for myself as well as for my collectors.

:)Sandy

mimi torchia boothby watercolors
via faso.com
what a beautiful story! thanks for sharing and good luck to you.

Virginia Giordano
via faso.com
Luann - The passion you talk about sharing with collectors, is the passion you've shared in writing this post for us. If I only absorb one idea or feeling this week or month, which moves me and my work, this is it. Thank you.

Bonnie Samuel
via faso.com
So true! People may be drawn initially to your art, but the personal connection with the artist is equally important.

Kim VanDerHoek
via faso.com
Hi Luann. Recently I met a collector at a group show I was part of and he had an interesting insight. Another artist I know and I were talking about what to write on our blogs and we both were joking about our lives not being very interesting when the collector chimed in. He said that he loves to hear the personal stories artists have to tell because if he buys a piece of art he wants to be able to talk about it to his friends. That includes the personal story of the artist as well as the story behind the artwork itself. It was an eye opener to hear that yes, collectors really do want to hear about the inspiration behind my work AND what it took for me to create it.


Esther J. Williams
via faso.com
LuAnn, thanks for this article of inspiration from the artist`s heart. It hits mine. I was up very late last night sending out a newsletter with over 20 works for sale. I looked at my images and information under each one, it looked too empty of feeling, so I added a line of my thoughts on each piece. I put some emotion of my own into it. Besides, these are my babies, my children, I created and nurtured them to completion. It just sounds better to a viewer to read a personal note about a work of art from the artist. What moves us to paint. A little story about why we created it. My customers have told me they like that note I have begun to attach to a piece. Then at the very end of the newsletter I put how I take the utmost in care to protect and create each piece using the best of quality materials. You are right, people are getting smarter and more particular about selecting art. People can tell when an artist places more than subject matter into a creation, they are looking for inspiration too. So, in my moments of sensing the awe in nature, I try my best to transfer it to the picture with gestures beyond the lines that define an object. People are intellectual or shall I say well informed nowadays, they might be sparked by a well done work of art, but what they read or learn about an artist`s personality or character certainly gets weighed into the purchase. Sometimes it doesn`t at all when the piece is viewed at a gallery without the artist present. The piece does speak for itself strongly and the viewer goes batty. I love it when that happens, so I was told recently when a gallery sitter called me to say that a visitor saw my landscape and became very emotional about it, wishing she could buy it for her home over the fireplace. It was not sold, but the comments I heard she made, well, that just made my job as an artist worth it!

Sandy Askey-Adams
via faso.com
Luann..

What you wrote up above is a great reminder of how we must present ourselves to the public..who may become collectors of our work.
It also tells how experience teaches.

I think for the most part, most artists, at least all those I have ever known or met while doing the outdoor art show circuit do exactly that.
And especially the shows today (as many did back then too) jury for not only your art work, but the kind of display and canopy one uses.

The artists in the show represent their art show venue also. They want the people who visit their art shows to be impressed by the quality of the presentation of their overall show.
They have to sell their art show(s) too...and attract the buyers/collectors. For most of them it is a business.
Without them, the artists will have no place to show their art work as far as the outdoor art shows go. (besides galleries and benefit art shows, etc.)

George De Chiara
via faso.com
Hi Luann. I really enjoyed this series. Each one is just loaded with wonderful information. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences and insights.


Sharon Weaver
via faso.com
There is no story more compelling than a rise from defeat. It inspires, teaches and helps everyone to do better. You're tale shows courage and a strong belief in yourself. Way to go.

Michael Cardosa
via faso.com
Hi Luann,

Not sure if you are going to continue your series here about collectors but all the segments have been excellent. Thank you!

There is a paragraph in this piece "People don”t buy our work because we explore the tension between light and shadow or because we balance fine line work vs. textured paint. They are attracted to it because they like how it looks. It reminds them of a remembered scene from their childhood or of a life-altering journey they made." That I think is key to selling art. At least for most of us. There is probably some stratospheric level of artist most of use will never meet let alone be that sell their art because their signature means a good investment. I think that is a vastly different audience and doesn't merit inclusion here in these discussions. I said something similar to the above recently so I can say I agree with that statement 100 percent. Most collectors buy art that they like and can identify with and can (or almost) afford. Throw in that they probably try to have some connection with the artist if possible either by conversation or being at an opening or something which kind of sweetens the pot a bit. But I truly believe that's it...

I also (almost) think that while it's not necessary to be in a gallery to sell art, I think that sometime, somewhere, some of these collectors have had to stand in front of an artist's work to build that feeling of connection. There has to be some "real" touching and seeing to make the online images believable.

I think I've rambled a bit here but I did want to restate that I certainly agree that for most of us mortal artists having a collector connect with something we've painted is the key to having them collect it.

Thanks again,

Michael


Sandy Askey-Adams
via faso.com
Hello Again Luann...

"You Best Work, Your Best Attention, Your Best Intention." I love that sentence. Thank you. IT could be a sign to hang up in the studio...or for that matter, it relates to anything snyone chooses to do in life.

But, obviosly after reading the beginning of your article, I was commenting on the art shows and how you found them to be in my first couple of comments. I could not let it go in my mind about just throwing a tablecloth on a table, etc...
I guess what I am trying to say is that I have found that collectors have always been "smart" about buying art work in knowing what they like or dislike.
It is not that a light bulb suddenly went off in their heads.
They have always wanted to know about the artist.

Artists who I have met throughout the years of doing these shows, have always sent out art show notices sharing their backgrounds and thoughts about art or a special painting they have completed, they have sent letters, thank you notes, and at times even birthday cards, congratulations on births, and holiday cards.... and very much treated their collectors with respect.

BTW, it is good to write an artists statement or bio along with contact information and place it on the back of each painting for the collector to have. They like that very much.

I have enjoyed your continued writings on this subject. Very well written and expressed. It has been refreshing and as I said, it is a good reminder. There were things you wrote...that I thought to myself...Oh ya, that is right. I almost forgot about that...etc.

But, I would not be honest if I did not say that I have always seen artists respectful of their collectors. They have always been willing to share and STAY CONNECTED to their collectors. Some become close friends.

(I have been busy writing up a newsletter, etc.. that I send out to my collectors because I have a few art shows coming up.)

I am glad that things turned around for you Luann. I dislike seeing or hearing of anyone feeling discouraged. Have been there. You deserve that since you work hard and are a wonderful artist and writer.

Esther J. Williams
via faso.com
LuAnn, well, it just happened to me also. One of my former buyers who bought a painting for his grandson last year, just emailed me in response to my special newsletter art sale and said he is buying one for himself. It has made my day to say the least. I met this person while I was painting on the beach, he was from back east out here on vacation. He loved the little piece I was painting and bought it over an email after he returned home. Now, he is treating himself to a larger piece and I am back in business after a slow start to this year. Doing that newsletter sale was worth all the extra hard effort. Better than getting a part time job at Aaron Brothers! I am going to print out this art sale newsletter and send it to my former customers who do not do the computer. I have even called a few customers to say hi and that I sent a special sale to only my customers. I have more people interested in this sale as a result. My legs are stiff from sitting at my computer for 3 days, but sometimes we have to buckle down and market with a targeted effort.
Hard work and smart work pay off! I am taking the Chihuahua for a well needed long walk today!

Sandy Askey-Adams
via faso.com
Congratulations on your sale Esther. I am happy for you.
Always pays off to stay connected to our collectors.

Carol McIntyre
via faso.com
Right ON, Luann! A great reminder for us all.

Sue Betanzos
via faso.com
Hi Luann, this was an excellent article to read because what you described happened to me last year. It was so discouraging, my display was very nice and professional. People would compliment my display and admire my work, yet I barely broke even in sales. It left me wondering if art fairs are a venue for me. I am concentrating on a newsletter to get out soon those that did fill out contact info.
Thanks Esther for sharing your story on the newsletter! Contrats on you sale!

Sue Betanzos
via faso.com
Hi Luann, this was an excellent article to read because what you described happened to me last year. It was so discouraging, my display was very nice and professional. People would compliment my display and admire my work, yet I barely broke even in sales. It left me wondering if art fairs are a venue for me. I am concentrating on a newsletter to get out soon those that did fill out contact info.
Thanks Esther for sharing your story on the newsletter! Contrats on you sale! I have subscribed to your newsletter.

Carolyn Henderson
via faso.com
Luann:

This is a beautiful, beautiful post, sensitively written with a glimpse into the heartache and angst of your soul as you faced the loss of your dream and your passion.

That same emotion that you infused into your "last" show was indeed the catalyst to the next level -- Phoenix rising from the ashes, as you say.

I am happy for you that you climbed the switchbacks and reached the next level of your journey.

Spencer Meagher
via faso.com
Your words are encouraging in these difficult times. We all need hope. Believing in ourselves, our art and the future is what keeps us moving forward. Thanks.

Esther J. Williams
via faso.com
Thanks Sandy and Sue, I feel so grateful for people who have bought my artwork, but even more grateful for the ones who step up to buy another.
I have to thank Clint Watson for his ideas of engaging your people into conversations and putting emphasis into the e-newsletter for future business with our contacts.
Before I was with FASO, I just did anything willy-nilly to make sales. Now, I am forming marketing campaigns and focusing on my tribe (customers and followers). I am also entering into more exhibitions this year to gain new collectors. I believe I have something to share in the way of my creations and the more people that know about those creations, the merrier life as an artist becomes. We can`t create and live in a void, we need exposure, we need to take gambles. When I take a risk, it makes my stomach knot up, when it is successful, all that pain goes away. That saying no pain, no gain resonates with me in this life.

Sandy Askey-Adams
via faso.com
So true Esther...

We can't create and live in a void. We certainly do need the exposure. Not easy for those who feel timid about getting out there with their work. I am trying all the time to be less timid when at the art shows and talking abaout my art and accomplishments.....I have come a long way with that.
Reading some of the marketing art books have been helpful, such as "I'd rather be in the studio!" by Alyson B. Stanfield and also the book, "Art and Fear," among many others...and of course listening to and reading about what other artists do or have done.
But reading the book does not replace getting out there and doing the work to let collectors know about one's art work. I mean, YES, read the book but then ACT on it.

Sue Betanzos
via faso.com
Right on Esther! And it is scary taking risks. Financially I have learned what not to do. It is so important to get work out there because we have to "let our light shine!". We all have something vital to share with the world. Here is a quote I like and read when I need a spirit boost:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Used by Nelson Mandela in his 1994 inaugural speech



Dougie
via faso.com
Great posting!!!! I just started selling my paintings at shows (and started to go to large shows this year). I know that, when I'm painting, I paint for myself. I like the colors/designs, etc of my painting. However, when I'm done, I always wonder if others enjoy it.

I find that art fairs/craft shows are extremely important to me (more than the financial aspect). When someone comes up to you and tells you how much they love your work, it makes you feel good.

With that feeling, I'm happier and, as the day goes on, it makes me want to talk to more people to get more of a reaction. The more people that I talk to and smile and tell them about how I thought up the painting, the more they stay around and eventually buy something.

I've realized that it's my paintings that get them to stop and look. It's my personality that gets them to hand over their money. :-)

I went to one show where I saw an amazing watercolor artist. His stuff was gorgeous and his booth was always filled with a dozen people. Man, I thought, he must be cleaning up. However, he was busy painting and ignoring everybody. All of those people and not one sale. Looked like nobody wanted to bother him. He missed some great opportunities.

Dougie

Marian Fortunati
via faso.com
I love to read your posts, Luann, because they are so full of passion, spirit and purpose..... And because they gently remind me of truths.

Thanks!

Sue Betanzos
via faso.com
I agree 100 percent and look forward to them. Each perspective has something interesting and often enlightening to share. Sandy, the book that I currently find helpful is Caroll Michels How to Survive and Prosper as an Artist - 5th edition. It has good leads and food for thought. Reading this forum is also a big help!
I will check out the book you have mentioned - thanks!

richard christian nelson
via faso.com
This is a very inspiring post. It's so easy to get so lost in our world that we can stop noticing how other folks see our work. And it's critical to treat them in a way that we would wish to be treated too.

Barb Stachow
via faso.com
Yes, I agree artwork can be great, but bad attitude will not sell paintings!

Deborah Weinstein
via faso.com
Lovely post, Luann. Thank you.

Joanne Benson
via faso.com
Hi Luann,
Another winning post. Thanks for sharing all of your insights with us. And thanks to everyone else who added their stories and advice. I sold 2 paintings this past week at a charity event. The hostess introduced me to the buyer and we had a lovely conversation and I ended up selling her a pair of paintings I had framed alike because I thought they made a good pair. The buyer made a comment about meeting the artist. It was important to her to have met me. And it has been important to me as well. Most of the art I have collected came from artists I have met or am friends with or have some connection with. It makes it just that much more special when you have that connection.

Luann Udell
via faso.com
How lovely to come back and read all your wonderful comments! Esther, good on you for acting on these thoughts and making a sale. And I'm glad it's relit the flame of good energy and winning attitudes with all of you.

It's easy to get discouraged when times are hard. But it's also important to remember that when times are hard, that's when people need our art even more. That's what I truly learned two years ago, and I won't easily forget it again.



Marsha Hamby Savage
via faso.com
Thank you Luann. You have reaffirmed much of what I believe. Most customers (clients) really do want to know the artist, or have a connection of some kind with the artist. They love the stories about the art, about producing it, and other items of interest of being an artist. I always put a paragraph on the back of the painting about where the scene is, or something about the inspiration for the scene.

But, we must also remember to not overdo it when we are talking. I usually start off by asking them what they see when looking at the painting. I try to say a few things, and then ask questions of the listener (client). We want them to feel they are participating in the connection.

When we have smiles and a little laughter, the connection is usually made better for the person even thinking of purchasing art. They come away from this interation with good feelings. That is always my intent -- uplifting in some way.

Stede Barber
via faso.com
Luann,
I read your article early yesterday, and it has stayed with me...as so many have mentioned, it touches a chord of hope, and values the importance on not only professional presentation, but also heartfelt sharing of our work.

Thank you.

Warmly,
Stede

Esther J. Williams
via faso.com
LuAnn, I am glad I put all the extra effort into this art sale through my newsletter. Another former customer just purchased four more paintings last night! I thanked her from the bottom of my heart. We are going to meet in person and make an afternoon of it. I am going to have to thank her with an extra gift for certain. Here is another person whom I kept in touch with for several years and she really surprised me yesterday when she asked for four of my specially priced pieces. The way I think of it, she was smart in building an art collection when the opportunity was right. History will tell years from now as it has in the past of collectors who purchased works from artists that became well known and prices sky-rocketed as they became more successful. I am not saying my prices are going to sky-rocket right away or if that is a absolute, it is a slow process, depending on more awards, gallery affiliations, who promotes that artist, etc... It`s best for collectors to get in the door early, to take a chance on an artist and be a part of watching that artist rise up the ladder.

One more thing, I thought yesterday, if we artists are appreciated by art buyers who purchase more of our works, it helps us to keep doing what we love to do, create more art. In creating more art, we are giving a unique part of ourselves to the world of art and to humanity. We are able to give our gift and evolve more in our field of art. Today I can say thanks to several people who appreciate and purchased my art, I get to stay in my element of joy! Not work for someone or some company that will make me miserable.

Joanne Benson
via faso.com
Esther, Congratulations on your additional sales! Way to go! I am now inspired to fire up a newsletter highlighting some newer paintings! Thanks for the incentive.

Susan
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There is no better boot camp to find out how your art is perceived than a public fair booth, or the like. Sit there for a week and watch the flow of traffic. Some will make a beeline for your work, having seen it from afar and loving it. Many will not even notice it. and others will glance and walk by. Days may go by without a sale, and then you will sell a group of paintings for some reason.

Gallery owners learn this sooner than artists do. Think percentages over a period of time, rather than giving yourself a daily bad mark.

People like to think carefully before buying art. Make a study of the browsers. Ask them what they like. They will tell you, and that will inform your whole outlook on how your art is perceived by others.

Poppy Balser
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Luann

You are spot on with everything that you write. Thank you for sharing your stories and spreading hope and ideas like seeds among us artists.

I learn a lot when I read your posts.

Thank you for that.
Poppy

Leo
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Great article!!
Customers need to be priority in any business. I always get shocked how sometimes i go to stores and customer service is just horrible. If you want your business to succeed customer service should be number one on your list. :)

Sandy Askey-Adams
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Hello:

Sue, thank you for the name of that book..I will first see if I happen to have it here in my library of art books. It sounds familiar to me.

Dougie, I was re-reading some of the comments posted here and what you wrote grabbed my attention about an artist painting at an art show.

It was surprising to hear that he was not..(or appeared that he was not) doing well because he was working on a demo at the art show.

Usually doing a demo painting works as a way to attract interested people or customers over to your display which often does create an environment for sales to occur.
The problem is that while doing the demo painting at your booth,,,one must also manage to keep up a conversation with those who are watching and reminding them that you will STOP painting to take care of more involved questions and/or sales.
This is where it is good to have a business type and well-informed person present with you at the show helping with the sales side too while the artist paints and talks to the people about the painting and medium he or she is presently working on.

However too, if an artist is painting to avoid conversations with the public, then that would be a problem. Cannot imagine that though.

BUT, YES, the possible customer must always know that the artist is available for them.
I have seen artists make successful sales because they were also working on a painting at their booth.
As a matter of fact, many high quality expensive art shows ask and encourage artists to demonstrate at their booths.
People do want to know HOW THE ARTIST DID THE PAINTING.

BTW, I do not usually demonstrate a painting at an outdoor art show because it just takes too much effort and time to set everything up.
Once in a blue moon I will when or if it is an indoor art show and they are asking the artists to demonstrate. At an art show last year, I did demonstrate and it brought the attention to my booth....and there were sales. But, I do talk to the people while demonstrating.


Dougie
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Sandy,

And THAT is the key: You talk to your customers while doing your artwork. The booth vendor didn't. In fact, he didn't even look up, smile, or anything.

I keep debating about demonstrating a small oil painting inside of my booth, but, honestly, most of the time I usually have 3 or 4 people standing in the middle of it, and I really really don't want to accidentally get oil paint on them.

However, I usually bring my sketch book and show them how I go through the process of coming up with the idea for a painting.

Dougie

Sandy Askey-Adams
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That is too bad Dougie.

I have done the outdoor art shows for over 30 years as a living...and I really have usually seen artists have good sales while demonstrating their art. Of course, evidently, they were not like the artist you have mentioned.

Perhaps he was trying to avoid conversation with the public. Yikes.

That is a good idea about sharing the sketches of the progression for a painting from your sketchbook with the people.

Dougie
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Yep... totally agree. For me, I like the idea of a sketchbook to show people things in progress.

My booth protocol is pretty standard. I say "Hi" with a big smile to everybody who walks by (Especially young kids. They are always attracted to the colors in my paintings). Most of the time, that stops them and they just hang out in the booth looking at the paintings. I then tell them a quick story about the painting that they are looking at and, if I have a concept sketch for the painting, I show them that sketch. Then I reference other concept sketches on other paintings on my wall and indicate that they can purchase the original or a matted/signed print.

If they have kids, I ALWAYS talk to the kids and ask them which one they like. With me talking to the kids, the parents either 1)listen or 2) look at the paintings/prints while I've got the kids' attention.

Works well for me.

Susan Holland
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http://emptyeasel.com/2011/01/28/how-to-deal-with-kibitzers-and-other-unwanted-guests-when-painting-in-public/

The above article may explain why the fellow was not chatting with his customers.

I cannot paint and talk at the same time, personally, or both the painting and the talking are less than coherent. I suspect a lot of artists have the same problem. When I am selling at my booth, I may have a project, but it's likely to be sanding, or inserting screw eyes, or dusting the merchandise. Then I can talk and work at the same time.










 

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