Monday, October 31, 2011

questions for visual artist friends

where have you had the most success selling your work?

in a traditional art gallery?

an artist cooperative gallery?

a vanity gallery? (pay for the privilege of exhibition)

a restaurant showing?

on-line marketing efforts?

how much time on a weekly basis do you spend marketing your work?

do you sell prints of your work?

how many on-line sites do you have?

if you donate work to non-profit fundraisers/auctions...have you ever made additional sales?

if you belong to an art association, do you make sales to cover your membership, get referrals?

My answers follow:

I ask this because the traditional route of showing through galleries, responding to calls for artists, etc has not worked for me.  I did this in my early career, got some press, got some awards...but the attention was not directed so much to me as a valid artist, the attention went to the 'causes'.  social art was (may still be) very big then.

artist cooperative gallery:  founding member of Local Colors Artist Cooperative here in Gloucester.  member for 8 years...spent most of my time making cards, crafty items to pay the gallery rent, which rarely happened.  i started making reverse glass paintings during these years and demonstrated/painted in the window every day for a month...this got me my first big commission 'lucky break'.  an art consultant also found me through the cooperative, resulted in a modest sale to a corporation.

vanity gallery:  have never done a vanity gallery show.  will never pay someone to exhibit my work, unless it is a cooperative gallery.

restaurants:  have had shows in restaurants.  great openings, the restaurants looked good, no sales. clarification:  my first big commission/lucky break was to a restaurant.  i received 2 referrals, one turned into my second major commission.

on-line marketing efforts:  no sales through print on demand sites.  have started to make sales through the web during the past 3 years, and an up-coming gallery show in Maine through facebook connections.

prints of my work?  nope.

on-line sites/social networks:  3 photo sites, 4 blogs, 1 journal, facebook, google+, twitter, saatchi, youtube, and 2 print on demand sites.  so far facebook, goodmorninggloucester and live journal have produced consistent interest & sales.

non-profit auctions/fundraisers:  been there, done that.  just kissed the work good-by.  no sales, referrals. clarification:  i made the paintings of verre eglomise fish at the top of page for The Cape Ann Museum's 'Making Waves' show (it was a show about the fishing industry, the declining fish species, there was data, b&w pics of fishing boats, the fishermen, fishing gear, weight equipment, etc.  they needed images of the fish (the life blood of the industry!).  i made the paintings, gave them the work; which was on display for about 10 years.  i received lots of referrals (mostly for prints, which i do not sell); however, 2 major commissions came out of these referrals.

art associations:  none will have me, so i no longer give them my money to review me to tell me no.  money is dear and I would rather buy paint and canvas and gold leaf with $40-$50-$100-$150 required to get approved, then get in by paying the dues.

and i rarely respond to calls for entries, but I do like working with those involved in the revitalization of historic places through contemporary art. am thinking it would be cool to do an art revitalization project at The Oak Grove Cemetery.  That's where Twachtman and few other noteworthy bones lie.

looking forward to your responses/thoughts.


Good Saint Anthony come around!  We all seem lost and must be found.  


Unknown said...

Deb, most of my paintings are sold via a gallery and local stores and restaurants.

I used to sell prints in a couple local stores but, Since last January I have sold them exclusively through on line. My customers there may purchase fine art prints, plain or matted and framed or Gicklee prints framed or museum wrapped at prices I could not find locally. And, I am selling more prints.,

Check out my website@

Neta Goren said...

I sold best in Cape Ann. Also from a display at one of the restaurants on Main street, but mostly by word of mouth. I don't wish to be represented by a gallery [unless it's in Paris, Rome or Manhattan...]. I don't sell prints of my work at all. I have a blog and a website for my work and I'm not a member of any association though I would have liked to be. I'm in dire straits regarding sales...have no idea how to go about it.

Debbie Clarke said...

Thank you Bill and Neta for responding! I've asked these questions because other artists are trying to figure out the dynamics of the new art world.

Bill: your links are not working properly...the blogs open as xml files and the link you provided above comes up as an invalid url. :( if you get them working, let me know and i will check them out.
I have a fineartsamerica site, but haven't uploaded to it yet. but, i will at some point.

Neta: keep pushing the work...find ways to get folk engaged in a conversation about you and your work. btw: the addresses of your blog and website are?