The artist does not sell art, but they do sell themselves if they succeed.
What do you think? I think this is what I believe after five years.
And how do you sell yourself as an artist?
I sell myself by painting what comes naturally, but I must dare to be a failure or to try something outside of my comfort zone in order to know what works. Do any of you relate or no? There are no right or wrong answers on my thread, let it all hang out. I'll make it private if you want me too.
It is not either or if you are selling in person or the original work - you are selling your art - the only time I ever sold myself was on commissions. Very frankly, your art should sell itself. If you are in a gallery - you might have to dance a jig or two at shows and openings - but otherwise - nope - you are not really selling yourself. (There will be opposition to my opinion. LOL).
Agree. If you are serious at this, you are selling a whole package - the art, the artist, the brand.
As opposed to trying create an image around a keyword.
Can art sell itself? Sure and it that is all there is you are at the mercy of the competition and perhaps price. This is like selling stock images in which no one cares who the artist is, in fact the buyer assumes a machine made it.
I've got mixed feelings.
Before the internet, I would have said, the total package. Good galleries always told the story of me to potential customers.
In recent years, I'm almost 100% online for originals and most of the people I never even speak with. It goes like this:
1. Initial inquiry by e mail if a piece is available and request for pricing.
2. My response with terms
3. Money sent through Paypal
4. Painting shipped.
That said, I'm getting in people's faces again this year, after a 3 year hiatus...doing two exhibitions and one convention. Two will involve lectures, so I'm back to selling me again. ;)
Roger, ROFL! lol, I relate with your statement above.
Marlene, I have mixed feelings too somehow, the art is good or it's not and yet, it's certainly not going to grow legs and walk out that door even if it's awesome. We, as artists, have to get it in the eyeballs of our audience and if they don't see us, they usually don't see the art either, but that's not always true.
Rich, I agree with one point, the hook is the art...but sometimes it's the artist.
Edward and Roger, I agree with everything you two write, it seems.
Roy and Mike, I like the feeling in my gut when you speak...not necessarily agreeing, but I like the opposition to what I'm saying. I just sell more when I get connected with people.
Years ago, I heard a woman on a talk show talk about meeting people to date. She said something very specific to dating but it rang true for my art.
To paraphrase, she said, if you are looking for a great apartment, you cannot sit in your crappy, old one, waiting for someone to ring your doorbell and deliver the perfect new abode.
You gotta get out there and look. Be creative, think outside the box, plant seeds, network and don't get discouraged.. Same goes for meeting people. You cannot stay at home, waiting for Mr. wonderful to ring your bell, no matter how fabulous you may be.
AND, same goes for our art...you cannot hide out in your studio, thinking you will magically be discovered.
Any time that I have ever sold anything, it was art that I was selling.
What people hang on the wall is not the artist, but some artifact that blends with their surroundings in a positive way. They look at that artifact reflexively as the artifact complementing their own space. The artist is of secondary interest, after that, in my opinion.
And if I sold myself, then that would be illegal in this country. (^_^)
My FAA website drove my last customers to find, then contact me and commission a painting. The thing I struggle with is devoting time toward promotion of my work, when what I really want to do is create.
Lisa, I'm more interested in my art than selling my art. I'm not opposed to selling my art but I don't really care if it doesn't sell. I never approach art thinking about what I think will sell or not it's never a consideration. The best art, the most interesting art, the most liberating art, and the most meaningful art for me personally comes because I don't have the worries or added mind clutter about the selling process, it's only about the art.
Once the art is created in this manner and provided I create something as stated above that pleases me, then if I happen to offer it for sale I will have the belief needed which will certainly transmit to the buyer. That is where your salesmanship with your passion for your own art will shine through the brightest creating the best selling opportunity.
When I sold Real Estate many moons ago I soon realized that you can not sell someone a house , what you can do is introduce them to their new home.
You are not selling 2' x 4''s and soffits but you are selling to them a lifestyle.
It must be enticing, and it must match.
If I translate that into Art , I am going to feel that I am not selling a canvas, with blobs of paint , or my sophisticated flair - with muck boots on :
I am reuniting them with a memory , a comfortable spot - a place to call home.
I am not intriguing enough to sell myself, but I can remind them of who they are.
I don't sell myself at all, I have no defined brand, I still manage to sell the occasion piece of art. However, I think that statement is more often true than not especially if you want to actually make a full time income from a fine art business. In order for me to do that I would have to straight up lie because there is nothing that interesting about me that's going lure fine art customers in, I'd have to make up some fake persona.
I started selling paintings in 1974, and everyone was very excited to buy something by that up-and-coming 19 year old. Over the years, I've had a few hiatuses from painting, and I noticed that each time I returned, there was less interest. Youth had been a big selling point.
Now I do best with very young collectors, who seem intrigued by that strange old man who paints. To them, age imparts some odd glamour. And when I meet them, after a few drinks, they hear some very interesting stories which probably enhance my image. Or scare them off.
I used to display my work in a performing arts center, and every time there was a ballet, I sold something. I could never figure that out, but I was pleased because the purchasers knew nothing about me.
Sorry to ramble. Happens when you get to a certain age . . .
That is why I pay galleries a big chunk of my sales. LOL In all honesty, I am too much of a pushover (I only act mean) to sell myself. Myself wants to run and hide from people, unless they have a dog with them. Then I forget my fears and bond with the pup! If only dogs could buy my art! :0
Selling online in a print on demand venue is an interesting paradigm. It's true online alchemy when you nail it. When you make sale, money is transferred into your bank account. That's the holy grail of money making: automatically. What's even better in the realm of automatic money making is the "art printable" downloadable because there is no physical product. . Last month I made a nice sale of very large prints for an unexpected profit; it goes to show you that people find artwork through various search methods. I've done no real advertising. The sad truth is: schlock art sells... the stuff I sold was kind 'a schlock. I have no idea how people found it.
Well, I look at it this way...if you don't have the goods (the art), they're not going to come near you in the first place to possibly find out what a lousy human being you actually are. (Talking in generalities, of course, not about you, Lisa!)
So, art first, artist second.
Phyllis, you made me laugh because you just described me at art fairs/farmers markets in the old days. I eventually got used to selling myself but it was always much easier for me if the potential customer had a dog with them.
Wow so many great points! I really couldn't come up with the right frame of mind today if I wanted too, but you guys have fed me everything I need to coach myself on. Not even one of you said anything that didn't represent a rational mind set.
I had a tough day today. I got a painting ready for the gallery and went there to hang it. It didn't look all that great with the other groupings and I didn't market it either. My spirit is a little down, but I recovered quickly.
After the gallery, I went and took down all my paintings from my mother's house. That felt very strange, and my car is full of these works. My sister who lives with my mother wanted them out of there and it's the home she lives in with my mother. My art is not as important as family harmony so I'm fine with taking down the art and the hallway actually looks a lot better now. SMH
After that I hiked for a couple of hours and came up with a plan for all these unwanted works, about twenty paintings some very large.
I think every artist has days like this where they wonder what to do with the excess work that hasn't sold...The Unwanted. ROFL.
The only reason I sell art is the fact I have too much of it and I enjoy painting and I enjoy people as well. I like it when people talk to me and want to share a story or two.
I relate a lot with what Marlene and Janine said, very interesting perspectives and rings a bit true for me. I'm going to get out there and focus my attention on introducing my art to new buyers...lol
I should add that print sales are meaningful in the sense of the rush I get when I do sell, but I'm more about selling original art.
David and Janine, I don't think you have to be amazing, intriguing or interesting to sell art or at least I hope not!!!
I basically paint because I prefer a boring life, or less of the life of a party. I enjoy the creative process...especially if there is a shred of hope I can produce what I set out to do. It's always a challenge, isn't it?!
The paintings in our heads, yes, it is a challenge to get them onto paper or canvas. When I was younger, I destroyed many a canvas out of frustration. Now I'm more patient, and I don't judge myself as harshly. Some days it's tough to get started, but once I do, the process takes on a life of its own. Obviously you know that.
You did have a tough day, but you rose above it. You're strong, and it shows in your work.