Some people can’t, or won’t sell their art. It’s just too hard to let it go.
I’ve never been that way until this year.
Most people that know me, know that I’ve been working hard on my art business this past year, focusing on learning the business end of it. Often, they ask, “so how are sales going?” and I usually reply with, “Just fine!” and don’t go into it much. Sure, I’ve had some nice sales during this time, but really I’ve been focused on building a super portfolio.
Many times in the past, especially while living off my art and supporting my then high-school aged daughter, I was painting so fast and furiously in order to pay my bills that my earlier plans to build an inventory and shop for galleries was simply not feasible. Luckily (or not), the paintings were selling right and left. My gallery was simply amazing at that, before it closed.
But this time around, and with the places I’m going with this new medium, I’m determined to do it right. I’ve been studying the business (ask me about a great course I recommend) and putting what I’ve learned into practice.
So, other than the gallery in Laguna Beach, I haven’t offered many for sale since the two art fairs in 2015, and my sales this past year have generally been through clients and word of mouth. In fact, one sale I wouldn’t have made at all except that they were friends and longtime collectors of my work. It was one of my favorites that I felt would be a great gallery calling card piece, but they were good customers and deserved it. Another sale of a really strong piece occurred through entering a few exhibitions that I chose to enter to get some notice of my work. These were exceptions.
This year has been all about building inventory, to have a consistent, concise and large enough portfolio to be effective while I’m out shopping for the right galleries, and not continually shooting myself in the foot by selling all my work. Sometimes, great sales just isn’t the right goal.
So, while I plan to participate in the Open Studios our art center is hosting early in November, and I will be offering several (especially smaller works) for sale, there will be plenty of NFS on the tags.
I’m not a patient person. My lifetime plan of attack has been to go for it and make it happen. Keeping my eye on the long-term is different for me, but I’m doing it. I’m going to hang onto a strong portfolio and enough paintings that will help me as I explore gallery options. A few sales, sure. I’m not doing it the wrong way again, the constant shows, sales, etc., until I’ve reached my goal. I’m keeping the inventory intact until I land a few more galleries that are right for the work.