Thursday, January 17, 2008

saatchi gallery online

"Dear Alexandra Hedberg

I am contacting you from the Saatchi Gallery here in London. Whilst searching the web I came upon your artwork and was impressed by the high standard of work. I would like to tell you about a new development here at the Saatchi Gallery where you can showcase your work for free. We have created a new resource entitled Saatchi Online; this allows artists to post their work and information on The Saatchi Gallery site. You can now post up to 20 images, biographical information, information about you and your art, as well as your own contact details and website. There is no fee and no commission for any sales you make through the site. We have created resource to assist artists in raising their profile on a worldwide basis..."

Now and then I get these kind of invitations from artist community/online galleries. What to think about it? (There is not such a thing as free lunch.) Saatchi Gallery is of course a very good gallery - and it's not like they really just "came upon my artwork" (probably some search engine). What are they getting out of it?

I checked it out. And was not impressed by the high standard of all the art works; but anyhow found some good artists I know. So I registered at saatchi online. (though it was not very smooth and I just managed to upload one image. I'll try again later) I'll let you know if it gives any results!

(did I sound very negative today? I have this bad cold.)


mansuetude said...

you don't sound negative--just cautious.., hope you fell better soon

it snowed here last night, don't think my snowman could be as cute as yours was.

Bibbi said...

Jag fick också inbjudan, och tänker som du, att det kan inte skada. Men det var grymt långsamt och jag lyckades knappt titta på bilder, registrerandet fick vänta.
Hoppas snuvan blir bättre!

Anonymous said...

Hi Alexandra, interesting message you received. Speaking from experience I'd say it's very hard to keep a filter on quality (as it's so subjective as to what people like to see/buy) - I know as I run an art community site myself! Having said that, I think there is a lot that can be done to highlight more established / popular / quality artists within these types of sites. I won't go into what we do at, suffice to say we have various methods both through visitor feedback and internal curators.

I agree that there's no such thing as a free lunch, and as one of my competitors, I've watched the saatchi site develop - they will monetize the site, whether through advertising, commission on sales or subscriptions, it's bound to happen.

hope your cold clears up...

Alexandra Hedberg said...

Yes, Ed - that's right - it very often starts out free and then after some time you'll get a message that nowadays you need to pay a subscription or some other fee. Or they'll drown you in some targeted advertising.

I could accept a commission on sales if it's low. If the site gives me an income it's acceptable.

Anonymous said...

what sort of percentage commission would you accept? A traditional gallery (bricks and mortar) would take somewhere from 40% - 70%, where as online, you could set up a payment gateway which would charge you as little as 3.5%.

I think an important factor is who did the work behind the sale. If an artist is just using a site to receive a payment online and the artist has done all of the promotion then the commission should be very low. However, if the gallery site spent time and money attracting buyers to the site and to that artist then they should receive a higher commission.

Alexandra Hedberg said...

Ed - I would probably accept 10-20 % commission. But saying that - I would only accept a commission if I would find the service good and that the gallery gave me (extra) credibility and through that could bring me buyers I wouldn't get otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Got the exact same message, I'm an artist too, so ave contemplated maybe trying to upload some stuff one day, but I also think it's just some search engine, so not feeling too flattered all the same ;)

/ Cecilia

Anonymous said...

Thank you for discussing this. I got this invitation and wondered if it was more serious than previous ones.
Anyway, I keep my website as it is.
My concept through 25 years has been to be anti-capitalist, working towards a sustainable society:
idealist? Definitetly! Best Grete

Anonymous said...

I've been researching online galleries and have found that most of those I've found seem hesitant to openly list their commission fees. Is there a chart somewhere listing online art galleries along with their fees, commission percentages, features and so forth? The reluctance to openly discuss these things seems suspicious to me; even a bit elitist.

Any help appreciated. Thanks in advance.