Monday, October 19, 2009

Art as Business: Sellling Your Art II

So – what to do with the art you do not sell at exhibitions?


Selling through galleries/art dealers
  1. Check with other artists: does the gallery report back when something is sold or do you have to check it out yourself? Does it take long to get your money?
  2. Remember that you can not always trust recommendations
  3. ALWAYS keep written records of all details and transitions
  4. if you have to do part of their job - or if it takes too long before you get the money: pull out experiences...
  • 10 years ago I sent some fine art prints to a gallery in Norway recommended to me by a Norwegian artist. I heard nothing. I wrote letters, I tried to make phonecalls (so hard to reach and very hard to understand that dialect), I asked the Norwigan artist for help. Nothing, nada. I finally decided it was not worth the time and energy – and that I should just consider it an expensive lesson. Last year I got an e-mail with excuses - and then the gallery sent me money for sold prints … Of course I got so happy and thankful that I immediately send the gallery more of my art! (irony)

  • I had this galleries selling some of my art when I started out 10 years ago. They had always sucked at reporting sales (you had to go and ask) but then it got worse over the years – I had to go and compare lists and check drawers myself to see if anything had been sold. Then it took at least 6 months before I got the money on my account. Do I need to tell you that gallery is not one of my most cherished contacts?

  • Then there is the opposite: I have this gallery selling my Fine Art Prints mainly targeting Art Clubs. I get receipts; I get written records of my sales right away and money on my account 3 days later. Much better than if I would have done it myself!

Artist run galleries/organizations selling fine art prints
have portfolios representing all the member artists (this is not true just for Sweden). As these are organizations they do not suck on reporting sales - and normally they take a smaller percentage.

I’m myself member of Grafik i Väst, but in Sweden there are also Grafiska Sällskapet (I'm going to apply to be a member in November) and Grafikens Hus, to mention the most important. An extra plus is that art consultants buying art pieces to be hanged in public places (hospitals, schools, official buildings for state, region and municipals) visit these organizations as they house large selections of Fine Art Prints in one place. Besides, the art consultants are artist themselves and therefore favour artist run galleries!

Ok - it was short today, but I'll make it up to you next Sundays - find out about the other ways of the selling your art: Selling to “Workplace Art clubs” /Independent Workplace exhibitions (not by art clubs)/Direct Studio sales to individuals/ Internet


Marchi Wierson said...

thank you alexandra!

nathalie et cetera said...

your 4 points are very helpful. we tend to oversee these things.

Esti said...

good points. I especially like and relate to the irony of the first point. I must say, Alexandra, that your posts are really insightful and helpful.

Kitty Kilian said...

In selecting a gallery it is important to know how much they would be willing to do for you. How often do they take your work out to art fairs? How often do they put your work in their promotional materials? The more they do for you, the higher percentage they should be allowed to ask on their sales of your work. That's what I think.

taueret said...

my friend meg linked to your blog recently, and I am finding these posts so interesting. thanks for providing the information. Your cartoon of the gushing grateful artist who can barely believe her luck made me laugh out loud, twas like looking in a mirror :-).