Martha Castillo knows that "Exposure= Success." She sends a steady stream of postcards and e-cards that get my attention and my attendance at her exhibitions and workshops.
Last month Martha invited me to the largest juried, one day, fine art show in the western United States. All net proceeds from the Show went to the Saratoga Rotary Charitable Foundation, which has returned over $2 million to local non-profits through its grant program. You might call this the "Art Show with a heart."
I wanted to support Martha, and I like to support local charitable organizations, so this art event made it to my schedule. I've been a fan for years and have given gifts of her art to friends. She took the time to show me her new work. As a result, I am now the proud owner of a beautiful original clay mono print. I bought the piece because I liked it and because Martha has taken the time to get to know me as a collector.
Supporting a good cause is a great start and gets people to show up. But you need to go further if you want people to open their wallets. Charity art shows usually have food and entertainment that can distract visitors from the art that is for sale. Strangers need a little more education and encouragement to buy art. It's your job as the artist to take the mystery out of buying art.
"These are serious times, so it also helps to have a sense of humor. When people are laughing they may be more willing to buy. 'The Top Ten Reasons to Buy Art Today' was posted on a board located at the entrance to another recent art show fundraiser benefiting the Mountains Restoration Trust in Calabasas. My sister, Laura Peters created the list with my 92-year-old mother, the artist Wilkie. Many people commented on the list that day. The participating artists believed it helped close sales because it explained, in plain language, why one should buy art. I am happy to report that each of the participating artists sold at least one piece that day and everyone felt it was a great success." Margaret Danielak, author and successful artist representative.
- 20% of the purchase price will go directly to charity.
- You love it! It makes your heart sing!
- You will make an artist happy!
- The artwork shows your love of nature and reflects your taste and personality.
- The art covers a hole in your wall.
- The colors match your couch.
- The painting recalls a happy place.
- You believe art is a tangible asset - a wonderful investment.
- You like the prestige of owning an original work of art.
- You can rotate the art on your walls. (Art is not wallpaper! You can change your art to correspond to the changing seasons.)
Daughter of a painter, and former production coordinator, Margaret see possibilities where others see nothing. "By selling your work in alternative venues, you reach a whole new audience for your work than if you are only represented by a traditional gallery. Art buyers are everywhere...they are not just the people who happen to walk into an art gallery. Moreover, many people find traditional art galleries either too intimidating and/or 'snooty,' and appreciate acquiring artwork directly from the artist. It adds something special (some excitement) to the story they tell other people about the work they've acquired; they met the artist!"
Owner of Danielak Art, Margaret is the author of the popular handbook for fine artists, A Gallery without Walls: Selling Art in Alternative Venues. DanielakArt currently represents an eclectic selection of artworks created by California based contemporary artists. Aside from being a successful artist representative, Margaret is also an A.C.T. Art Business Mentor, and is available to work with you individually on your art marketing.
So next time you are down about sales, you have three choices. You can get depressed, get creative about how to put some life into your marketing or get back into your studio to remind yourself why you chose to make a living making art.
It's your career and your choice. Choose wisely!
Prefer talking about your art business in person?
Get out from behind your computer and meet with artists in your local area who make a living making art. All forms of 2D and 3D fine art, including painters, photographers, sculptors, artists who draw, etc. are welcome. Discuss the business side of art, and get practical advice you can use right away on art marketing on the Internet and on the ground.
Register now for live Social Networking Events. We'll send you a map and info: Click Here A.C.T. MeetUp groups are $20 per artist.
What members are saying about the inaugural A.C.T. MeetUp in Los Angeles with Aletta de Wal and Robin Sagara:
"Where else can you get expert information in a relaxed atmosphere for only $20 and the cost of a cup of coffee?"
We saved one artist in Los Angeles several hundred dollars and hours of time with info on better (and cheaper) ways to do her web site and emailing. She also left with solid ideas on the next steps in building her career.
"If you want to make a living making art, Artist Career Training is the place to go."
Thanks for taking the time to invest in your art career. Now go make art and feel your creativity blossom, just like spring flowers.