Saturday, June 19, 2010

State of the Arts - How to Sell Artwork if You Are Not In A Gallery

So the current state of the arts is that galleries hold the key getting in buyers of fine art. The rub comes when an artist can not get into a gallery. What do you do next? First off don't feel bad. Most galleries are run by people that are not artists. They are interested in what will sell and if they feel your work wont, they will not let you in. If someone shows interest in your work, then they might jump on board. Its the sheeple theory. Now there are a lot of good galleries out there too, but this is for you artists that have been stung by rejection. I know how discouraging it can be. Back to what do you do? Enter as many group shows as you can. The more your work is out there, the more people can see it in a comfortable setting. If you have local coffee shops or salons that show work, get in there. They usually rotate work monthly and have lots of spots to fill. You can list your work online at any online gallery site that is in your price range. Some places like etsy you can list works for like 40 cents each, and that lasts four months. Have a show at your house, or a friends house. Have them invite people. Make sure your work is priced reasonably. People that have bought work from you in the past often buy it from you in the future as well. Be professional. Make sure your any work you are trying to sell is 100% up to par. It must have a way to hang on the wall. The edges should be clean and finished, unless they are not supposed to be that way on purpose. Make business cards on your home computer. Start a blog site so that you can show your body of work to people. And most importantly if you believe in your work, do not give up. Other peoples opinions of your work are just their opinions, think of Van Gogh. A lot of time greatness goes unrecognized because it is not the familiar.


Now go sell!



  1. Here are some of my thoughts on the matter:
    (1) If people aren't interested in your work, maybe it's your fault, not theirs. I'm not trying to sound like a jerk, but I think it's important to, as an artist, keep your ego in check and realize that your work isn't God's gift to the art world. Keep on developing your work and making it better - you can always amake it better.
    (2) If your work isn't getting noticed, maybe it's because a number of other artists are already doing the same thing. If you're making expressionistic abstract paintings, photorealistic landscapes, or academic figure paintings, you're competing with thousands of similar artists from past and present. Even if you want to work in a traditional style, it's important to differentiate yourself from the crowd and do something that stands out.
    (3) If you do show at coffee shops and cafes, don't mention it on your CV. Nothing says "amateur" like a CV filled with Starbucks shows and other non-curated opportunities.

  2. That's an interesting opinion. Thanks for sharing with us. I am sure this will help out a lot of artists!

  3. Note to Self: Call Dunkin Doughnuts first thing Monday morning to take work down off their walls. Also, pick up doughnuts.