Friday, October 29, 2010

What to do when your art sales go dead...

 PS the Advertising Above is an OLD link and does 
not work-- it is for illustrative purposes only.

So I will tell you a little story about myself.  At one time not long ago I had an online gallery on Ebay.  When most people think of Ebay art sales, they think of cheesy, poor quality, downright gross art for sale at cheap prices.  I however took upon myself to sell gallery works, of mine and other artists, at gallery pricing.  That means there were no $30 pieces or auctions starting at 99 cents.  After a few years the said gallery was producing, and producing well.  I was selling art all the time, and was quite happy about it to boot.  But Ebay made a site change and my little built up lucrative gallery basically tanked.  At first I was confused, then I was pissed which eventually gave way to mournful.  I mean my business died!  It took me months to figure out what I was going to do.  I had to get back in the show circuit, I had been out for a long time because I didn't need to do it.  Selling from my house was easier than schlepping works out of town for shows.  Finding myself having little control over my art and sales left me questioning.  It was tricky to get back into galleries after I had been out for a while.  I was constantly having to send my work in for review.  It left me wondering, how could I have sold tons of works online, and then have a problem promoting my vision with galleries.  Depressing ughh!  Another part of selling online that I missed was that I could be really experimental.  I basically lived out my fantasy of creating whatever I wanted as an artist-- then selling it.  I didn't have to explain bodies of work or impetus-- I just created.  With all of that said I am just getting to a point where I am motivated to get works done again.  The quote "art for art sake is for the well fed" rings so true.  The point of sharing my story with you is to let you know that their are cycles of going up, and indeed what goes up can come down. If this had not happened to me I would have never started this blog for artists.  I am here and vested in providing a space that is inclusive of all artists.  A place to bounce ideas, a resource for finding work.  I hope you all have a great weekend and as always I wish you excellence in your artistic endeavors.


  1. Sonia-
    Sorry to have missed that era of your eBay days... What a visionary you are! I am forever frustrated by the kiss-kiss, "lets put you in our next show" then when I see the show I helped put together, sans me- I get slightly perturbed. The art business is not for the faint of heart. Neither however, is the business of creating art.

  2. I feel you. I am in all kinds of galleries and do shows steady throughout the year. But, when I was left up to my own hustle, selling out the back of the car, and just making and selling, I was doing much better on the cash flow. Get your hustle on.

  3. I don't have any input on this topic but I feel your pain.

    clint scism

  4. ...and the song goes...spinning wheels got to go round...I love this unexpected opportunity the wacky world of the expected has shown all of us. The fabulous thing...we are in it together and now we have had the chance to collide in the re makings of the wonderful. Thank you for sharing your story and showing me that we are the candle or the mirror...either way it's all about the light.

  5. When art sells go slow you must hustle harder! Galleries are great as long as they have the proper client base to move your art. If you are representing yourself you must do just that. It's hard to take off the creative cap on put on the business cap sometimes but it is essential. A lot of us full time artist don't have the time or skill to handle the business and marketing side of what we do, and finding good sound help is a challenge as well. If giving up is not an option, you must explore more avenues and build a good team around you. When the game get's tough, go harder in the paint. Thanks for sharing...

  6. Did you ever find out what E-bay did to kill your business?

  7. there are bigger and better art sales ahead for you. i know this about your artwork and in just knowing you now personally. it's only going up up up!
    so keep your chin up and get your hands in that PAINT ;)

  8. Thanks JJo

    Raini-- the 99 cent free auction mass filled the searches. Instead of 5,000 showing up in a category-- 30,000 do now. No one can find SH

  9. Beside the ups and downs,
    Im really glad you created this blog, thanks.
    (hopefully more ups)