Not everyone can sell and not all selling is an art. However to have a successful career as an artist you must master the fundamentals of "Art Selling" either directly or indirectly - by hiring an advocate.
Selling art is viewed as the last step in the process for most artists. A study conduct by the Little Shanty Folk Art Gallery in Louisiana, entitled "Art Study 2006" highlighted the disconnect between the creative and business process, which has lead to an unrealistic approach of art selling. The thought of setting up at a "fair" or "festival" because people are there, will lead to high sales or putting art in a store window is going to miraculously change an art career is foolish and reminisce of the 19th century mindset. Yes! some art will be purchase however, the majority art will end up being sold below the initial offering. There is a very simple reasons art is under sold; most artists do not know how to price their work and equally are unwilling to apply the "Fundamental of art selling." Which has resulted in the majority of artists with stagnate or faulting careers.
Selling is an acquired skill-set and a process which should not be taken for granted nor over looked. The number of unsuccessful art careers attest to the reality the fundamentals of selling art is not being applied. Even art practitioners failed to grasp the fundamentals which accounts for the numerous galley closings during the past few years. The outcome is clear artists and art businesses will not earn a substantial income in the art market, more less survive unless the fundamentals of "Art Selling" is properly applied.
Fundamentals begin with identifying the initial attributes of the art, followed by connecting those attributes to a value matrix. The artist creates a compelling narrative from the value points and match them with the purchasing criteria of the art buying public. The artist/team conducts customer research to locate the segment who prefers the value points they are promoting. An finally compelling marketing material is produced to invite them to the event. "Artists should spend equal time positioning his or her work and promoting the values which are central to the intended audience" Richard Lewis, Dallas Art Consultant and Collector.
Art is a creative product with its own benefits and features which are sort after by art purchasers, today's artists need to learn how to extract those points: create a narrative, determine where their art falls in the context of the art world, identify the demographics, write compelling marketing material, and most importantly sell the value. Any professional observer can ascertain if an artist has apply the fundamentals by who he/she invites to the exhibit, the context of the marketing invitations, and the selling process during the event . If the fundamentals are apply the majority of the attendees will be people who are interested in buying the art because of the value they perceive it possess in the short or long term.
"Fundamental of Art Selling" encompass vision, value and customers...there have been hundreds of workshops on technique, writing artist's statements, resumes and exposure. None of those encapsulates the "Fundamentals of art selling" which is require to succeed. Most art buyers do not seek out resumes or artist's statements. 94% of artists have faulting careers and 6% are successful at their trade making high five figure incomes. Which percentage group would you prefer to be in?
Learn the fundamentals of art selling and your career will change.