Tell Your Story, Sell More Art
The Price is Right
Confessions of a Professional Art Gallery Closer
How to Create Raving Fans by Telling the Story of Your Art
Burnout & Its (Sometimes Surprising) Consequences
How to Get Into A Gallery, and Succeed With A Gallery
The Power of Persistence
Build a Budget for Success: How I Tripled My Income in 2 Weeks
Learning to Sell Art: Investing in Yourself
Top Traits of Successful Artists
What Makes Art Remarkable?
Working for Free
The Evolution (and Re-Evolution) of An Art Business
Ann Rea: Artist, Entrepreneur, Instant Success
How Do You Know When It’s Time To Become An Artist?
8 Ways to Improve Your Online Portfolio
Artists, Do You Need an Agent?
The Power of Consultative Selling
How to Make Your Customers Fall in Love with You
Artist Housing Projects
The Pinterest Guide to Selling Art Online
Artists Who Sell: How to Write a Killer Sales Page (and why)
The 5 Biggest Mistakes that Artists Make on Their Blogs and How You Can Avoid Them
Business Plans for Artists: Here, I Did It for You!
How to Write An Artist's Statement That Doesn't Suck
How to Make Your Art Stand Out Online?
10 Strategies to Improve Your Art Sales
Social Sharing on Artist Websites & Online Galleries
Why Artists Should Avoid Gallery Representation
5 Art Pricing Lessons I Learned the Hard Way
How to Research Your Online Art Market
The Crowdfunding Guide for Artists: Part 1
12 Things all Starving Artists Believe
Personal Branding for Artists
How Paula Manning Lewis Has Sold More Than 30,000 Pieces of Art
How to Build An Art Business While Working a Day Job
The Benefits of Buying Art Online
Beginning Your Journey as an Artist
Art for Art's Sake
Note from Cory: I met today's guest blogger, Laureen Marchand, inside the ArtEmpowers.Me coaching course. Laureen is really taking a leading edge tack to promoting her gallery, and she was proactive enough to suggest this guest post here at TAA. I was excited when she sent this over because … well, it's really great! There's a ton of really useful information! If you've been wondering how to get into a gallery, this is a really great primer.
You're an artist. And you know best what should be done with your artwork. You can decide to make it, exhibit it, promote it, reproduce it, sell it if you want to. You're capable of all this, and all of it is legitimate. No one should tell you otherwise. But knowing you can isn't the same as having to, or as having to at all times in all circumstances.
I'm an artist. I've been making and exhibiting my work for over 25 years. Since 2009 I'm also a gallery owner. The visitors who come into my Grasslands Gallery are visitors to Grasslands National Park, and they aren't usually art collectors. Usually they are people who have been happy in this region, for a few days or longer, and they want something to help them remember that feeling. They don't normally go home and find artists on the Internet; they want to take the immediacy of their experience with them. If you were an artist who met that need, one way you could reach these people is by exhibiting with me. It certainly isn't the only way. But if you chose this way – the way of showing with a commercial gallery in any specific setting - you might increase your own audience and market. And wouldn't it be nice if increasing your audience could be satisfactory and rewarding instead of stressful and scary?
The good news is, it can!
"Mom ‘n Me" (pastel on board by Marsha Schuld, gallery artist)
If you're looking for a gallery to show your artwork, check out those you are interested in before making an approach.
"Near 70 Mile" (photograph of Grasslands National Park by Maggi Sliwinski, gallery artist)
Once you've established that a gallery is interested in seeing your work, there are a number of ways this can happen. Ask what the gallery prefers. Do the staff want to see your work in person, do they prefer emailed images, do they want you to drop off a disc? Whatever the gallery's chosen format is, make sure the work you submit shows you off brilliantly.
Grasslands Gallery interior
The relationship you have with a gallery is like any other relationship. It takes some work to make it grow. If you are going to show with a gallery, there are a few easy steps you can take to make the relationship successful so you can get as much reward from it as possible.
When will the work be shown? Who chooses the work to be shown? Who decides how and where it is to be hung?
Who determines selling price? What is the gallery's commission on sales? Does the gallery offer discounts, and under what circumstances? How often will you be paid?
Who is responsible for costs associated with framing, shipping, or photography?
How will the gallery promote you and your art? Who is responsible for costs or promotion? Are you expected/allowed to promote yourself also?
Honor your commitments.
Deliver artwork and meet deadlines as promised.
If the gallery asks for information or promotional material, such as images for the website, your bio or a story about your artwork or process, provide it, as professionally as you can.
If your concept changes or develops as your career progresses, keep the gallery informed.
If you have new questions or concerns over time, state them. The gallery can't provide what it doesn't know you need. Assuming the worst and getting angry, or bad-mouthing the gallery to others, is unprofessional.
"Grass Notes: Looking West" (watercolour on paper by Catherine Macaulay, gallery artist)
All artists experience rejection. Competition for galleries and exhibition spaces is strong, and your first try may not be your first successful one. High-quality artwork may not find its right place immediately, and this may have more to do with circumstance than with the art. If your artwork is rejected, send it out again to a different venue.
However, if you find that your exhibition submissions are rejected repeatedly, it may be time for some reassessment. The following questions may help.
Remember that rejection can be very hard to accept, but it is hardly ever meant personally. Some amazing artwork has met with repeated rejection and still become successful – in the artist's lifetime!
There are times when good relationships change, when both parties want something different. It's no different between galleries and artists. Some changes can be adapted to and some can't. If the change results from a misunderstanding, then a good first step is to try clearing up the misunderstanding. Ask more questions and try to hear the answers, then decide what you want to do.
But if the change is more permanent – either you or the gallery is going in a direction that means you no longer have the mutual interests you once did, maybe it's time to move on. When that happens, honor the relationship you've had, make your intentions clear, and go where you need to go.
And for all your artistic life, have a wonderful abundant career!
You'll want to check out Alyson Stanfield's downloadable audio course on how to get into a gallery, with special guest Bobbi Walker.During this program, you will learn: • How to build a portfolio that appeals to galleries. • What a gallerist will look for on your website. • How to navigate the gallery submission process. • The #1 way to get gallery representation. • How you could really screw up a relationship with a gallery.
This article is courtesy of Cory HuffCory Huff is a digital strategist specializing in helping artists learn to sell their art online. His Big Hairy Audacious Goal: help 1000 artists create a full-time living from their art. You can view more blog posts like these and get a free gift for ArtPal artists here: http://theabundantartist.com/start-here/