What's the Back Story on Your Art?
10 Free Ways Artists Can Get Publicity
Selling Art with Confidence
The Power of Repeat Sales
6 Ways to Sabotage Your Art Business
5 Steps to Gaining Referral Business
It's Not All About the Money
Consistency is Key to Making Art Sales
Should You Quit Your Day Job?
6 Display Tips to Increase Your Art Sales
Making a Profit with Your Art
What Blue-Chip Galleries Can Teach Us About Social Media Networking
Artists Need A Business Plan
Your Greatest Asset in Finding Gallery Representation
The Personal Touch
Sell Your Art into the Corporate Market
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
The other day a good friend and I walked through an art show taking place on the grounds of a park in beautiful San Diego, California. Art was displayed in booths along a walkway filled with visitors, with perhaps twenty artists exhibiting their work.
The artists had something else in common too – they were universally silent. As we made our way through each and every display, not one artist approached or even spoke to us about their work. One gentleman and his wife sat a good twenty feet back from their display, as if they didn't want to interact with customers at all.
I vowed to myself to make a purchase from the first artist who greeted us and talked about their work. It never happened.
We moved on to an artist's village in Balboa Park, where we browsed through permanent studio storefronts. Here, the artists had their own shops, and fortunately were much more interested in approaching customers and talking about their art. I purchased several prints and a piece of blown glass.
What was the difference here? One of the problems that artists have when they set up at an art show is that they aren't thinking like store owners. But they are – their stores may be temporary, but they are in fact stores.
Lack of confidence is often a problem when artists only venture out into the sales world every so often. But confidence sells more work - by a long shot.
When you don't interact, it is communicated to your customers that you don't care. You may simply feel awkward, but your silence is actually speaking volumes. Questions go unanswered, and a huge dimension of your work – which is you yourself as the artist, your inspiration, your technique, your vision – are absent.
Next time you are "in the field" (perhaps literally) challenge yourself to think like a store owner. Prepare ahead with comments and information that tell your customers about your work. Memorize this, even if it's just a catchphrase to start a conversation. Despite your discomfort, do it anyway.
As you make that contact, it gets a lot easier. Your comfort zone gets larger. You become more confident. As you make sales of your work that result from "thinking like a store owner" and connecting with customers, you will gain even more confidence. Give it a try, and watch how your opportunities improve.
This article is courtesy of Carolyn EdlundCarolyn Edlund, founder of Artsy Shark, is a business writer, speaker and consultant for artists. She is the Executive Director of the Arts Business Institute, presenting at art business workshops throughout the United States. Carolyn works with artists every day in strategy sessions designed to help them structure their businesses, set and reach their goals. Find out more about scheduling your own business consultation with Carolyn here: https://www.artsyshark.com/build-your-art-business/