Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Art: Selling Your Work

Whenever I go to artist openings in restaurants, cafes, clubs, etc., I always want to purchase some of the art and photography being showcased. Unfortunately I, and most people, can't afford to purchase all the art that inspires them. Which brings me to the (partially selfish) topic of how you can sell more of your art at openings:

Next time you're talking with the owner or manager, offer to make available packaged prints on consignment. Packaged prints should consist of the matte, print and your contact card with your artists statement placed in a clear archival sleeve. I would suggest creating 8x10's in 11x14 mattes. This size is more enticing for the buyer and easier to display in a cafe. People may even buy a couple prints if you price them in the $40-60 range. If the restaurant asks for a commission, offer 15-20% of retail (after all, you're probably using they're credit card machines). Create 3-5 packages for each displayed print. Offer to sign prints purchased the night of the opening to encourage people to by that night.

This is a no-brainer for photographers. For traditional artists, or those that create one of a kind originals, it's a little more involved since you'll need to have your original work recreated in a way that gives you the best results. NEVER skimp on materials or you WILL devalue your work, as well as other artists who choose to do this! Keep your original prints priced normally. Those that can buy originals will still do so, but now you open your work up to people who will truly appreciate it...like me! I buy art to fill my life, not match my drapes. I like Light Impressions for matting supplies. American Frame has a good variety of frames, both for quality and budget.

What other ways can you sell more work on an opening night?

p.s. Don't forget your nametag.

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