I went to an artist's talk the
other day and was a bit taken aback when the artist admitted that she went door
to door looking for a gallery, taking images to every venue she knew of and
talking her way past many annoyed assistants to get a few minutes of time with
a gallery owner. She once cornered one such director and got him to promise to
come to her studio. When he didn't, she brought her work to him. This was the
gallerist that ended up taking her work.
Now, I don't know if I recommend
these tactics, but there is a bit of truth to the idea that getting a little
aggressive--in a polite way--can do a bit of good for your art business. If you
don't take it too far, you can gain a lot by being aggressive because it means
you are putting your art out there in the world and that you are earnest about
it. You are willing to be told no, no, NO, on the off-chance that one of those
people will say, "yes!"
In the end, I think it all comes
down to confidence. It takes a strong belief in what you are doing to paint
when you could just do something else, or put up a website and sell art online
when you could just as easily stack painting after painting in your studio and
never let anyone look at them.
We often make choices based on our fears and
insecurities, so I encourage you to be aggressive about being confident in your
work. In the end, you'll get honest feedback, which is never a bad thing, and
you just might make the right impression on the right person so that your
artistic star starts to rise.
||Minor Sea Gods of Maine
by Inka Essenhigh, 2009, oil on canvas, 74 x 68.
To help with this, the
special-issue publication, Professional
, is available. It is a relevant and in-depth resource on what it
means to promote, sell, and manage your art like a professional. You'll find
direct feedback from artists who are in the position you are in about their
approaches to selling art, marketing art, and more. Hearing words of wisdom
straight from the sources makes all the difference, so you can see what
approach works right for you and go for it!