Will You Disappear As an Artist?

Are you in danger of fading out of the art scene? People buy from the artists who are most visible. Do people know about your work?

A Note from Eric Rhoads, Publisher of Artist Advocate

Two true stories:

Story #1: Mr. Invisible

Bob is a whiner. "The economy is awful. I have no money. No one has any money. No one is going to buy anything. I will have to go back to work and give up life as an artist." I can't blame Bob for his fear. It's a frightening time. Bob's sales have gone down, and he blames the economy. But Bob is his own worst enemy. Because he is paralyzed by fear, he has stopped doing shows, stopped promoting, stopped e-mailing his collector list, and stopped advertising. He even pulled out of his gallery because "They weren't selling anything anyway." Now his paintings are sitting in his garage, where no one can see them. Bob is shrinking.

Story #2: Mr. Visible

Chuck is a winner. He understands the economy is awful, and he too is fearful of spending money he might not recoup. But in spite of this economy, Chuck has had his biggest sales month ever. No fooling. What did Chuck do? "I went through this in the early '90s and knew that I had to work harder to stay ahead." So instead of allowing fear to paralyze him, Chuck went into full promotion mode. Rather than expecting his galleries to do all the work, Chuck started promoting his new work and his galleries. He approached the galleries and offered to pay half on the ads so his name recognition would increase. People are still buying art, and Chuck is capitalizing because others are advertising less. By keeping his work visible, he will get the sales that may have gone to others. He has also doubled the number of galleries that represent him. Chuck is investing in his marketing; he is gaining visibility by doing more shows, more mailers, and more e-mailers. As a result, he sold 20 percent more paintings last month than he normally sells. Chuck is growing.

You Control More Than You Think

Your state of mind has a lot to do with the outcome of your sales. You can choose to shrink, or you can believe there is opportunity even in this mess. We must be careful not to project our own circumstances on others. I personally know many ultra-wealthy people who are buying art now, and others who are not. One gallery owner told me this week that he could sell more expensive paintings than he is selling if he could get them. Demand is still there. Though everyone is cutting back, that's a relative term. Cutting back in your world is a lot different than cutting back in the world of a working professional who loves art. That person may buy a smaller painting instead of a more expensive one. A gallery owner recently told me he sold a $400,000 painting to a collector who normally only buys work priced in the $700,000 range. I guess times are tough for that person.

How to Get More Galleries

I never recommend that artists have more galleries than they can provide with ample quality art. If your galleries are not selling as much work as they have in the past, you need to add several more. Spread your visibility to other regions and galleries. Artist Advocate Magazine is mailed to 6,500 galleries that sell original artwork. It is literally a showcase of artists looking for gallery representation. And it works. Many artists who have purchased profiles of their work have been picked up by galleries. We also send to art publishers, and artists have reported back to us about publishing deals they have made.

Do You Need a Gallery?

Hundreds of galleries do not know you exist. Some are more open to new artists than ever before to offer their collectors new options. Start by keeping your work in front of gallery owners and directors. We know they are reading Artist Advocate because our artists are hearing from them. In fact, this week an artist was contacted from our first issue, almost three months after it mailed. This artist has never before had representation, and a New York gallery invited him to submit his portfolio. Imagine how excited he is that a New York gallery contacted him. It could happen to you. But it won't happen if you're shrinking.

Sign up for the next issue. The deadline is February 5, 2009.

To sign up, go here.

Or call or e-mail any of these representatives:

Artist Advocate contacts:

Jaye Alison Moscariello

Advertising Director



Kathleen Lawrence-Davis

Account Executive



Chad Slade

Account Executive



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