Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Selling your work

I am sometimes asked how I go about selling my work so I thought I would write it down.
I make different kinds of art for different circumstances and differing clients.  A lot of it is useful art, art in a gate or trellis or railings that involves client interaction.  I need to see where these projects will end up in order to design them appropriately and the clients should visit my studio and gardens to see what kind of projects I create.  On a big job this can mean several visits, a lot of back and forth with the client.
   Sometimes I make Art things with no client in mind or I will make gallery pieces and find a home for them through retail stores or Art Galleries.  It is like the old days, a miniature version of a "spec home"!
I build it and hope it will sell.
   I usually visit a retail store or gallery first in order to see what they are "missing" and they are always missing something.  I just have to discover it.  There is always an empty wall or something should be taller, something "heavy" here or "light" there, a color or shape.  Sometimes what they are "missing" is a method to display something else and I can fill that niche.  Gallery pricing is always interesting.  They have bills to pay and make their money off of commissions, normally 30 to 50 percent and allowing for this needs to be included in the price.  In order not to compete with the gallery, if I put an item in a gallery I never reduce the price.  Galleries are not interested in 50% commission on a $40 item so I make nice things and charge a lot more.  The low end is about $250-$400 and I have had pieces in the $3,000 range also.  Galleries like big show stopping pieces.

   It is really important to visit the gallery or retail establishment first.  I never talk to anyone then, just go as a tourist and look around.  See what type of stuff they like and where my pieces might fit and look at the prices.
   I have often been to places where I wouldn't want my art pieces.  The trick is to find a place where you really want to be and then create something they have to have.  That is part of the fun.
   Selling out of my backyard is pretty easy although it is not always easy to get people to visit me.


Optimistic Existentialist said...

This is really interesting - I love that you're proactive and getting your art out there!

rama said...

Learnt something today from you, the art of selling and selling it well.
Thanks Jerry for sharing it with us.
Have a fantastic day!