The Art Business world is extremely confusing, don't you agree?
Well it is for me. I enjoy creating and I sell because there is not enough room for all my paintings so I throw them out, give away to others, Goodwill, or sell.
And the first options are better than selling for me because I have six or more paintings that people need to pick up...because they SAID they wanted them. I don't want to spend my time with patrons coming to the house because they usually don't show up soon enough for me to get on with my day. My new solution to this is to take artwork to my gallery and have them pick their art up there.
Many don't pick up their art at the Gallery for reasons unbeknownst to me or because they want to spend time with me, but I'm not interested in spending time with others. Anyone out there like me? I like pets, hiking and family, but that's about it.
Do any of you have frustrations or confusing situations with your art business? Please discuss here.
My main issue right now after the Covid19 crisis is that every wall in my home and gallery are packed full of art. ..and I'm going back to work in nine days. I want people to buy from me and I'm trying to set up a Facebook page to sell original art for less...but I'm going to have them pick up their art at the Gallery Underground or I'll ship to them.
This two minute You Tube video of me cleaning my art space and throwing away a bunch of art is a little funny. You might relate and if you do, tell me all about it.
Meaning by the end of September my marketing for my AW will be in place.
I can fully focus on the keyboard.
Now I want both hands moving across two different scales easily.
When I put that aside a few weeks ago(week long power outage, followed by allergies giving me pain in my lower jaw), I was beset with looking at a daunting challenge. I am coming at it fresh in the next couple of weeks. There have been some major attitude changes.
I've basically bailed on the art world, just not my thing. I make art, share it online, offer it for sale online and people buy it or they don't. I'm trying to keep all this simple as possible because any more than that does just confuse me as well.
P.S. You should check on the legality and liability of having patrons come to your home. I know in my case it would be against city code and if a buyer slipped and fell on this property my renters insurance would not cover it.
DK, I've already been sued for someone getting hurt on my property, luckily I have awesome insurance that paid for their 5K injury. I felt so bad. I've stopped having people go up my stairs because there is a problem when a person cannot go up stairs and they try. That's an issue.
I have had very weak or frail people in my home. So you have a great point. ...no, in fact that is excellent. Mind you, I've done everything to make my home safe.
Thanks Abbie, my gallery is not safe either, many steps down to the Gallery Underground. SMH
David B, I do agree that coming up against time, effort, and skill are still major issues for me as well.
I want to be positive though, so let me leave with this: "In times of tragedy...people do amazing things. The human capacity for survival and renewal is awesome." Isabel Allende.
Thankfully, as a photographer shooting digital, I don't have the issue of where to store my paintings. I do have the frustration that people don't respect photography or photographers. If the image is "too good" you get accused of Photoshopping it (well, yeah, but why is that wrong?). Then you get told that your prints are overpriced because "all you do is push a button." Oh, and there's being asked to bring your camera to family gatherings, parties, and weddings, so you can "take a few photos", when what they really mean is "we're too cheap to hire a photographer and really want you to do the job for free."
So... yeah... it feels extra good when someone pays full price for my work without blinking.
People want to know if I've photoshopped my paintings too. Well duh...how does one professionalize their work?! Anyhow, I got so much flack about that that I let Adobe go. My son pays for it now for me, but I'm reluctant to put anything on Facebook that has any photo shop because of the accusations that my work was digital.
And I love reworking my art digitally, but people think it's cheating if they're naive about the visual and graphic arts.
Lisa you have touched on one of the main reasons why I started doing my art on the computer. That, and the no mess part I really liked - I have watched your painting videos and you are a very neat painter - I am not.
I wonder if you create a lot of art is it reasonable to think you will sell it all? Maybe if you find a niche and stick to it. But every artist I have known has piles of work that hasn't sold. I think it is just the nature of the beast.
I had a life size paper mache baby pig in my closet for quite some time before I crushed him up for trash. I made him for no other reason than I felt like it, and before he was finished realized he would be a tough sell so let him live in my closet for about a year.
I have people tell me I am cheating by creating digitally - I just ask them to please explain. Do what you want with your paintings - reworking them digitally is just another layer of talent! :)
Lisa, I loooove your space! Well done. I started out trying to paint acrylics but found I was creating too much of a mess, and I ended up with a chest of drawers full of "fails," anyway. (Maybe I can re-use the paper and canvases.) So, for now, I'm just doing watercolor on a very small corner of my kitchen counter! At least I'm next to the water, right? Lol. Far more manageable, for me.
I don't like being around people much, either. You are not alone there!
The cat in the pumpkins is SO cute, I absolutely love it.
Val, you are 100% spot on. I hope the garbage people love my art. LOL Finding a niche probably won't happen, I love the challenge even when I hate the end product. I do sell enough work, but like...
Patricia Strand, I don't like being around people. There are some I enjoy, but I so despise the very people I'm supposed to love, the ones that buy my work.
My husband says, "just go to work and I'll take care of the art sale." Here's my worst scenario. My patron buys a painting, pays my husby and leaves the painting! They say, "we'll pick it up when Lisa's home." LAMO!
Thank goodness for Covid19 and all my art shows were cancelled. I've truly enjoyed my time off. On a positive note, I've learned during this covid 19 time that I love my science job, I'm looking forward to going back and the art business is very confusing and hard for me. Commissions are a special treat in bondage, time wasting and drudgery.
I am supposed to go to an event tonight, that I say I'm going to, but Friday night is TV night.
It is funny - It isn't that I am antisocial because I can and do like to socialize, but being social around my art sales is something else. The last show I did I spent most of the time hiding by the bar and drinking wine with people I knew. Didn't do much for sales!
What is even funnier is one of my first jobs was as a sales rep for a large company - I did pretty well but didn't like the travel.
Your work is beautiful Lisa, your videos are super too. I would love to figure out how to help other artists move their art. It can be a consuming career.
My neighborhood will do a driveway art show this month. I am hoping that this helps our local artists as well as myself.
FB Art groups seem to be full of artists, not buyers.
I don't know why people will not pick up their art. I hope that you have already gotten payment.
Lisa, as always, a great conundrum shared. My reply, plain and simple, nature has chosen my path thru health issues, not complaining.
Was glad to give up the chase !
Am 'home alone', creating. And for me, now, it is enough.
Back 'when', all the issues you, Rick, Val, raise were legit . So, the answer has to be simple.
I think, if you're not game to socialize, game the Gallery system, don't beat yourself up, but.......
Take a left turn. Keep working, even without an audience. And, you soon find out whether you're an Artist, who MUST create.
That's where I'm at. All the angst is behind me.
"You" want fame, pay the price. I'm happy now.
Wish you all peace of mind, and minds full of confidence. Keep working.
oh,what an epitaph!
I guess that's another advantage to work on panels instead of stretched canvas, (which I do) is that it's relatively easy to just sand down an old painting and make a new one...storage problem solved. I have a big pile of panels in the basement waiting to be sanded down and re-gessoed.
I think with the COVID-19 many art buyers had discovered online galleries, Sales been great for me I even manage to sold some very old paintings one was done 20 years ago and other one is 30 years old. With online gallery there is no limit space and a world wide audience out there, if one see it for the first time is new to them. Sometimes, the only one I see is my DHL driver we would meet at the door to hand over my package.
The introvert part of your post I can totally relate to.
I don't want to have to meet with people either, not even in a video chat. That is part of what turns me off about the writing courses I want to take. Video chats and meet ups. it is all too peoply for me. lol
As far as selling art goes, I have no real idea how to make that happen. If my art is not on some POD product, which I do sell a lot of stuff with art on it, but wall art seems like it isn't going to sell except for the occasional poster here and there. I still post it and promote it but keep my expectations low so I can't be too disappointed.
If I had to meet with every buyer I would say "forget about it!"
Patty Donoghue, I think that because I market at night or in the evening, people get to sipping on something and then they want to please me by buying something...because they're nice people. The next day they've forgotten and I'm one that doesn't get mad.
Some though have picked up their work and we had a nice short talk. It's great when it works, but much more often they either are very late or no shows or worse, they won't leave and want to talk for two hours.
My worst experience was a good friend who said she would be right there at my home in a few minutes. Two hours later she came over and then sat down and talked my ear off for two hours. I was nice, but I will never get that four hours back and I'm still frightened of others who might do the same. I mean, can you imagine?
There are numerous problems with no shows, one being that I don't understand their behavior, and two, it could be Covid19 issues. It's wise for me to keep my cool about this. Art is an impulse buy and it's best to have it in a store!
Vivian, I'm almost to the point of where you are. I want to do projects for my own pleasure and forget selling altogether.
I think you need to learn how to seal a deal, if they said they want the painting you should have them pay right there as to make sure not someone else get it .After they paid tell them you would drop it off at their home.
I've never been confused about that. People are just .... pretty annoying.
Hence the beauty of FAA.
And yes, I have a whole draw of watercolor paintings yet to disperse of.
Because I guess selling means putting up with people and like you , I would rather be outdoors or playing with animals.
Painting for myself ; I don't mind. It sells, it doesn't - it was my experience , my expression.
Most will sells as prints, or at least they fill and complete a gallery here - and I have something to add in to contests.
Working on commission ... now that's like pulling teeth, mind reading, and playing cat & mouse.
I wish I could too - but I notice I am not putting any energy to it.
And I guess that would be the exact reason - " sealing the deal , and getting them back out the door. " .
I don't particularly wish to have to schmooze any more at this point in my life - or at least not in my own backyard. I could always do it when I was " at work " or in the office - but that is literally hitting to close to home.
I do notice there is a woman in my neighborhood who puts her canvases out on nice days under a shady tree.
Perhaps you could make an outdoor display ( you are very creative and have a gorgeous back yard ) and post that on FB and your local marketing page.
That should get you some interested eyes.
Confusing is true, but I would've used the the word "challenging". Confusing implies that it may be hopeless--the art world, that is. Challenging seems to allow for the possibility that there may be a way out, that it may not necessarily be hopeless.
Art is basically two things -- doing the art, and selling the art. Doing the art, for me at least, as a painter, involves lots and lots of learning -- learning how to do this or that, or how not to do this or that. But funny thing, selling art, for me also at least, involves the same kind of learning--lots and lots of learning -- how should I be with customers, how should I not be, how should I have said this or done this, how should I have not said this or not done that, etc.
In all, both the two basic things involve the same thing -- lots and lots of learning -- about the paints, about the paper, about the subject (for me, landscapes), the time of day I paint, the kind of location (in city or in country?), etc., and about the people who are my customers and that I sell to -- how they react to me, how I react to them, and how could I have done any of that differently, or better, or maybe even not at all.
The unfortunate corollary for me to all of this is, will I live long enough to "finally learn it" -- to do this whole thing "correctly" --if there is such a thing-- from soup to nuts: A perfect painting -- or, at least a good painting, with a happy customer?
I enjoyed looking at your work, Lisa. Beautiful, very direct, up front.
I don't have people in my studio ever. It's a disaster space (for most people, but not for me). Most artists I know who are full time at it have extremely messy studios. There are exceptions, but not many.
I prefer to sell in a gallery. They are tidy spaces, the light in them is usually very attractive, buyers can contemplate how a piece will look in their exceptionally organized living spaces.
I think if a buyer gets a painting from a studio, no matter how clean and organized the painting itself is, they are going to see it as a mess in some way (with flaws that reflect your messy studio) and talk you down in price.
The best way to meet buyers is at art openings, all dressed up, looking like an artsy version of a buyer.
Also, if you don't save your paintings, you may make a lot of work for yourself later on. Throw out or paint over the bad ones, certainly, but not the good ones.
Lisa don't be afraid to get to the subject. I make someone tell me they changed there mind or they don't like the piece. There not going to think that I forgot about it. Ha. It is much more difficult than I ever thought.
No way I'd have anybody come to my home to pick up a painting...unless they were already a personal friend. Maybe once we get through this whole pandemic deal I might consider setting up a booth at car shows, assuming I have enough material for it, but that's as much as I'll ever do "in person" selling. The gallery/art world is not my world.
I got tired of the gallery route and doing shows. It wasn't that profitable for me. And, the effort wasn't worth it. Schlepping photographs back and forth was a pain in the patootie. I never had strangers to my home. No way would I be able to do that. I used to print and frame my stuff to. It was fun at first, but the cost of a misprint or dropping a 40x60 on the floor wasn't worth it. That happened quite a number of times creasing the print and costing me about 50$ each time . I was proud of what I accomplished with getting into all the art shows, but its alot of work.
Thats why I love FAA. I don't do anything. Don't make as much as selling in gallery, but its mote often and involves no effort other than uploading.
Maybe if I was more successful in the physical galleries, it would of changed my mind, but it is what it is. More power to you Lisa for being so successful in galleries.
You make photographs, so I can see why the print market would be better for you. But for those of us who make original paintings, showing in a gallery makes sense.
I think the two issues here are finding room to store paintings (and whether to throw them out after scanning), and the other is whether to have people buy out of your studio. You know what I think about selling work out of a studio from my comment above.
I'll be honest: most of what I sell out of galleries is small: ACEOs, 5 x 7s, 8 x 10s. Not always, but mostly. If I'm rotating work in and out, I store these small works in bins or lined up on a shelf. The big paintings go on my walls presently or stacked.
As for framing, while I like frames, they tend to be bulky and often a turn-off for buyers. So I tend to buy panels and canvases with at least a 1.5" profile and put a card underneath that says "Hang as is, or frame to fit your decor". It works because some buyers won't buy just because they hate the frame color or look. Homes are sometimes modern and sometimes they are old and full of antiques, so framing becomes its own problem.
Lise Winnie, Yes, its true,,it didnt work for me. I made limited edition prints but had very few sales. My niche is here, online. And specifically FAA online. Other sites didn't work out for me..maybe it was effort put it, but this was the one that worked. Like twitter. It worked for me.. Others not so much.
More power to those that display in galleries. Its awesome to be able to do that. I enjoyed it and its a great achievement. And sellign that way. BOOM. even better.. Its takes work and you are a hard worker...
"As for framing, while I like frames, they tend to be bulky and often a turn-off for buyers. "
Another reason not to do galleries. That's what I hated about participating in exhibitions, I'd have to spend money on a frame for a painting mostly likely no one will ever buy. I participated in eight exhibitions, sold one painting. I occasionally paint on gallery wrap canvas but only small paintings, deep cradled panels or gallery wrap canvas take up even more space than a framed painting, and with over 100 unsold paintings sitting around if they were all gallery wrap I'd have nowhere to store them. Most of my paintings are on 1/8" panels, some on 3/4" cradled panels and a very few on deep cradled or gallery wrap, just no space for a lot of those. At this rate I may have to consider just doing works on paper.
I agree Lisa, the art world, especially the business side can be very confusing. I think most of us are just trying to figure it out as we go. There is no set formula for success because everybody's definition of success is different. Much like art the business side of things can be quite subjective. I have the hardest time with staying on top of marketing and/or figuring out what works and who my buyers are. I have sold quite a bit of originals, but to very different kinds of people so it's hard to narrow down. For me the frustration comes from the fact that most people seem to want commissions from me instead of buying what I already have. I am grateful for the commissions, however, they aren't as fun for me to do as the work that I come up with myself, and it still leaves me with a ton of inventory that I have to store.
Fun video by the way! I just subscribed! You may not be notified though because my subscriptions are private but my Youtube channel is https://www.youtube.com/CautionArtistatPlay if you are interested in checking it out!
I agree the art world is extremely busy as well as all facets of possible employment, like becoming a well known artist and living this dream. I joined in June of 2020 and spent many hours of my days categorizing my art into files for shooting and uploading to the faa site, plus I did pitch some art because I felt it was unimportant and just another image that no one would want to purchase anyway that I I've carrying around for too many years.
I've uploaded images from student work in college (1981-83) that included good points of interest then and still are today: "Man on the Moon" was featured in one of my groups and just today "She is calling us" was featured in a group that I joined at 4:?? this morning that I drew in 1997 and we need this kind of support from each other to gain access to the world that need to see new art. philip - eddy. pixels.com is my website and just look at the header and that is my focus.
As I write this I believe I have 124 images, two sales before I had my prices set ( this is my fault) and so we continue to do our best and keep striving for a better tomorrow; I'm going to tear down my easels, tripod and lights as soon I finish writing your response, and get domestic the rest of the day, cook steaks on the grill and do some fly fishing this evening for carp and smallmouth bass about 5 minutes from home.
Fun video, zoom, zoom!
I want to try this, Shana. I have the same issue with people wanting to commission me and unlike you, I don't feel qualified.
Philip, bon appetit on that dinner and fishing. I've been living the dream for about five or six years now. It was a lot easier in 2014. I had no idea then I would be this busy and others wanting a painting from me.
Roger, I feel that it's easier today to be an artist with all the online tools. I use the Lisa-Kaiser.pixels.com as a tool to sell my original art. lol I actually tell people that if they buy from FAA, they aren't buying from me and I can't help them if anything goes wrong.
I treat fineartamerica as if they are a type of contractual entity that has the rights to my images and they pay me a commission/royalty on every sale I get. So it's a tiny lie, but makes me feel better about how little I actually sell here...and guilt trips my customers into buying my art directly from me. I don't want to share my earnings so much with FAA even if they produce the most beautiful work I've done. I also tell my customers that any painting they see here I can produce in any size. And I'm shocked at just how hard that is to do. I've been asked a few times to reproduce images, not good considering every painting is an accident.
Thanks for watching my videos Lisa! Yes, I do need to bring the pups on camera sometime! You should definitely try the 3 marker challenge its lots of fun and a great way to stretch the creativity muscle. You can do it with paints or pencils too, it doesn't have to be done with markers.
Hey Lisa. Love your video! You are so amazing and organized. You inspired me to start tidying up my art studio too. So thank you! Your video style and production is top notch. You have a great eye and a lot of patience. I love your artwork! You are a prolific artist and so talented! I hardly ever have anyone come to my studio to pick up their art. I meet them half way at a popular landmark and give them their art, maybe we'll meet for coffee or a beer (pre-covid) but that's rare. I chat with them for a bit, and then get on my way. If it's a large public art piece, then I have them pick it up. I have gallery representation and also participate in calls for art, but its not like uber professional. There are some artists who are gallery members and exhibit regularly, but I'm not like that. I pretty much pick and choose. I've had it up to here with the art snobs and politics. Not for me. I sell a lot online, and do public art. I love it when I sell an original artwork. It's always a good feeling.
Hi Genevieve, I do know all of this about you, not only because I'm an Esson fan, stalker, but feel that you are a mentor to me because you have the most interesting art personality out there on Facebook especially for the success you have as an artist. You and another Facebook friend are rock stars so way to go. Hang in there and keep on with all that hard work.
Thank you for the suggestion for meeting someone somewhere. I don't think I can bring people into my personal space any longer. I use to live happily with my husby alone, but now there are five of us. One has bad cancer. I'm simply not able to keep all things perfect if you get the picture. I sure remember the days I was able to though.
Lisa, Art is only confusing because humanity in general is confused. Gone are the days when ART was upheld by ALL. Now the cell phone is upheld by ALL. but that is ok, because even the artist must overcome.
I sell some at charity sales in my area. This year they are going virtual, but I have been fortunate so far. As for the future, I do not trust my relatives to choose or sell them, so I place them in my will to the charity sales. Most years I like to attend/enter art shows and arts and crafts shows, but there aren't really any this year. Hoping next year will be better.
The art world is massive and diverse, this can make it seem very confusing but in some ways that is great. There is a place for you and a place for me and virtually any artist. I think the days of the massive singular controlling movement is over. The tough part for today’s artist is finding that niche that they fit best in.
Lisa, I FEEL your pain!...GREAT DISCUSSION!
Having been galleried, taught in several venues, volunteered for stage sets etc., conducted several Spiritual art therapy retreats...and, blah, blah blah, my experience, suggests a widespread decline in the interest of owning “original“ artwork over recent decades. The reasons?...That’s for another discussion...
As for my aesthetic? Since I too, no longer have the desire or the stamina to be involved in the submission, set up-changeover work that accompanies being galleried, feature showing , resident artist teaching, etc. I joined FAA. MY SOLUTION...I host virtual FAA Contests to promote my and others work..For the sheer joy of SEEing and SHARING...BEAUTY.
As for storage, MY SOLUTION..I am working SMALL( 5x7) with paper (Wax Colour, watercolour Pencils and various ink And ink gel pens) not canvas, so people may customize their size, look and price...VIRTUALLY...because they don’t value original work.
As for Sales? MY SOLUTION - I agree with VIVA...SALES? ...Meh!
AS for my muse? MY SOLUTION - If some like what I create...I either SELL or GIFT IT to them.
My motivation?... LOVE ....of Nature’s WONDERS!
Again...great discussion. Thank you.
Hi Lisa, I loved to see your video and reading the interesting comments!
So far I didn't have much problem as normally I ship my originals to abroad, to US, UK Canada etc so the buyers are faraway in safe distances
but for around a year I started to sell paintings also locally in Portugal for expats living here. They found me on Facebook on my page or in groups where I post and I get more and more requests that they would like to hop into my studio or gallery, to visit and see what I do and where I do it and to chat or something..
But the thing is, I dont have a studio only for me, neither a gallery I just turned the corner of our guestroom to my creative place in our house. I am a organized person online but a totally messy one in life with two messy young kids.. To keep the house in condition is exhausting because If I do, in 30 min I should start again, and shoulddo that every day.. so I normally just let it be untill is almost shameful and then I just have to do it :D
So nobody can just hop in because I would need a deep cleaning before they enter lol
Also as I wrote my place it the guestroom so it is not that idillic studio what people imagine for artists. Half of this room occupied by a kingsize bed.. So everything on my on-scene photos practically happens on my two desks and front of two walls where I have small framed cards and some original paintings and a wall tapestry hanged.
When I make my Farewell Sold Original photos, I am kneeling on the bed, the camera is on my armchair on the top of the bed.. :D
So I try to escape from these requests and I insist that I ship the paintings even locally in Portugal so they wouldn't just hop in to pick it up.
If one day I fail, I will try to take them to my husband agency where I have 3 big canvas prints hanged and some framed cards and he has a nice empty table front and the place is sunny and professional, not just a crammed room in our home.
Those of you selling prints I wish I knew your secret. lol I've always had much better luck selling originals, I just shipped four off today, my best single day ever. I've only sold a total of three POD art prints this whole year. I think I would be happy to just make small pen and watercolor paintings and sell prints of them but I've never had much luck even selling the originals.
"Also as I wrote my place it the guestroom so it is not that idillic studio "
I have the same issue Dora. My "studio" is just the spare bedroom which is quite small and especially right now quite a mess. Even if the city (and landlord) allowed it I wouldn't want people coming to my home, walking through my front room etc, that's just getting way too personal...this is my "safe space". lol
David K.big congratulations on your latest original sales! I think it is great, and dont see any problem selling more originals than prints.. they want the real thing and your profit is higher and you know exactly that your buyer will receive so less stress. At least I am always more confident when I ship an original than when they contact me about advise on print size and material etc, and I still dont know exactly what they will get as a print, because I just saw myself canvas prints of faa but nothing else..Amd never know if a large print will look really fine.
I guess we would sell more prints if we add at least one 0 at the end of our original prices. That way they would think ohh I cannot afford the real thing but I can still have a print of it and frame it..
But I am fine with it.. because I prefer to sell often than who knows once or twice a year an expensive piece.. and this way I dont need to store them forever or who knows until I am gone..
And yes exactly is how I feel about my corner, is my safe space.. Where I spend most of my time and I wouldn't like to keep it like a perfect show room.