I can help artists...tell me how!!!

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I can help artists...tell me how!!!

Postby philip the art guy » Sat May 01, 2004 11:31 am

Hi to All- I attended a Barbara workshop lst week and have been on this website daily since...sliding in a few ideas and enjoying the creative thinking process. I have been a salesman and sales trainer of luxury goods all of my life and have sold millions and millions of dollars in luxury goods...designer perfume and cosmetics,jewelry, fine home goods (china, art glass etc.) I have been selling art for ten years now. There seem to be a large number of artists on this site looking for help and I would like to develop a sales training seminar for artists...to discuss pricing your art, selling techniques and to teach artists (who by nature seem to be the worst sales people) how to sell. SOOOOOOO..artists please...list some things that you would like to ask a professional art dealer about the selling process. This will give me some practice and I may be able to share some of my skills with you. Thanks, Philip
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Postby hopalong fishwife » Sat May 01, 2004 8:53 pm

Wow! You have some great skills to offer. I am sure you would have plenty of takers if you offered classes on selling art, not only for artists, but for people who want to help artists sell their work. You could offer classes online and/or through your local community college. You could write articles and books on marketing and sales specifically targeted to artists that would make great curriculim additions in college level art programs all over the country. One thing you will find, is that many artists, for whatever reason, don't have the type of mind amenable to marketing and sales of their own work. They want to do art period. For those folks, (the ones who are open to it, anyway)education on how to find good representation and make sure they are not being cheated would be very helpful. Personally, I've thought for quite awhile that a good way to go with this kind of energy would be to create a sort of marketing agency for artists that would offer full service and self-service rates along with classes in all sorts of business and marketing areas. Another possibility would be to create something like Novica http://www.novica.com , but for U.S./North American artists. (I have a full blown idea about this. e-mail me if you are interested in details) Welcome--Sabra [This message has been edited by hopalong fishwife (edited May 01, 2004).]
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Postby kevin_2050 » Sat May 01, 2004 11:45 pm

Hi Philip. Good to see you posting here. I have a feeling you're going to be very popular around here, because there is a crying need for what you're offering among artists, myself not least. In fact I've just posted a thread in this forum that may help answer your question. ...I would like to develop a sales training seminar for artists...to discuss pricing your art, selling techniques and to teach artists (who by nature seem to be the worst sales people) how to sell. You are sooo right. There are a few exceptions, but they're few and far between. What sort of needs or information exactly would you like us to tell you about to help you put together your seminar? Do you plan to gear it primarily to artists who wish to market their work through art dealers, or who wish to sell directly to buyers, or both? Art surely can't be the easiest thing in the world to sell, even for a skilled and experienced salesman. Is there anything in particular that has attracted you to selling art rather than the luxury items you've mentioned? I wish you the best of luck with developing your seminar. Cheers! [This message has been edited by kevin_2050 (edited May 02, 2004).]
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Postby StacyL » Sun May 02, 2004 10:25 am

Hopalong fishwife said "One thing you will find, is that many artists, for whatever reason, don't have the type of mind amenable to marketing and sales of their own work. They want to do art period. For those folks, (the ones who are open to it, anyway)education on how to find good representation and make sure they are not being cheated would be very helpful." I 100% agree!! I would love to be free to paint and have someone else selling my work. It would also be helpful to find ways to get representation before the artist and his/her work becomes popular. For instance, how would I pay someone to represent me when I am currently making little to no money from my art. Surely this person wnats to be paid, yet it is a bit of a chicken and egg thing. This person wants to be paid to do the job, but I need to be making money in order to be able to pay him or her. And I hate selling so I'm not making any money. You get the picture... [This message has been edited by StacyL (edited May 02, 2004).]
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Postby philip the art guy » Mon May 03, 2004 5:41 pm

Thanks guys- First- hopalong fishwife- you have a wonderful and expressive writing style, I have seen your postings on several issues on these boards. Art is not always an easy sell, but the reason I like it is the same reason people buy it. Passion. Art really seperates us from the animals. I prefer to deal in master artwork, specializing in master print (Durer, Rembrandt, Picasso Chagall...etc.) these names and the "investment value" make it a bit easier. It is also important to remember that the rich are much more recession-proof than the rest of us.Gucci will never go out of business.Rodeo Drive is very secure, even in recession. In general, artists aren't good business people...duh, it is that differing brain function that makes them special. To answer some questions: Agents take a percentage or work on a wholesale/retail basis. Many like consignment as it costs them nothing. If consigning, do it for a specified time frame. You can always re-consign if things are going well. Your galleries and agents will help you to price your work as well, an area where many artists seem to be unrealistic. The good news, most artists I have worked with tend to underprice their own work. Many artists are technically skilled but the style or subject matter is hard to sell. Or hard to sell in the usual venue or manner. For example, Kevins's interesting fantasy art vs. his portraits. Both great! Most mainstrean galleries and venues do not have a market for "Fantasy" or if they do, the demographic who likes it may not be able to afford originals. Maybe printwork.Maybe we look at merchandising...a hypothetical...mousepads with the images sold where fantasy video games are sold, or at sci-fi fantasy type conventions. Or in areas with mystical value...Santa Fe, the Tar Pits, etc. Thus my suggestion that he view a website that features an artist that combines childrens figurative painting with fantasy settings (kids in pirate ships, etc.) I hope I can help with specific suggestions as I pull this idea together. Thanks for your support...it is a life saver. P
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Postby hopalong fishwife » Mon May 03, 2004 10:56 pm

I am an artist too. (completely self-taught painter) My style is very primitive and childlike, but people seem to like it. I am interested in learning how I might market my work effectively. I must admit I find the idea of getting someone else to do at least some of the work for me very appealing, too. I am the mother of two teens, as well as a massage therapist. I write, I cook and I do some fiber arts. In short I'm very busy, but not well organized. Specific Questions: How does one get one's work "seen", especially if one is coming from outside the system of the art world? How do factors such as size, colors, subject matter, style contribute to the marketability of a piece or series in a given market? Finding the target market-niche marketing to going upscale There's a few questions for you. I'll post more as I think of them. Cheers, Sabra
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Postby KyleM » Tue May 04, 2004 5:15 pm

Philip, thanks for your offers, and I hope we get to help you too! As a photographer (artist) I've always wondered re: professional galleries and representation: -How large of a sampling of slides does a gallery owner want to see? -How many repeat contacts is it ok to have with a dealer or gallery (like, is 4x a year ok)? -Is the artist responsible for framing his or her own work, and hanging it? - Do certain kinds of photography sell better than others (landscape, portrait, abstract, etc.) Thanks in advance!
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Postby sapgreen » Tue May 04, 2004 7:20 pm

bump I am thinking on this one. Will post later. Just reviving the topic.
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Postby GiniDee » Wed May 05, 2004 1:51 am

Hi Philip - Welcome here! Sorry I missed this thread earlier - have been out of the loop these past few days. I am an artist who used to be a marketing person - and I still have trouble pricing my most recent work. I work in fabrics with beads and embellishments layered on in droves. Mostly landscapes and seascapes, fairly large scale and very elaborate. A few smaller whimsical pieces, also replete with beads and embellishments. Each large piece takes about 6 months to a year and over 100,000 beads to complete. They're definitely for the luxury and museum/corporate markets, so I'd be interested in tips on finding a rep who specializes in those markets. I don't have photos up on the website yet, as we just got a new digital camera to take better shots of the beadwork and closeups. My older paintings and inks were featured in several museums, and I've had numerous gallery shows in the US and Canada. But I'm not famous at what I'm doing now, as the fabric work has only been for 3 years. Some of the things I'd be interested in finding out more about are: Pricing at all levels (not just the big-ticket items) Building a specialty niche as an artist (or several niches for several marketplaces) Finding the right rep for each line How to use old credentials to build up a new reputation legitimately Marketing the visual images from my art (all the genres, not just the newer work) Art Licensing (am going to the Licensing Show in June here in NYC, so that will help) Creating Dynamic Portfolios for different markets (I have five in mind) Guerrilla Publicity for Artists (low-cost high-impact marketing for unconventional artists especially) Power presentation materials agents and reps need from artists (I have Renee Phillips' book on that, but I'm sure there's lots more to learn) And, if at all possible, how to do it all from the comfort of your own home studio (I am a notorious hermit crab and eccentric). Just a few thoughts from the tidepool! Thanks for posting this idea - you could help a lot of us here, and I for one would pay what I could for that assistance. All the best - GiniDee Image
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Postby GiniDee » Fri May 07, 2004 6:46 pm

So have you learned anything from all this, philip? What do you actually plan to DO? All the best - GiniDee Image
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Re: I can help artists...tell me how!!!

Postby Eugene » Wed May 19, 2004 7:38 am

philip the art guy wrote:Hi to All- SOOOOOOO..artists please...list some things that you would like to ask a professional art dealer about the selling process. This will give me some practice and I may be able to share some of my skills with you. Thanks, Philip
I have just one question.....What sells ??? :wink: :D
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Postby kevin_2050 » Sun May 23, 2004 11:35 pm

Hi Philip. It's good to hear from you again. I have some questions for you: What makes art buyers want to buy? What is the psychology behind their decisions? What basic needs or desires are they gratifying by collecting art? Is it a prestige thing, an investment thing, or do they actually love what they buy, in the main, and buy it chiefly for that reason? How many of them actually look at their stuff once they've bought it? What's the breakdown statistically among these motives, to the best of your experience? What other reasons do they have, and how important are they? It's my impression that most buyers, like most dealers I've encountered, are interested primarily in a safe investment: they'd rather put a few thousand dollars into a print by Picasso or Dali or Chagall than into a painting by an unknown or little known artist, even if the painting is superior to some of the prints by those big-name artists. How can a dealer or living artist break this deadlock? Is there a significant number of exceptions to this rule, and if so how frequent are they? Does an artist need to be a salesperson, or should we leave that to the experts? How hard is it to learn to effectively and consistently sell art? Does it require a certain kind of personality, or can anyone learn to do it - and should we try? What stupid mistakes have you seen artists make that we can avoid? How many incorrect assumptions am I making and, if any, what are they? What are some better-informed, more intelligent questions I could be asking, that would be more likely to elicit useful information? Supposing you are a very good artist who works in a style or genre that is evidently not valued by the most influential tastemakers of the art world (however that may be defined), and consequently its market value is pathetically below where you need it to be in order to prosper. Your work doesn't get written up in the slick art magazines. Although you know there are people who love your work, they're never the ones who have the money to buy. If you found yourself in this situation as an artist, what would you do to break the deadlock? (One proviso: it can't involve changing your style; doing that particular kind of work is what makes you want to be an artist, and if you can't do it you might as well be writing software.) What might be some smart things for an artist to do in that situation? Is it possible to break down doors that were previously closed to you, or is that just a pipe dream? And if it is possible - HOW? Should an artist try to develop relationships with clients, or rather with a dealer, or dealers? These are a few for starters. I may add more as they occur to me. I'm very curious to learn your response. Cheers!
Last edited by kevin_2050 on Fri Jun 04, 2004 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby GiniDee » Wed May 26, 2004 5:00 am

Whatever happened to Philip? Do you think we scared him away? Hope not. I was so wishing he would be a valuable resource for so many of us on these boards, and get value in return. Has anyone heard from him? Philip, where are you?
GiniDee :mrgreen: My idea of a balanced diet is a cookie in each hand. :mrgreen: GiniDee :mrgreen:
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Postby kevin_2050 » Wed May 26, 2004 8:50 am

I had a good discussion with Philip this afternoon. Lots of excellent ideas, suggestions and information, giving me plenty to mull over. He mentioned he might check out this thread again, and I hope he does. :P
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Postby barbgal » Tue Jun 08, 2004 10:00 pm

Hi Philip, This will sound surly and growly and is a result of my experience, not you! I took classes on art marketing, did things like sit in on WA state public art application process, learned how to do the slides and the curric vitae etc. But then one class I took, the woman from a prominent gallery told us that only 1 out of 300 artists was accepted to the gallery each year. Given that my artwork broke a lot of the kinds of rules that you aren't supposed to break, I thought geez I would have to psend thousands of dollars and approach hundreds of galleries to get in....thus gave up. So....Q. 1. how to sell local, cheap, and build. Q. 2. how to get in the back door Q 3 how to deal competently with art marketers who ask you to do things that make you barf, like write a cute statement on how you think about your work where it comes from all that. (I write well, but I want to say, can't you SEE?) Q. 4 how to find marketers who don't care that there are holes in your resume from when you were too fed up to enter shows etc. Q 5 how to market when you are not emerging, you are 54. Q 6 how to turn the visual aesthetic of the art market in a direction from which one's work might actually have value. There are all those long term fads out there. Who says they are OK? How do we, artists, become again the ones who say what is OK? Thanks, Barb Here's what I would need as an artist at this stage:
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