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The Many Hats of Art


2) Your intentions for selling your art:    Sometimes you may wonder if you should include artwork that youíve created your entire career. It really depends on whether your website is meant to be an online retrospective of your art, then the answer would be yes. However, if your purpose is to sell art or get you shows, you should stay with what you're doing now. If you want to or decide to show your older works, limit them to that art that's somewhat relevant to your present direction, and clearly divide and separate them from your current work. The less relevant it seems to be from your present work, the more you should think about leaving it off the website. Not only that, you don't want prospective buyers to get excited or interested in your art that you no longer make. Do not by any stretch of the imagination put everything that youíve ever done since early childhood.
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3) Many sold pieces should not be on your website:    You should not have many of your sold art on your website to show people how well it sells. It would be almost exactly like walking into a store and trying to buy something that was already sold. Sometimes when people visit a website and they see many pieces of fine art, they may be impressed with your ability to sell, however there could be the perception that all the good pieces are sold and all thatís left are the crumbs that no one wants to buy. If you decide to put some of your sold art pieces on your website make sure you indicate and emphasize that these pieces that youíve sold have gone to significant collectors, businesses, institutions, or organizations.
4) How should you present your art:    When you want to present your art to art dealers, galleries and other people with profiles in the art world it is unwise and to your detriment to email them images of your art with no text. Just because people see your art in this format will not pique their interest or be impressed and they will not email back, ask about it, want to buy it or offer to give you shows. This form of trying to get your art sold is unquestionably the worst way to get it done. Itís almost on par with sending out a resume at random with the heading ĎDear Sir/Ms.í or ĎPlease, I need you to visit my websiteí and tell me what you think about my art. If these emails are even opened, they donít even give it a second thought and most likely will delete it without remorse. Like in any serious attempt to land a job, there are protocols you must adhere to in order to even get an interview. In the art world you must treat it the same way as you do a job with research and finding an accommodating place by specifically addressing the recipient by name, giving them your reasons for contacting them, what specifically youíre looking for, and why and how you believe that they will benefit from your art.
5) The reasons for holding off on contacting local gallaries first:    You should hold off on introducing yourself to galleries in your local area, and most importantly on making requests for them to show your art. The very first thing would be to familiarize yourself with each gallery. Visit them anonymously or look at their website to see what kinds of art they show. Make sure you narrow your focus to those that offer art that is similar to what you have to offer and artists with similar careers as yours. A very good time to do this is during a galleries exhibit openings or at other times when galleries are busy, so you can circulate in relative anonymity and assess how you can go forward from there.. Do some research in advance of any visits to galleries and determine who might be a good fit, and then decide when to make your move.
6) The things you should do to attract Galaries:    A proper introduction is very important. Make sure you do this slowly and be certain that they have enough time to hear you out and are willing to talk to you. Make sure you praise the Gallery and give your reasons so that you donít come across as just another artist looking for wall space. If you get through the formalities, briefly and with clarity explain why you believe your art is a fit with the gallery and give some facts to backup those claims about the art and artists the gallery shows. It is evident and important that the more facts you have the better you will be able to get your foot in the door. In the assumption that you survive this part of your presentation, you might suggest that maybe at some point in this conversation they might like to look at your art. Be prepared and have things ready for whenever they would be interested in doing so either at a later date or even at that moment.
7) There is no reason to patent your art:    An artwork is not an invention and there is no reason to patent your art. However, if you have invested a new chemical configuration for paint or created new equipment for making art, then maybe you would need a patent attorney. Once you create your art it is already copyrighted, if that's what you're worried about. You don't have to be concerned about that but under certain circumstances, registering your copyrights would be advisable. In relation to this, make sure you keep in mind that any artist who regularly invokes or engages in some aspects of the legal system may get a reputation and could turn off a substantial percentage of potential dealers, galleries, and buyers. Art projects the freedom, expansiveness, new ideas, groundbreaking concepts, and unexplored territories it represents which is one reason why people love it and it is not because it restricts them with legalities. If you use the legal system make sure you use it only as an absolute last resort.
8) An online presence is better than no presence:     If youíre afraid to show you art online because youíre afraid of getting it copied or stolen then get out of the art business because you will literally not be seen by anyone. If you plan to show your art publicly than you should be prepared to show your art online. Most galleries do that anyway so why be shy in that regard if eventually it will be shown there. In todayís communications world the online world has become the roadway to exhibiting and showcasing your art. Getting your own website and other ways to show your art online is indispensable in todayís world.
9) Several ways to get showings at gallaries:    There are several ways to get showings at galleries. One of the the things you can try is to try and get group shows. There are also juried and non-juried shows or even renting some temporary venues with other artists. Showings together at non-art venues or donating art to non-profit auctions. Anything you can do to get your art out there for people to see and buy. If friends or, associates have access to public areas or buildings, meeting rooms or similar places, it could provide a place to throw yourself a show. There are also other places that you might be able to show your art like coffee shops, restaurants, lobbies of office buildings, or even at private homes. The more your art is out there the more chances you have of landing a gallery showing. Build your resume and exposure one item at a time. In the long run every avenue for showcasing your work is a positive step.
10) One thing you should absolutely do is put prices on your art:    First of all itís human nature that people donít like to ask for prices because they donít want to feel bad or embarrassed when the prices of art that they ask for are either too expensive and they canít afford them and they would feel embarrassed if that were the case. If you walked into a store that had no prices on items, how would you feel if you had to ask how much anything you were interested and you were forced to ask for prices.
11) It would be advantageous to have a Blog on your website:     The only problems with creating a blog on your website would be that you have to have an interesting storyline and have it up to date. This is one way to attract attention, have a loyal following, and this would show everyone how dedicated you are to your artwork. However, if your blog entries are going to be sporadic, in other words once every few months, it will show your readership how undedicated you are. If you start a blog you have to realize that it will take much of your time, effort and commitment and may take time away from your art. However, if you do it the right way, it will benefit you in the long run.
12) The reasons to start painting and selling big art:     If you paint big in the neighborhood of between 3 x 5 feet and 4 x 6 feet. You may have have lots of trouble showing and selling your work. The reason for these problems are that people who buy big art and galleries that show big art do so generally for big artists with big names behind them. There are a few galleries that cater to commercial and corporate clientele who need art for large spaces. However they tend to have very specific requirements for what they show. Most people who buy big art, do it to impress others and about the only way to impress others is to have a large art piece from a well know artist. So if you're early in your career or are still building your resume, think about sizing down. Big paintings are OK to a point; they generally make your smaller pieces look better-- kind of a coattail effect. But the key here is to think seriously about producing more medium or smaller sized works, not only because they take up less wall space (and storage space), but also because they're more affordable. In general, the more options you can offer to buyers size-wise, especially early on in your career, the better..
13) Signing non-disclosure agreements    You should not have dealers, galleries, or consultants sign non-disclosure agreements before you even talk to them about your art. If you do, you will get nowhere as an artist. Be very careful in this respect.