How To Get Your Art To Sale

Ane Howard in front of The Diver, original oil painting for sale.

(Ane Howard in front of The Diver, original oil painting for sale. image copyrighted 2019)

Before you can sell your art for sale, you first need to learn how to do it. Learn how to help a potential client find the right work for him.

Imagine this situation you are next to your work in an exhibition or art fair. The pieces are organized in a way that attracts the attention of those who walk there - and they do. A man approaches you, staring at one of the works next to you. It takes a moment to concentrate and realize that you are standing there. When this happens, smile. "I need this piece!" He exclaims. "Are you the artist?"

This type of love reaction, at first sight, does occur, and perhaps more frequently than you might think – in a Gallery, it is not uncommon for a visitor to simply fall in love with a piece and decide to buy it immediately as it has happened to Ane Howard, the artist. Appreciating art is a very personal experience in many ways, and sometimes, when a particular piece catches your eye, you simply need to take it with you! 

Selling your art does not always happen this way, and it is important not to assume that it will be so. Even a person who is naturally attracted to your exhibition may not feel attracted to a specific work.

There are some things you can do to help sell your art to a potential customer.

1. Display your art

If you are in a gallery, at an art fair, or anywhere else where you are exhibiting your art, you find yourself in a context designed to appreciate art. It is not like approaching a stranger on the street - these people are in this place because they want to see works of art, and they will be open to discussing, sometimes hoping to have the opportunity to understand more deeply what they are contemplating.

How can you help them achieve this?

• Establish a friendly atmosphere.

• Show yourself accessible, smile and interact.

Of course, you have to find your balance, and you don't want to seem insistent, drawing the attention of someone who just passed by and is now looking for how to escape. Be sensitive and use your common sense to determine the level of 'sufficient' enthusiasm - but don't be shy when sharing your love for your works.

2. Ask them what caught their attention in the first place

• Was it a particular color? Then you should probably concentrate on works that include that color.

• Do you remind them of a trip they took and of which they have good memories? Then you will want to concentrate on similar scenes.

Help them develop this train of thought. Maybe they think the color is relaxing, or maybe they would like to tell you more about that trip and why they enjoy remembering it.

The more you motivate them to elaborate and clearly understand their interest, the more likely they are to connect this developing interest with your works. Why?

• You are helping them to get emotionally involved with the work they are examining. The more they feel that it is related to them, the more likely they are to respond and wish to continue that interaction - and buy the piece to hang in their home or office.

3. Find out if you are looking for a piece for a particular space in your home or office

Being aware of the specific space and location can be very helpful for you to define what you might like - and whatnot.

While it is true that we all expect our works to be appreciated on their own merits, and in many ways, this is the case of people who love your work, the truth is that we must remember the practical considerations that this has.

No matter how much a client likes your art, the fact is that if you want to sell him work it will be necessary for the client to imagine the place that this work will take in his life. It's great to want to see that sculpture every day - but if it's too big for a small apartment, it might not be a viable option. Be understanding about these limitations and try to work with the potential buyer to discover what kind of space they are imagining, and what would work well in it. If you do not think you have something appropriate, you can show other pieces of your portfolio or your website that could be better alternatives or even offer to work based on a commission.

4. Show interest in what they tell you

This is not just a buying and selling process. People who buy your works probably do so because they have developed an emotional connection with it. You can sell your art by discussing what they liked about the work, which reminds them. Listen to their answers and motivate them to tell you more. Try to consider that these discussions are something that can reveal aspects of your creations that were hidden, even to yourself.

The fresh perspective of someone who is appreciating your art with new eyes and without preconceptions to what to expect from you or your style can be very valuable for these reasons:

• As strangers, they don't have the affection and information that can sometimes influence the reactions of family members or friends who have contact with your work more frequently. They can be honest and frank in a way that others would not achieve, giving you a useful point of view about your pieces.

All this is fascinating and satisfying by itself and could play an important role in the works you create later. Consider that these interactions with potential buyers are learning experiences, in which you can gain a greater understanding of your work and the impact it can have on others.

5. Share information about yourself

Is there any relevant anecdote of any of the works? Stories about the place where you created the work, or where you initially got the idea, or when you were halfway through the project and realized that you had run out of ocher? Sharing these stories can help you sell your art.

Not all artists feel comfortable talking about their sources of inspiration or their reactions to the piece in front of them. Many prefer that the work speaks for itself, or feels that making statements about the meaning or background would put limitations on the potential interpretations that viewers might have unexpectedly during the creation of the piece. It is true that, like the artist who created the work, you are in a position that could influence how it is perceived. However, this will not determine the impact that the work will finally have on the viewer.

Original post by Meshii Meshii Jul 25, 2019