Approaching a new gallery is always somewhat daunting, especially when you are at the stage of development with your artistic endeavors that I am. I have been showing in local/regional galleries for about 5 years now and doing ok with that, but I am interested in getting my work into some higher end markets and more sophisticated venues. In order to sell anything in local markets I have developed pricing that I can live with that is somewhat commensurate with what the market here will bear. That isn't much! I do pretty well with tourist traffic through one of my galleries as they are willing to pay the prices, but locals not so much.
As I make the brave step of proposing my work to higher end venues/galleries, I feel like I am shooting myself in the foot by telling them what my current price points are for my work. Most of these venues are going to want higher priced artwork than what my work is currently at---and so do I! That's why I'm approaching them! So how do I give an answer to that question in an honest way without having them shut down any interest they might have in my work?
I currently am working through this situation with a gallery and waiting to hear if I have "under-priced" myself right out of the running. The fact that they even inquired as to my price point after I sent them images of my work seems to imply that they liked the work, so that was promising and encouraging. Then I had to debate about what to tell them about my prices and I went with the honest answer with a caveat that I'm seeking to find a better market and get those prices up more where I think they should be.
In order to survive and pay bills and buy supplies I need to be able to sell either my art or my knowledge about my art in the form of magazine articles or teaching. When I price my work I have to consider the market I have available to me, but I have also started pricing my work a little higher because of having some success with sales and exposure of my work---and the fact that I think my work is getting better all the time. That means my local sales have slowed, but I'm hoping that it will prepare me for getting into one of the higher end venues that I'm looking for. Thinking long term here which can be painful in the short run!
Catch 22 right? How to survive while you develop a following and some recognition for what you do so you can move on to bigger and better things. I'm thinking I need to lean towards the teaching and writing for the income and start getting my prices up so I can approach the venues I aspire to with my head held high. I'm not ashamed of my prices, but I sure would like to get what I think my work is worth.
One of my galleries is going to be closing at the end of June, but I think that creates the perfect opportunity for me to seek out the type of venue I'd really like to have for my work. I get a great positive response to my work in all the venues I show in, but the sales don't necessarily follow because the clientele is not spending that kind of money in those venues. I would say I do better than lots of the artists trying to sell at the same price level, but not good enough for me.
So I'm moving ahead and looking forward to finding a new opportunity for showing and selling my work someplace that will showcase it to its best advantage and be able to garner the level of sales that I think it deserves. Wish me luck!!
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
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