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In which i ponder the “gallery” question

3d human with paint brush and palette

Yesterday Kevin and I discussed my art.  Well, I’m not sure I would call it art but I would certainly call it painting.  When we built this house we actually had a room that was supposed to be my “studio.”  It is a great room with big windows and skylights and for the past 10 years it has been full of exercise equipment.  Therefore, I’ve been squished in a corner to do my painting which wasn’t a huge problems and I didn’t have much time but now I’d like it to be more convenient.

 

The first step is getting rid of the exercise equipment that includes a huge Parabody Weight machine, a Stairmaster, a Spin bike and free weights.  We are keeping the bike and the weights but we’re giving away the other stuff.  After all that is gone, I will have a huge room to paint in which leads me to my other problem.

 

I have never sold a painting. Truth is, I have never tried to sell a painting but still, I have a lot of paintings upstairs.  The only reason that this is a problem is because my paintings are huge.

 

Kevin:             I only see one problem

Me:                  what’s that?

Kevin:             what are we going to do with all your paintings?

Me:                  I don’t know.  Either give them away or find a gallery to show them

Kevin:             well, you need to figure out something

Me:                  I’d just like to make enough money to pay for the canvases and paint

Kevin:             you better do some research

So today I did some research on “how to find a gallery” and this is what I learned.  In an article entitled “3 Steps to Find Art Gallery Representation,” it asked the following questions:

 

Am I ready to sell myself to a gallery?  Ummm, I guess so

Is my art saleable?  Well, that’s subjective.  I think it might be.

Is my art technically good?  Probably not since I taught myself

Have I developed a recognizable style?  Yes, I think so

 

Do I have a cohesive body of work ready to display?  Cohesive …. Hmmm

Have I had success selling my work in art/craft shows, out of my studio and other non-gallery venues?  SHIT

Do I have the time to fulfill the supply and demand of a gallery?  Ummm… time is not really an issue for me

Do I have a portfolio, bio, and resume and artist statement?  Jesus Christ this sounds like a lot of fucking work

 

If the answers are yes-you might be ready to take the next step toward finding the right gallery.

 

If the answer is no – don’t put yourself in a vulnerable position.

Then they had this quote:

“Approaching a gallery before you are ready is kind of like putting a gangly teenager in modeling school. It won’t help your self-esteem and it most likely will bruise your ego.”

So, that’s where I am on my grand design now.  I didn’t realize that I had to have such a “grand plan” just to get rid of my art.

 

Just thought I’d keep you guys up to date on what I’m doing.  After all, that’s what this blog is all about.  By the way, the link for the page is here.  I don’t want you to think I was stealing these rules.

 

What to do? WHAT TO DO?

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16 Comments

  1. Mayor Gia
    February 19, 2013

    It’s probably like submitting a rough draft of a novel to a bunch of editors. Just be prepared for the worst and go for it!
    Mayor Gia recently posted..Happy President’s Day!My Profile

    • Lynn
      February 19, 2013

      i just don’t know if it’s worth the hassle

  2. Susan A
    February 19, 2013

    Lynn, have you thought about donating or loaning a couple of pieces to a retirement home or an after-school program? That would give you something for your resume–”works on exhibition at ———: title, title…” maybe you could rotate pieces every few months. That would give your work exposure and you would start to have a network of people who are familiar with it. Just a thought!

    • Lynn
      February 19, 2013

      i shall check this option out

  3. Julie
    February 19, 2013

    I agree with the Mayor. Go for it ~ you have absolutely nothing to lose.

    • Lynn
      February 19, 2013

      just my time and my mind

  4. Sheri
    February 19, 2013

    How about setting up an Etsy site? That’s all I have. I’m only creative in my head. By the time the idea gets to my hands – well, it’s not pretty (unless you’re a three-year old.)

    • Lynn
      February 19, 2013

      i shall check it out

  5. Jen Anderson
    February 19, 2013

    Whaddya mean, “what to do”? It’s right there in the list of questions. Get yourself a booth at a craft show. Get yourself out there and sell your paintings yourself. You’re not looking to be the next art world darling, so don’t worry about galleries. Do the etsy shop, but definitely put your art where people looking to buy can see it. People who shop at galleries are often looking for investments, but people who shop at craft shows are looking for something pretty to hang on the wall.

    Every artist I know wants someone to come along and sell their art for them and it just doesn’t work that way. At least at art fairs and craft fairs, you’ll get to meet people, get material for the blog and eat fair food. You have nothing to lose.
    Jen Anderson recently posted..Go On Without MeMy Profile

    • Lynn
      February 19, 2013

      ok…that totally sounded like an order

      • Jen Anderson
        February 19, 2013

        It is. It’s like life coaching, only meaner. :)

        I didn’t used to be mean, but I’m an aspiring novelist who has had several artists ask me to drop my career and sell their art for them just because I know a little about sales from a telemarketing job I had in grad school. I ran out of patience sometime between spending half a of weekend visit going from store to store doing cold calls with a friend and having the same friend get mad at me for explaining that she needed to do my wedding invites BEFORE she gave birth because she wasn’t going to be able to get much work done in the month after the baby came. She insisted that “my mom is coming to help. it’s not going to be all about the baby.” I went with internet wedding invites and her wedding invitation business never took off.

        Anyhoodles, the checklist gives you a bunch of ways to sell you art without a gallery. Why not do it? I’ve even been to an art sale at someone’s house (the sister of the hapless artist above is a painter). It helps to know rich people, I guess, since they did it in someone’s fancy home, but they set up the paintings all over the place just like in a gallery and invited a bunch of people over – make postcard invites, and left them in businesses all over town, etc. That just lasted one afternoon. I went to another one in a library – I’m not sure how they handled sales after the opening night party.

        All I’m saying is that the checklist says to do all these things before going to a gallery. So do those things. Why do the checklist if you’re going to ignore its advice?

  6. doug
    February 19, 2013

    Cripes…..what a palaver….I’d contact one anyway!

  7. Jester Queen
    February 19, 2013

    Have fun whichever way you go. You might be able to get a professional appraisal to get an idea of whether your stuff would sell at a gallery?

  8. Catherine
    February 19, 2013

    You could try Artistrising.com. They allow you to sell prints of your work (that is how they make money) plus link to you in case someone is interested in the original (not sure how that works).

  9. Melissa
    February 19, 2013

    Definitely create an Etsy account, take pictures of your paintings, and post them for what you think you want for them. I am always looking at wall art on there because I’m cheap and need/want some art for my new house that isn’t mass produced. I’ve yet to buy anything… but, one day!

  10. Vee
    February 20, 2013

    Ditto to what the others said especially about selling it online. How about putting some pics up for us to see?? My mom paints and she sells at craft markets and fairs etc. She has also put some up at a couple of restaurants with price and contact details on each pic.

    Good luck whatever you do but I’m serious, I am sure your loyal readers would love to see pics of your art!

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