Shift Happens! There's Magic in the Details!

Thursday, December 20, 2012
I see it over and over again - artists and creative entrepreneurs who do not give any thought or intention to a strategic approach for selling their work. Instead they believe that the creation will speak for itself and sell itself.
This couldn't be farther from the truth.
As painful and discouraging as that may be to know, your artwork is just the beginning. Just like the owner of a successful coffee shop who has thought through every detail of his store, from the logo, to the style and weight of the coffee cups, to the type of print he uses on the display menus, you too must do the same with your art. It begins with the creative art piece. It ends with a sale if you take the right steps to sell it well.
An excellent example of this is an art show that I attended recently. The work was excellent. The pieces were superb; the environment friendly and inviting. The art was well thought out; beautifully designed and spoke to excellence. The initial invitation made me want to be there. Yet, there was something missing.
What was that something? It was the strategy and approach once you were in the environment itself. There was no story anywhere about the art; no description of the pieces themselves. What would make me want this piece versus another? Why buy any of it? The compelling story of the artist was not clearly shared. It was left to the customer to ask for this information, if they even did so.
That made me think of how many artists and creative entrepreneurs make this very mistake. It is true that sometimes the work does sell itself, however in my experience as an entrepreneur and coach to artists, it usually requires more... much, much more.

Here are a few compelling questions to ask yourself about your own approach to your artwork and selling it.
What impact, appearance or story do you want your artwork to tell or share?
Are you aware of the first impressions your work, its background and layout elicit?
Are you clear on the environment that best suits your work? Do you insist that your work be displayed in a manner that is worthy of the work (for example are you putting a cheap frame on a high quality photo or painting?)
Are your pieces well displayed, a story told of each piece and the excellence of it shared clearly?
Have you thought out a very specific strategy or approach to your artwork and without exception, stick to it?
Yes, just like the owner of that coffee shop has thought through every aspect, you too must do the same in your art. Don't shortchange this process otherwise your work may not sell, or not at the top dollar it deserves. You may discover that the reason your work has not sold in the past is not because of the work itself, but the haphazard or careless way it is presented.
When you pay attention to these details, "shift happens" and your work may begin to sell at the price you know it is worth (and you know you deserve), as if by magic!


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