Rebecca wrote that she’d listen to my nearly 90 minutes of how to sell art in which I focused on the annual exhibition. She asked if I had any detailed information and I thought everyone might find the following useful.
Once you’re committed to conducting an art sales either in your home or studio or a different location, there’s a ton of questions and action items.
Step 1. Choose A Date.
Nothing will make you focus your activities quite like picking a date for the Art show. Therefore its the first thing to do. But what are your considerations for setting a date?
Is your art finished? If not, you cannot set a date. Just keep painting. There’s way too much stress and action items to complete for you to be worrying about finishing your art. I was reminded of this crucial law just earlier this week. A longtime student of mine was hosting her annual, 1-month long art show with another artist on the Cape, about 85 miles away from me. I received a nice invitation in the mail announcing the two artist show and called the studio for directions just before I left. About 20 miles from the destination I called the studio again just to see if my student had arrived only to find out she’d backed out of the show at the very last minute. I’d just driven 60 some miles for naught. So make sure you have your art completed before you set a date.
When setting a date you must allow your prospects sufficient advanced warning to plan to attend your show. So think 2 or 3 months into the future from receipt of invitations at a minimum.
Think about lead times….. how long will it take to design, print, mail the invitations? How long will it take to receive all of the frames? It is the kiss of death to have no frames for your art show. Now if you’re fortunate to have an art gallery host a show in your honor they’ll traditionally frame your work. But the art gallery venue is not the focus of this article. You are a professional and want to look your professional best so its absolutely imperative for you to have your work framed. Remember, the whole purpose of the art show is to sell your paintings. And people are much more likely to buy your work if its already framed and ready to hang.
There are always unforseen complications. So plan on the fact that things will take longer than you estimate. So account for additional time when setting the date.
Pick a time that will be convenient for everyone, you and your guests. Generally weekends – Friday through Sunday afternoon seem to work best.
Avoid National and Religious holidays.
Avoid major sports events. That means the Superbowl, the Stanley Cup, the World Cup. You know the passion in your locale, so avoid their dates.
In the US, many artists will tell you to avoid the time frame between New Year’s and April 15th. Paying taxes is a higher priority than art acquisitions. I’m sure each country has its own period of times in which sales will be slower than the rest of the year.
Don’t forget tourist seasons if you live in an area in which large crowds will populate your area. This is perhaps not as important when you’re first starting out.
To re-iterate, once your art is completed, your very next step is to set a date to conduct your Art Show. Given that most artists will create 12 to 24 original pieces in a year, this will help you determine your budget. If each piece will sell for around $400, you’ve got a $4,800 potential. If each piece sells for $4,000, you’ve got a $96,000 potential. That’s good income in anyone’s book.
The beauty of the at-home Art Show is you only split the sale with yourself.
In a couple of days, I’ll talk about location, requirements for the location and so forth.