Sunday, November 23, 2008

Studio Tour Finis

Well, the Studio Tour for 2008 is a done deal. Good presentation, sold 5 paintings and lots of good comments made. I am bushed! 2 days of meet and greet from 10-4 plus an artist reception not to mention the 2 weeks of hussle before the show even arrived. I have even more respect for fellow painter, Les Lull, who did a month long show in Arizona! A month...YIKES!! It can really wear on you.
I am glad to do the show because it is great to hear the feedback on the work and gauge what the public really thinks about the progress I'm making. The public thinks very differently from artists and gallery owners. Each is valid and comes from a different perspective so it is good to get feedback from each of them. The economy is in the ditch so selling anything was a success in my book. I could have sold more but we had 10 paintings reserved for a gallery...but that's another story.
At last years show I learned through sales that smaller paintings moved more. During the summer I started painting a lot of 9"x12" & 12"X16" sized paintings. Good thing I did my homework because those are what sold. Buyers said they were buying for their homes, for gifts and for other homes they owned. The other homes and gifts are why the smaller sizes move. I do have a man interested in a large painting as a surprise Christmas gift for his wife, he took my business card and said he'd be calling in a few days, so I'm hoping that pans out.
The other thing I did was to drop my prices a little. A lot of the painters in this tour did fact, I would bet some increased them. The museum who sponsers this event only takes 20%. I've mentioned the economy being bad and that was more my reason. Sometimes it pays to entice sales and after a dismal summers worth of low sales I needed to do something. I think the plans we made behind this show helped move these paintings so I'm happy.
A studio tour is above all and a learning experience. It is where you get to meet and talk with the people who actually buy your art. You learn to self promote. By nature I think most artists tend to not want to talk themselves or their art have to. You will meet people who are more charged up about your work than you are. You will meet people who can even describe your work better than you can! As you paint you need to ask yourself why you are doing it and what inspired that particular scene. More importantly, you need to come up with the answers because you are going to be asked. You will need to learn to speak more objectively about yourself...not bragging or boasting. You have to be able to talk about your accomplishments, point out your strengths as an artist and let the buyers know that you are making progress on your road to being a working artist who is going somewhere. It sounds easy but for me it took a while to talk about myself as an artist and where I stand at that moment. You have to let the buyer in to some part of you that they can get a glimps of. They want to know who you are and how you connects them to your work and maybe how they feel about you and your work. Buyers are not purchasing art from Sears, they are buying from the artist and they want to know more about that artist. You need to give them some of that and in the end you make a sale and they got more than just a painting for their hard earned money.
If you are part of an art organization see if they have a studio tour and try it out...learn to promote your art and deal directly with your buyers....remember, if you can sell your art then so can a gallery. The hard truth....if your art isn't selling then you need to first look and evaluate your art. Be honest and if you need to get better then start painting. We all started somewhere in art and we all worked to get to the point of making sales. Listen to what people say about your work, it's important. Never stop learning and never once think you have "made it". I have learned 3 important things in painting......I am learning with each painting. Each painting is another attempt to get better at some particular part of that painting. All of my paintings will be better than the last one. That last one is a tough one but the most important goal I know of and goals are exactly that...goals. You don't really have to reach them everytime but you should be working towards reaching them everytime.
Some pics...Some of the munchies set out....

Some of the nocturnes...These went over very well on the tour.

Walking in to the studio...

This wall had a lot of the smaller pieces.

I'm now looking forward to next years show...feets don't fail me now!

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