by Anne Wade, Art in the Garden
It’s a tough time to be a working artist!
Well, let’s be honest, it has never been easy. But with the COVID-19 pandemic, it has really been a lot worse.
Artists create because they are driven to express themselves. There is no higher form of flattery than someone wanting your artwork. That being said, where can they see it right now? Artists are not doing shows, gallery openings, open studios, or even classes. Yes classes!
A lot of artists, most of my friends eke out a living from teaching. Those classes can be at a center, school, gallery, from home or now, the new venue, online. I have heard so many protests at the beginning of the pandemic where artists didn’t want to teach online….”they can’t see the techniques, I don’t know how to use the equipment, they won’t come if they can’t touch it, where will they get their supplies, can I see them so that I can critique what they are doing?” Those comments were just the start of the dialogue.
This summer, the feelings started to change. “Well maybe I could do some online classes?”
The closer we got to October, the more panic I have heard about the Holiday season…”where will I sell my art?” Those reluctant to go online with the sales are now joining with others to figure out this new market. Oh yes, we have all had/have the webpage, but do we really sell a lot there? Why? We built it so “they” will come, right? Nope. You must drive people to your website, create interest, not just wait for people to stumble on it.
I will be the first to admit, I am not a good promoter of my own art. In fact, many who know me, don’t know I am an artist. I rarely use that title. I did pottery for years and sold on the show circuit. I do stained class, wood, jewelry, dye silk scarves, photography and paint. I do sell some, but it has not been my life’s focus…yet. I am better at promoting other people’s art and being the perpetual student.
So for this holiday season, here is my advice – for the price of free (so maybe you get what you pay for?)
Shamelessly self-promote…Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and any other free platform you have.
Set up your website to accept payments! Paypal is fine.
Drive people to your website by posting pictures that create interest. So.. what if you are not a good photographer…well you can hire someone if your items are expensive ones. If that is case, get a photographer. If not, practice. Take your cell phone or digital camera and check the lighting, place items on a background that is not distracting, and shoot several pictures. Select the best one. Put sizes, measurements, and color in the description. Tell people what they are buying and why they need it or to give it as a gift.
Make delivery easy. We all have a Wal-Mart parking lot, if it is local or see what it costs to ship your item and include not only the postage, but the packaging as well in the cost.
Start NOW! Wal-Mart is selling Christmas ornaments and decorations. Get a strategy and move forward. There are galleries that are open, websites to build, classes to promote, and most of all, your art to sell!
Handmade for the Holidays
What to join a group that will help you with pick-up, delivery, and shipping? Art in the Garden in Reidsville can help. We are offering a deal for you to join a professional selling website we will promote online and in the gallery for $20. You send us your photos and we take care of the rest. We will get the pieces from you that sell and ship them. (or deliver if they are in the county). We also offer you the opportunity to be in the gallery for Handmade for the Holidays, no money down and a gallery fee of 25% when your art sells. We handle the tax for you. Visit our website for details. https://artinthegardennc.org/ or like us on Facebook!