The process of painting, making mistakes and trying new things is great fun but in the end it comes down to how much your work sells and how popular you are especially if you are wanting to make a living out of it. Selling your work is one of the hardest things I have found. I am very grateful for websites such as Esty which are a great platform for selling work and I have been successful there but somehow many people don’t trust buying work unless someone else says its good. I realise that if you aren’t represented by a gallery then many people don’t recognise you as an artist.
My aim this year is to try and find a gallery who is willing to put their neck on the line and support me. It is a very tough world out there and already walking around the area I live in, the amount of rude and hard knock backs I have had is quite an eye opener. It’s that chicken and egg situation where they are not interested in seeing work that has been sold (even though it represents the work/style I paint) but are more interested in work that is available which then puts you in a difficult position with work hanging around your studio that you can’t put anywhere to sell. They also have this air about them claiming that THEY find you and not the other way around. How do I get found?
Being in a gallery also brings it’s problems as they charge around 70% per painting which hikes your prices up meaning that displaying or exhibiting in cafes etc will become more of a problem. Sadly this isn’t a hobby for me – something I need to try to make a living out of.
This year I’m determined to work as well as I can and get some pieces ready for any gallery to take me. It’s the Affordable Art Fair next week where I will go around and find galleries where my work might fit.
This year a gallery, next year competitions. I have my work cut out!
Here is a little picture for those of you who were celebrating St Davids Day. Framed and ready to go on my Etsy site AlicesArtHouse. £200 (painting is 40cmx40cm).
Over the last month, this month and the following month my work is in The Stores in Gt Waltham in Essex. I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to display and sell my work. Many people have been very sceptical about the idea of selling and displaying work in cafes. They have been very negative about whether or not people manage to ever sell their work that way. I decided to give it a go and see what happens – it can’t hurt can it?
The second month’s display of work at The Stores in Great Waltham – sorry about the slight shake to the picture!
I’m thrilled to say that I have managed to sell 3 paintings from The Stores! I am so very excited about it and the fact that one was bought by someone and she liked it so much that she came back to buy 2 more is wonderful. This is a huge encouragement! This weekend I’m getting myself ready and finishing things off so that I have more to put up on Monday.
I have decided to approach one of my local cafes in London to see if I can display my work there and they have said yes which is brilliant. I thought this could be a perfect opportunity to display some of the work that comes from the school around the corner that I’ve been going to for a morning a week. The idea would be that a group of artists would rotate each month. Some of my friends see it as a good idea but I’m so surprised and saddened by others who again have this snobby feeling that it is a cheap way of selling work and not prestigious enough. I feel as long as you are realistic about your work, perhaps don’t put it in amazing frames to keep costs down, you can make your work accessible to everyone. One thing to remember is that people seem to have a habit of surprising you. Just have a go. Let see what happens…….
Fingers crossed I manage to sell more paintings this month.
I’m so pleased to say that my work is on the wall in a cafe in Great Waltham in Essex called The Stores for the next 3 months! Its a rather lovely new cafe in the area which sells great coffee for somewhere out of London and some delicious homemade cakes as well as some fab paintings for sale. I’m really pleased to announce that this is on for a three month period. I have been working hard to produce work for it alongside some commissions and the plan is to change the work around each month so people don’t get too bored. Fingers crossed some of them will be sold anyway so it will be just a matter of replacing them.
It was quite hard to know what work to display in a cafe. Its difficult to judge the size or pricing of them. Some of the work there had clearly been done by hobby painters and so the price was mainly irrelevant and so they were charging a really low price. A particular artist displaying there sold loads of artwork as they were only £25 each! Sadly this puts me in a difficult position as I have become fully committed to making a living out of my work. I hope the general public find my prices reasonable. One of the hardest things I find is knowing where to price your work. It’s a fine balance between selling your work and getting what you want for it.
If you are someone who lives near Gt Waltham in Essex please do pop into the cafe to have a cup or tea or something. Tell me what you think of my work and pricing. Also a quick heads up, I will be exhibiting at the Stebbing Open Gardens this weekend in Essex too. Pop along if you are around.
Over the last couple of weeks I have had a couple of exhibitions which I have been rather worried about. It feels like a big step to go out there to sell your work when you are so unsure of it in the first place. It’s hard as an artist I think to really believe in your work. It’s hard to see the good things. Instead we see all the mistakes and where we could improve.
I have been totally shocked and astounded by the way my work has been received over the last couple of weeks. I have had so much positive feed back and people have been so kind. It’s been quite a learning curve. Somehow its still so hard to believe that people like your work and want to buy it. It’s an amazing boost and helps me to realise that despite all the mistakes I see, someone else likes and enjoys them. Some of these paintings have been around my house for quite a while – I’m so excited and pleased that they have been sold, but I will also miss them.
Thank you very much for your support.
Morning Light on a Felsted walk – 5″x 7″ oil on board
Framed (dark wood tray frame) – £100
I’ve been really busy this week finishing off work for an exhibition I have in Essex UK on the 24th November for a week. Its an exhibition of Essex landscapes of which I’ve painted 10. It’s been great working on these, I’ve really enjoyed it with the challenging light, colours and skies. All 10 paintings are tiny – the biggest being around A5 size. It’s been a learning curve as I’ve never painted landscapes before. I’ve taken it slowly and tried to concentrate on the good old formula of starting dark and then continuing into the lights. I also found out a good tip about giving the sky a wash of pink first which gives it more depth. It definitely works.
If you are around and you can make it to Essex, I would be delighted if you came to my exhibition. The details are below.