Thursday, August 16, 2012
New Flickr Photos in Slideshow - Pathways
Yesterday I added a new set to my flickr slideshow with pictures of my 'Pathways' exhibit. I still have a few more to enter but most are there. Where has the time gone? I had planned to spotlight some of the pieces on my blog over the summer. I think I talked about one so far....And my exhibit ends on Saturday, August 18. The eight weeks went by very quickly. I was happy to see that it has been very well attended. When I visited with a friend on Tuesday I took the time to read the comments that visitors had written. We can learn a lot about our work by knowing what people like about it (or dislike). There were some very thoughtful and valuable comments - definitely my exhibit had many fibre artist visitors.
It made me gasp when one visitor wrote about a piece she fancied, "Is this piece for sale?" Yes, yes, and yes! Most of the pieces were for sale except for a couple that are part of my own personal collection. But I guess it wasn't obvious to visitors. I got to thinking about how uncomfortable we seem to be about announcing that we are marketing our work as well as showing it. Galleries tend to be rather subtle about it too. In this case, the museum had price lists available at the show but at another group show I took part in, I remember that a major complaint of visitors was that they didn't know if items were for sale, how to find out the prices of things or how to make a purchase.
We each have our own ways of promoting our work - some sellers are more direct than others. Many of us shy away from self-promotion. I do enjoy being present at shows to discuss the work, sometimes just for the pure joy of having someone who is interested in hearing about it (rather than boring my friends). As a customer I shy away from the 'hard sell' technique so I am careful not to be forceful or annoying (at least I hope I am). Since I would not buy a piece of art unless it spoke to me in some way, I do like to be able to connect with people to see if they understand what I am trying to say with my work and maybe to share some of the stories behind the art work. I guess as an artist I want to be understood as well. So, it's not enough just to sell a piece of work, I want people to know what they are getting. I guess I'd never make a good car salesperson
Blogging is a great way to hear from others about our work. I try to make comments on other people's posts if I have something to say and I love receiving comments. At first, I only made comments on blogs if I had some previous connection to the blogger (a shared group, a follower etc). Soon I was commenting wherever I saw something that interested me. It's great!
But just for the record, if there are potential buyers out there in cyber space, I would be thrilled to hear from you too:-)