201: Selling art

I AM currently at the Harmons City Creek gallery open house. I’m sitting in front of a wall of paintings with a bunch of my newly minted magazines waiting for art buyers to come by. A few people have stopped to look but I’ve been unable to come up with any salient comments. It seems I’ve been in this position dozens of times—at a gallery opening where all intelligent comments evaporate from my mind.

So what should I say to prospective buyers? The first thing that came to mind is to simply introduce myself saying “hello, I’m the artist. Do you have any questions?” It seems a little lame but in the absence of any alternatives I’ll give it a try with the next potential buyer. I could expand on the subject and list reasons to collect art (read 5 Reasons to Collect Art here).

Please add your suggestions in the comment box. Many thanks as usual.

UPDATE: I tried the first approach above with two congenial art enthusiasts. It went well and the woman took a postcard. I was fairly relaxed in my presentation and I think that’s probably the main thing. But I still felt a little awkward. I’m still trying to think of better approaches.

I put so much of my personality into my paintings I have little left over for selling. It makes openings an exercise in preserving my dignity. I really believe that if you communicate effectively selling art shouldn’t be so hard. The problem is that it’s hard to communicate effectively.

AFTERWORD: I used many of your ideas and had a better than usual show. Many thanks to all who helped out! I appreciate your generosity.

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Updated: 7th February 2023
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