Portfolio Link

Should you be interested in viewing a more "formal" portfolio site, please visit: http://www.carlverster.com

Monday, October 25, 2010

Selling Hot Air

It doesn't take long for the conversation to turn to marketing when talking to a budding artist.
Although it's a natural progression I suppose, it does strike me as being odd when confronted by someone who has produced a handful of pieces who is asking how they go about marketing their art. (I really hope I don't sound arrogant when I say that. I find it odd that they talk to me, and odd because it seems quite presumptious of them to think their art is even worthy of marketing yet -mostly because I spend so much time doubting that mine is!)

Yesterday I was approached by a young man who had heard that I had had some success with selling my art on the internet. He has space in his new house to start sculpting and wanted to know how to go about selling his sculptures on the internet. I confess to having no idea what the quality of his work is, if he has done it before and is starting again or whether this was an idea that just popped into his head and he thought he'd go for it. But I was simultaneously surprised that a bloke with no stock was already trying to work out how he was going to sell it, and impressed that he was asking because he didn't want to end up with a garage full of sculptures and so wanted to find a way of disposing them, which seemed pretty ballsy and sort of noble in that his motivation wasn't money, but space.

Someone I respect once said that no artist should consider trying to sell their work until they had produced 100 pieces. I assume the motivation is to prevent the seeming growing flow of substandard work flooding the market, and preventing the 'artist' from imposing their inferior product on an innocent and unsuspecting public, but I hope that the intention behind the suggestion was really aimed at ensuring the artist learns their craft, hones their skill, and "finds themself" as an artist before making a fool of themselves in public.
Now although I didn't follow this advice and began selling my work soon after starting it (heck, I would have never been able to continue buying material without costs being covered by the sales!), I have to acknowledge that I know now that I know much less than I thought I knew then (if you can follow that cumbersome sentence!). My work has progressed and developed, but I can say with honesty that I feel less confident about the quality of my painting now than I did way back when.

By the way, my recommendation to him was registering with www.southafricanartists.com. I have had some success selling through them, and it is a relatively risk free zone to feel out the market. I have however sold as many works off this blog, off Facebook (believe it or not), via galleries, and via word of mouth.
I still marvel at anyone that has the confidence of this young chap. How is it that he just 'believes' his work will sell, while I still am surprised every time one of my pieces sell?
That kind of confidence is a gift.

1 comment:

M said...

Saw some of your work in Clarens recently. My favourites are the ones with the butterfly and the feather. I also really liked the lady that looks like a lily from a distance, the one called "Wuthering Heights".