Last weekend, I went down to the local art center where about 50 artists run a coop gallery so I could sign up for the Open Studios Art Tour.
I was pleased to see some pretty good work there. And surprised at one painting in particular. This painting was about 11″ x 14″ – good size for sales – and it was about a B+ painting. It was good, but certainly not great. But it had a beautiful frame on it.
I expected to see a price tag of between 350 and 550. Nope! Can you guess? 179. You could have knocked me over with the breath from a baby’s burp.
Seriously???? 179???? That’s what the frame cost!
That’s like announcing out loud, “Hey! Looky here! My painting isn’t worth doodah! Buy my beautiful frame!”
When I commented to the artist at the desk about it, he just shrugged and said, “Well, a lot of artists just want to get rid of excess inventory during the holidays, so they price way down. And there isn’t that much money in this town anyway.”
I could have fallen over yet again.
Listen! If you have a piece you ‘just want to get rid of’ – give the thing away! Or burn it! Or paint over it! You degrade your own image and insult your market by putting Grade B stuff out there – especially so cheap – when the rest of what you do is good, and has decent prices! And stop wasting good frames on pieces that don’t deserve them!
Can you hear me grinding my teeth?
And the belief, “There isn’t that much money here anyway,” just made me want to laugh all over the guy. Know what he said next? “People have to show in places like Santa Fe to get sold.”
Guess what I used to hear artists in Santa Fe say when I lived there: “there isn’t that much money here – people use it on their (houses, horses, turquoise jewelry). We have to go to NY to sell our work!” Snort.
BELIEFS WILL KILL IT EVERY TIME
What beliefs do YOU have that undermine your sales ability?
Mine used to be,
“No one will ever buy my work.
No one even tells me they like it.
I have to price it way low so at least SOMEone will buy it!”
Think those beliefs had something to do with how depressed I was, or how little I actually sold? You’re right.
If you went to a hotel that sold $15 rooms, would you rent one? Nope. You’d think, “Ew, gross! Why is it priced so low? Cockroaches? Bed bugs?”
You’d want one where the price reflected the value you wanted to get!
It’s the same thing with your art, and with your coaching sessions and courses, and your speaking fees.
OK, rant over. Can you tell that it upsets me when I see people trying to sell their work for way too little and end up starving because of their destructive beliefs?