Do you want a new gallery in 2015? It is possible, however it helps if the artist can think in slightly a different way.
Whenever you are trying to sell something, (we are trying to sell the gallery our work so that they in turn can sell our work) it is important to better understand the customer ‘s (the gallery owner) problem. If we can, then we are able to offer a solution. (Our Art!)
Try leaving your role as an artist and just for a minute, put yourself in the shoes of a gallery owner.
Their big problem is that they have no way to generate money, stay in business unless they get involved with this rather disorganized, not entirely understandable group of people called artists…(can you imagine?) The galleries don’t fully understand what work will sell or not ahead of time. All they can do is keep trying things, which is costly. They are always wondering what will be the next thing, but they cannot create it. They can only wait till they see it. They worry they will miss it. Often they do.
They are deluged every day with postcards from artists wanting them to represent them. The artists all want something from them. They want their help. As you can imagine this is pretty tiring and boring. They wonder why they are in this profession that relies upon selling a product that is so totally unpredictable.
Here is what possibly is going through their minds as they sit day after day in their gallery constantly tossing postcards out…
“Don’t these artists understand that I can’t sell something that looks like what everybody else is selling? Why don’t these artists get it? They actually think I would risk my hard earned money and time launching an effort when all I get to go on is a badly reproduced postcard! I can’t even tell what or who these people are from these… So many artists expect me to make their career for them. These people seem lazy. I just don’t feel confident. The only new thing I get to see are these endless postcards in my mail…I have to choose someone or something new for the gallery for 2015– but I don’t see any artists that would fit the bill. Maybe someone different will come along if I just keep waiting.”
Do you see the problem from their perspective? Can you help solve their problem?
So choose a gallery that shows work that is different from yours and when you do send them something, think of it more as a gift from you to them, rather than a plea for help.
Write a short note by hand on the back of a page from your sketchbook or the back of your mom’s apple pie recipe even, take the package of samples you would send them and paint on it! Surprise the gallery owners and fill the package with confetti if you want. Entertain. Make their day! Make them laugh or cry.
Just do something different. They are dying out there. Feel sorry for them. Be creative in how you engage. You only have one shot at this and you won’t even be there.
Make it memorable so when you follow up with a call you at least can say I was the one that when you opened my package it made a mess on your floor with the confetti. Whatever.
Make this moment of them getting your package as personal as possible. Think personal. Make it like you. Always.
These people are somewhat bored and need to make money. They have no solution but you. Leverage authenticity and your creativity. That is the only thing that has ever opened doors. You want to work with people who are like you, so truly show them who you are in your presentation.
But above all else…
Make your Art as personal, as different, as it possibly can be.
Then, instead of your Art being part of the problem, it will be part of the solution.
Have you had any experience with galleries, or with getting out of the role of the artist? To share, please do so below.