Thursday, September 17, 2015

Happy Artist, Happy Customer and the Elusive Ribbon

I woke up this morning thinking about sales and what it takes to be able to sell one's artwork. It isn't always easy as I'm sure most of my artist colleagues can attest to. As I'm getting ready for my 2nd show, in a string of shows 4 in 4 weeks, my work is always top of mind. But when you are doing something you love it's not bothersome, or at least mostly it's not.

So I wake up and think, 'how can I make this show better than the last? I did well last weekend in sales, but no ribbon.' Hmmmm... I like winning stuff, who doesn't? But not for it's competitive aspect, I absolutely HATE the thought of someone thinking that I think I'm better than someone else. NONE could be farther from the truth. But that all being said, I do enjoy winning, but only because it is a testament to my personal commitment to always strive to put my best foot forward. When I do pull this off, it usually results in high sales, but not always a ribbon. I wonder why that is? There must be an element that I am missing to my booth presentation.

So what makes a customer (and a judge!) happy when they come into an artists booth? Obviously they come in because SOMETHING CATCHES THEIR EYE. But what can I do to really keep them enthralled and engage while they are IN my booth? Being a collector of other artists' work (yes, artists can buy art too!), I don't look for just a nice piece of art, but I want to know about the artist as well. Why did they create this? What made them want to share it with me? What's the story? So you're not just buying a 'thing' you're also buying a feeling or an emotion or an experience. These make me as a customer connect with the artist and make me want to buy "a piece" of that person.

Ok, so let's switch it back to me. What can I do to give someone "the total experience"? If I could, I would bring my whole studio with me and show everyone how I get to work, how I am inspired to do what I do. But maybe I can bring pieces of my studio with me and I can create a space where the customer feels like they are in my studio! Bingo.

So as I'm wrapping up getting artwork ready for this weekend, I need to take some time to find those little touches that will give my audience the experience they desire... and somehow still find room in my car for me to actually drive it to the show!

If you're an artist reading this, I hope you have found this helpful. I plan to write more entries like this. And if you are a customer, your feedback is ALWAYS welcome!

Have a lovely day :)

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