Find a Venue For Selling and Promoting Your Art
Apart from having your own studio, which is beyond the reach of most small art businesses, you will need to find a venue in which to sell your work. This is not always easy to do as the competition is fierce in the art world. There are literally hundreds of artists in the country all volleying for exhibition and shop space. That's not to say it's impossible to secure a venue, it's not, but it does mean you have to do some groundwork to get into the venues of choice.
There are venues in every town that can provide a place for you to sell your artwork. However, they will normally want a percentage of the selling price in order to sell your paintings on your behalf. Although this may sound expensive, think of it this way:
- You have no shop overheads
- You don't have to be in the shop to sell your paintings
- You are free to create more artwork
- You don't need your own studio
Those advantages alone are worth paying a percentage for. There is, however, nothing wrong with trying to negotiate over the price. Some shops and galleries will happily discuss the percentage while others won't budge over the cost. Remember, though, it's your work and if you're not happy with the terms, walk away.
Where to Look for VenuesLook around your local town for shops that do framing, craft shops, café's, tea rooms, and restaurants. All these places often display art on the premises and will be able to advise you on their selection process.
If you prefer, you can do a more sweeping search for venues by utilizing the Internet. Using a search engine, such as Google, you can choose what type of venue you wish to find, along with the location boundaries you set. For instance, you could search for 'craft shops yorkshire' and it will list hundreds of possibilities. You will need to go through looking for matches, but it's worth doing.
The local press is also a good source of potential venues. If you don't feel you can make first contact face to face, call them on the phone. It breaks the ice and when you take your portfolio in with you, they will be expecting you. Likewise with trade magazines, they too are full of adverts from potential places to approach.
RememberYou're not the first to approach these places, and you won't be the last. You all have a combined love of art and that alone will give you common ground for conversation. Galleries in particular are always pleased to meet local artists and actively encourage artists to come and talk to them. As long as you have done your best, look professional and are confident in your abilities, all the venues above will be glad to meet you.
Craft shops and other such places will often take your work on 'sale or return' (meaning if your art doesn't sell you get them back after an agreed timeframe) as it enables them to show a wide variety of goods without having to spend a fortune on stock. It is a two-way street; they need you as mush as you need them.