Ask a Gallery Owner | Should I Use a Pseudonym?

Do you think it’s a bad business move to give yourself an artist name? If when you may concerned or want to protect your private life from your business life would that be a sufficient reason to have an artist name?

I was wondering what your thoughts were?

–Victoria

Many artists have asked variations of this same question. I’ve worked with artists who use their real names, along with a number of artists who have adopted pseudonyms. It’s quite common for actors and authors to change their names.

Does an Art Education Matter?

Whenever I’m talking to artists about their biographies or resumes, the question of art education, or lack thereof, often comes up. Artists who have completed extensive academic training want to know how best to leverage that training to build their credibility. Artists who don’t have formal training, want to know if it will hurt their prospects for gallery representation and sales.

Should Artists Present Artwork in Bins at Art Shows, or is it a Distraction?

In the comments on a recent post about giving buyers too many choices, artist Eric Saint Georges asked In a show: What about the bins? Would you also limit the…

Ask a Gallery Owner | The Pros and Cons of Artist Owned and Operated Galleries

In the past, I’ve discussed different models for galleries: traditional commercial galleries (consignment), co-op galleries and “vanity” galleries. A recent email reminded me that there’s another variant of the traditional…

Choice Overload | Cramming in too Much Art Hurts your Sales

I have long maintained that it’s a bad idea to try and show too much art at once. Whether the art is being shown in a gallery, or at a weekend art festival, I believe it’s better to show a limited number of pieces instead of trying to cram everything you can into your space.

I believe that having too much art in one space hurts you in several ways. First, it makes your display look crowded and unprofessional. Most art needs some space to breathe. Your display will look better if each piece has its own visual space.

Becoming a Better Art Salesperson | Restating Questions and Objections

The typical reaction to a question or objection raised by a potential customer is to try and provide an immediate answer. After gaining some sales experience, you will have heard all the questions and objections, and will have a ready answer for each. I would encourage you to resist the temptation to blurt out an immediate answer, and instead restate your client’s question or objection in your own words. This is a simple thing to do once you get the hang of it, but you will be amazed at how much it impacts your ability to help your customer solve her own questions or perceived problems. That’s a real key – helping your client solve her own problems, instead of trying to solve them for her.

Ask a Gallery Owner | Does an Artist’s Death Result in an Increase in the Value of that Artist’s Work?

There’s an old, morbid joke that in order for an artist to see a significant increase in the value of her work, all she has to do is die. Underlying…

Introducing Yourself to New Clients

I’ve observed that many artists, even those who have been selling their art for years, can sometimes find the process of meeting a new client a bit awkward. The first few moments when you are meeting someone new at an art show or a gallery opening are important – we want to get off on the right foot. The importance of this moment can put a little pressure on you, and sometimes, instead of getting off on that right foot, you end up putting that foot right in your mouth! Or worse, I’ve seen many artists and salespeople who don’t make any introduction at all. Instead they say something like “Hi, let me know if you have any questions.”

How Galleries Select Artists

One of the great mysteries of the art business is how galleries select the artists they represent. The reality is that there are far fewer galleries, and far less wall-space than it would take to show the work of all of the artists who would like to show in galleries. It can feel overwhelming to think about the odds that seem to be stacked against you if you are seeking gallery representation.

So what is the process that occurs in galleries as they are selecting new artists to show? It seems like it would be helpful to understand this process in order to prepare your work and submission materials so you can optimize your chances for success.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as “the process” for selecting artists. Every gallery approaches the question differently. Let’s explore the different review processes and discuss how you can best approach the galleries that employ each.

Watch This: Jackson Pollock’s Mural: The Story of a Modern Masterpiece

I love art history, and, over the years, have particularly enjoyed learning about mid-century, modern artists. I’ve read biographies on Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock  and others. The…