What Would You Like To Read About on RedDotBlog?

I’m pondering upcoming topics for the blog. I think I have some great ideas for new posts, but I would love to get input from readers on what topics you would like to learn more about.

Is there some aspect of the art business that you would like to learn more about? Are you curious about how something works in a gallery? Is there some aspect of the art business that makes you particularly uncomfortable or irritates you? I’m open to your suggestions and questions.

Please post your ideas for topics in the comments below. I’m more likely to write about topics that will have a broad appeal for artists, and particularly topics that are related to selling art, managing your business or working with galleries, but this is a brainstorm, so no topic is off limits.

If you see a topic in the comments that you would also like to learn more about, reply to that topic and enter +1 in your reply. Your reply will help me get a sense of what topics are of the most interest to readers.

Thanks in advance for sharing your ideas!

Starving to Successful

StSBookSHave you always wondered what it takes to show your work in galleries? Is your work being seen by qualified collectors?

In his Amazon.com best-selling book, Xanadu Gallery owner Jason Horejs shares insights gained over a life-time in the art business.

Learn more and order today.

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About the Author: Jason Horejs

Jason Horejs is the Owner of Xanadu Gallery, author of best selling books "Starving" to Successful & How to Sell Art , publisher of reddotblog.com, and founder of ARTsala. Jason has helped thousands of artists prepare themselves to more effectively market their work, build relationships with galleries and collectors, and turn their artistic passion into a viable business. Connect with Jason on Facebook

278 Comments

  1. I had a visitor in my gallery yesterday and asked, “Now because this is original art it won’t depreciate will it?” How does one answer that question. I spend a lot of my time trying to figure out an answer to that question. Of course, a person should buy what they like and no one should ever bank on an “investment” whatever that might be. Still when a person is spending gallery prices for original art, the question “Will this painting retain its value” is a question that deserves an answer. How do other people answer it?

    1. How well a work of art retains its value depends on too many variables. The real investment question faced by your buyer is whether or not the work is worth her investment in the here and now. How will she feel if she lets the work get away? Sometimes you just have a gut feeling.

      Investment is best left to experts. A smart collector is more focused on what she wants and why she wants it. I have walked away from many a work of art. And I recently bought a painting before it was even finished because I knew from the way it looked, and from my knowledge of the artist’s skill, that it was something special and fantastic. And I was right!

      Try to turn her investment question into a question about the adventures of collecting. Original art comes in all price ranges from ridiculously cheap to ridiculously expensive. An astute collector can find lovely things in the lower range and can learn the ropes of collecting art.

      She should begin with self discovery. What does she find most appealing? What kinds of colors and imagery would be best suited to her home … because she needs to think about how she’s going to live with the things she buys. I’ve seen very appealing works of art in local art festivals, in artsy restaurants, at art schools and in similar venues. A collector can start out with a budget (as a decorator would) and look for a few pieces that suit her tastes.

      And every collection begins with a first purchase. The famous decorator Billy Baldwin believed that one should buy the “one really good piece” and then build a collection around it. Other collectors might prefer to buy a few things they like without being too severe about quality, believing that they’re on a learning curve and can trade up at some later date. It’s all part of a personal journey.

      Whatever she thinks about investment, however, her immediate question when standing there face to face with the work is not some magic crystal ball answer about the future economy but the simpler question about how much do I love this work? How will I feel when I walk away? Do I want to gaze at this image every day? How does it make me feel? In the mornings of the future, will I want to have this to enjoy?

      Do you like it more than you like the money? Because money just buys “other stuff.” If what she wants is “the other stuff” she should go straight to the seller of the “other stuff” and just buy that. Art is for people whose souls are moved by beauty and emotion and adventure. Hard to put a price on that …

  2. I’d love to see a post about strategies you utilize for anticipated “slow” or “off” seasons.

    Additionally, how about a post on expanding your market? I liked your “Know Your Buyer” post, but what if your buyers’ walls are full? Or your buyers are of an older generation and no longer expanding their collections?

    1. I would love to know techniques for one on one sales. How to identify a real potential collector versus someone who is just casually looking with no intent of ever purchasing, or worse yet – an amateur artist who is asking questions so they can learn my techniques. Both take away from clients who will be collectors. As for the potential buyer, once I know the person is interested in a work, how do you ask for the sale without being blunt. I’d like to do that tactfully and don’t know how. As a result, the client leaves my booth and I don’t have a sale.

      1. I can imagine how you must feel, Jason reading Susan’s words! Susan I highly recommend Jason’s book “How To Sell Art”. I am an artist/gallery owner and Jason’s book has helped me immensely to increase my salesmanship. His book answers every scenario you present. My copy is highlighted, annotated and always by my side. Over the last two years it has gone to the gallery with me every time. When I don’t make a sale I think I should have, I go back to the book and reread and learn where I went wrong.

  3. What types of works sell the most in your gallery? Sculpture, wall paintings in water color/oil, and in what category? i.e. abstract, landscape etc. How about wood works? Anything very unusual as far as medium, or content?

    1. My gallerist will take pieces that I have framed. She will also ask if I am willing to sell it unframed (if the client wants different frame) and how much I will allow for the frame. It is presented to me as a choice.

    2. +1 And I’d like to hear your take on metal frames. I currently prefer metal. Since I do art shows, as well as galleries, pieces sometimes need to be reframed, and metal frames are much easier to deal with. I do buy high quality Nielsen frames, but is that considered acceptable?

  4. Hi Jason.
    I am a watercolor artist. I like to work on full size sheets to give maximum impact. I frame my work under glass with 4″ mat. My themes are primarily floral and oriental in style. What kind of market is there for my work. I have a website with your gallery. My typical price for framed work 38×30″ is $950-1250. I am in Montreal but planning to move out West soon. I would appreciate an appraisal or suggestion,Krysia

    1. +1 Adding to this – many shows require you to have the work for sale. I struggle with selling paintings one at a time or having a solo show or gallery representation. I seem to have no problem selling my paintings but I would like to have gallery representation and eventually build a national reputation. So is it better to keep entering juried shows and show that you can get in and put them on your CV or should you “save” your paintings to try to have shows with multiple pieces in it (a body of work)??

    2. +1 good question Gayle. A gallery near me is having a “grand opening” juried show and is asking for artists. The opening will be in Nov., so they want small pieces under $200 that would be potential gifts. Here’s the problem. There is a $30 entry fee, plus the gallery will take 30%. If I sell a piece for $100, I receive only $37. That’s IF the piece sells. Is this fair?

  5. What is the best method to approach new galleries? I have sent emails [without attachments but with links to websites, juried shows, catalogs]; have sent DVDs with 20x to 80x jpgs of work, resume & printed photos; walked in with small piece and DVD; casual approach at openings as well as website ‘artist submission checklist’

    And as a bonus question, why is it that all of the not-for-profits can find me to ask for free donations of “beautiful” artwork but the same people don’t consider buying art for their blank walls?

  6. Hi,
    I notice that when visiting different galleries, modern/contemporary/abstract art seems to be the most prominent style. I see less and less representational art. Is that what buyers are more interested in?

  7. I’d like to see more articles on making that connection between gallery representation and the artist. As I fumble through such vague topics as portfolio creation (I really should go to art school), what gallery owners want to see, how to get noticed (rise above the millions of artists out there wanting the same thing), and so on, it would be nice to have a concise place to go for research and ideas.

  8. Watched the recent podcast, very good. Wondering what would be strategies to move from listening, looking, and getting to know the visitor, to directing their attention to the art on display, from there helping them to find something they love. We see a lot of tourists, and often the discussions only go so far, and do not come around to the actual art. Since we are in a really vital arts district of working studios, often visitors seem to be more interested in the lifestyle, and telling their own stories. While we want to be cordial and friendly, we also want to build good collector/artist relationships and keep an eye on our true purpose of having open hours in our working studios.

  9. This is an oldie but goodie….should we consciously paint what we think the public or collectors would like, or just paint what we want even if there’s no chance of it selling?

    1. I am horrified at all of the artists who “sell out”, who make art just to sell at art fairs & festivals; sized correctly, ‘popular imagery and no serious development of theme, imagery or seriousness. Sooo many seem to be making what is easier & what they believe will sell rather than developing their skills, imagery or themes…. Maybe it is like authors who can’t get their serious books published / sold so they write trashy sex stories instead?

  10. Is there a down side to purchasing so called qualified email list to build your exposure? How much attention should be paid to expanding the subject matter of your art. As a commercial illustrator my reps always told me to give them more of what they know, don’t move to quickly into other subjects. It was always explained to me that your audience doesn’t necessarily keep pace with your creativity. Is this true for fine art as well?

  11. Is it important for your artwork to be in “a series”. I have a few different styles I like to work in my paintings (from bright/multi-colored to abstract/dark to light/muted). What do galleries like to see in artist’s portfolios?

  12. B, photographer1111@gmail.com

    Thanks for asking. What about bartering for services with your art? I am in that situation now and trying to figure out how to do it in a way that feels valuing and not devaluing of my work. It’s with a respectful person who really likes my work so I am not concerned about being taken advantage of. But this feels like more of a personal exchange than forking over money. I want to feel the art is earned as much as cash payments would be. So I want to do it in a way that feels right. Just trying to figure out what “right” means here! Thank you!

  13. I’d love for you to fill in the areas we still don’t know much about from your book, How to Sell Art, on how to make the sale transactions of selling art. So far I’ve had great success with just a few of your remembered tips from your book! I printed out the pages from your blog on your book and read through them at every weekend artfair to great success.

  14. I have given up trying to get my work shown because I’m not able to send things on the computer. Everyone now is asking for jpegs and terms that I’m just not familiar. I’m a retired senior, and have always loved art. I have pieces all over the apartment, and don’t know where to store them. I have sold some to people who happen to see them when they visit. They ask why don’t I have a show. I don’t know how.

    1. Check with your local senor centers. Many have introduction to computers courses free. Other community centers do this as well. If you aren’t comfortable with those, ask a trusted, patient friend to show you the ropes. I consider myself tech-challenged, so if I can learn it, anyone can!

  15. Glad you asked! What kind of social media have you used to advertise your gallery (twitter, Facebook, Facebook, google +)? What have you found is the most effective and how do you tweak your content for the platforms? Have you found a good posting schedule? (Do you use Hoot Suite or another platform like that to help you with it?) Thanks, Jason!!

  16. What is the temperature of the art market for 2014-2015. Sales hot, cold, and what do you forcast for the election year regarding art sales. Which locations in the US have been steady for art sales.
    Thanks

  17. Is it worth it to get a manager? I really don’t know enough about the business side or the social side. While I put up a good front, I am quite shy and thus express through my artwork. Did Grandma Moses have a manager? OK, you’re laughing, but really, how have other emerging artists balanced the creative time and business time?

  18. Some of us produce work that is more labor intensive–working a month or more on a single piece working almost full-time. These are egg tempera pieces. No real way to speed things up. Should we assume galleries will never be interested? I’m fine with keeping my part-time day job, have begun to offer prints for sale as well as to produce other related works in a “faster” medium, such as water color. Looking for some general strategies here. Thanks so much for all your valuable information! ek

    1. Eileen – check out KooSchadler.com – she works in ET and spends about a month on a painting. She has gallery representation in two well-known galleries in Boston and Santa Fe – she does a solo show every other year at each. She does have to spend a lot of time in the studio though because of the nature of ET. She also offers classes which you might find useful because she has come up with a lot of tips and tricks to speed the ET process (and she is a fabulous teacher!)

  19. Dear Jason,
    How do gallery owners evaluate art — how do you select art for Xanadu Gallery?
    What is involved and do you offer Portfolio reviews?
    Thanks so much for sharing 🙂
    Sincerely
    Heather

  20. I read your book Starving to successful.What stopped me cold was the idea that I should produce 50 plus paintings a year. Does that mean galleries won’t sell my work because I lack quantity? Because I only produce 10 a year am I damned to obscurity ?

    I’ve been a finalist in ‘Artist’s Magazine’ 7 times
    I’ve been in Artist Portfolio on line mag.twice
    I was in Acrylicworks2 with 2 paintings, I will be in Acrylicworks3 with 2 paintings.(north light books)
    I’ve won national awards,I’ve won state awards ,I’ve had one man shows in museums.
    Why am I off limits to Galleries ?

  21. Hi Jason –
    ALL good questions!
    I’d like to hear your thoughts about “the best way to approach a gallery” – you’ve talked about this before, but what about what irritates you as well as what catches your interest? How much attention do you pay to an individual artist’s website?

    Thanks for your on-going enthusiasm!
    Pat

  22. Hi Jason, I really enjoyed the Book Club you organized a few years ago. While the last book on Van Gogh was onerous, I loved reading about Lee Krasner, etc. How about a program on the various books and movies that feature those strange and mysterious beasts called artists? Your readers could contribute their suggestions. It would be a great way to expose artists to other artists that they may not know about.

  23. In one of your blogs you mentioned that galleries now appreciate portfolios sent as a PDF file. I would love some nuts and bolts information on how to go about creating one. It is impossible to get around to all the galleries I would like to approach.

    1. +1
      I would really love the answer to that question as well. I have an Open Studio every year and want to change my lighting but have been waiting to hear what type of lighting you recommend.

  24. As an artist that no one knows, if I am going to sell my work by the square inch, how much per square inch, do you think is fair?

  25. What is your advice for artists who get wonderful praise and attention, get juried into some terrific shows and yet do not get consistent sales. How does one identify the underlying problem(s)?

    1. +1
      Me too! I have a show every year, and the same people come, and the same people always say they’ll commission me to paint sth, and a year goes by until the same people come to my next show, …. etc.
      Praise is not helping me. I’d rather have them tell me why they don’t like it. Selling art is such a conundrum and opinions are so misleading and I’m so at my wits end.
      A

  26. Jason

    My suggestions for blog topics are:

    1. “How to choose the best reasonably priced acrylic and oil paints —- for the ‘starving Artist’

    2. Best storage options —- for large canvases until they sell.

  27. Thanks for the opportunity to offer our suggestions for topics. I would love to see more about photography as art in all the various genres. Included in this topic I would love to see more about those of us who digitally manipulate our photographs into abstract art pieces. What are collectors looking for in photographic art, and how should we go about finding these collectors? It seems that everything is always about paintings and sculptures. I would also love to know more about what is too much vs not enough to offer on our slots in your online gallery.

  28. I am constantly reading that we must market our work on the Internet. That’s all fine and dandy. But what I really want to know is how to do that! Be specific. Give examples. Don’t just say stuff like market it but don’t do _______ or you’ll get kicked off. That’ too vague. Give me specific examples of what I can or can’t do, please.
    Thanks for all your interesting articles.

    1. Well I have some input that maybe Jason can add to… *Making a Facebook fan page helps expose your work well and connect with people. *Offer something for free in exchange for people’s email. *Go to forums or Facebook groups that have people interested in your niche to answer their questions, be helpful, and when they look you up, you will find more followers. *Blog about longer topics than a quick Facebook entry. When people ask me a question, I will take that answer and make it a blog post for the next person to read who asks, but leave out names for privacy. *Posting videos on YouTube gets you found in the search engines. *Same with Google+. If you want to be found right away, post on Google+. *Look up keywords on Google AdWords tool (you have to have a free account), for your niche that people are looking for and make videos and posts on each one of those. *With all these places to socialize, a link back to your site each time (not to get obnoxious), will build backlinks that make you rank higher in the search engines for your keywords. If you only have an Etsy site, then link to that. These are just some ways that I have found to work (for my teaching list of over 100. In my questions below, I have less in a Collector’s list I am just starting and wondering about.)

  29. Hi Jason,
    These two questions keep coming to my mind all the time:

    1) What do you do with art that is a second quality, or just is not selling well, I rather show other pieces in a gallery or show.

    2) I try to appeal to all price categories. From $6 cards up to $2000 artwork. Is that good idea, or is better to sell larger pieces only, and have smaller pieces available only upon request?

    Thank you, Love your blog,
    Radim Schreiber
    http://www.FireflyExperience.org

  30. It would be interesting to know how you go through the choosing process.
    And what it is that gallery owners look for in an artist, and their work.
    How can an artist tell what expertise the gallery has, before letting them
    take in your work, What should an artist look for in a gallery.

  31. All the above are great questions, I kept reading to see if there was something I could add and it looks like all my questions have been covered above. I’m looking forward to seeing future blogs from Jason. Thanks all of you.

  32. Would like to read more about functioning as an artist abroad. How to reach markets/galleries in another country/continent; deal with tax; sell online etc. The whole business.

  33. I badly want to know if it is possible to sell paintings through email. My first painting went to the UK this way. I have now got exciting info to talk to collectors about that I never knew before what to say to put in an email series, and am asking each one to reply back so I can get to know them and develop a relationship. So far I can barely keep up with 2, and them keep up with me as well. I am trying so hard to keep it short and I love to elaborate. I only have 6 collector subscribers and one of them is a student looking to see what I say to collectors probably for their own list. My list is not purchased. I am growing it from scratch by just making friends, connections, and will start advertising on Facebook. But how to sell in email at large scale? What if I get hundreds of signups? I plan to have a price list for all budgets and send them to decent paintings on your site, and for those with money under $100, for example, sell them on Facebook or PayPal, or my own web page, if that is alright. (I don’t think a cheap painting would do well on your site.)

  34. And with selling over the web, how to know what pieces to hang on to, and what to donate for more room to paint? I spend a great deal of time making professional photos of my art to be recorded and displayed on the internet, email, higher quality for prints, and marketing purposes.

  35. What do you say to those collectors that love a painting, is well within their price range, but they value it so much they think it should be locked up in a fire safe where no one can appreciate it, while I trip over all these paintings I need to get out? I seriously offered a $24 5×7 painting as complimentary with purchasing another painting or commissioned one. The dreaded spouse (as you say) said they have no money.

  36. Three more…

    Is there a way to know of a hotel or business “before” they build or open to get my art in ahead of time?

    How to find a business manager with skill to sell my paintings? Need a physical place to store them for viewing too.

    I find it easier to read ONE topic in your email newsletters, than 3. Is this possible? I can never finish reading all the wonderful comments for each article either. I have never fully read 3 in each email, and open maybe twice a month. Highly interested, but just have to balance time so I’m not overloaded.

    1. A few years ago, a new Hilton hotel opened in my city. They purchased a large amount of artwork by local artists. They found the artists through well established local galleries, and the interior designers and architects involved with the building. I got a list of all work purchased. Most of them were well known, at least locally.

  37. If a customer comes to your gallery and likes 2 paintings with the same price and can’t make a firm decision on which one to go with, how would you tackle that situation. Apart from asking about their taste, their setting where the paintings is going to be hung, or trying to understand their mind, what else would you explain them.
    If an artist is famous and customer knows the name of that artist, would they lean on that painting or is it just the painting itself?
    Would you ever mention anything about an artist being self-taught vs the other. Does it actually make any sense? Even if you did, what do you think about customer’s response would be.

  38. Two ideas relative to my art:

    1) Marketing and gallery representation for embellished limited edition giclees

    2) Marketing and gallery representation for video and interactive art. This includes the issues of covering technology costs and gallery display.

  39. Yes, I do have a question. I have 6 pieces on consignment at a gallery in Nashville.
    It was agreed that she would have them for 6 months. But, she asked to keep them for 6 more months. As she said there was more interest in my art . .
    My question is how often should I contact the gallery and as about any sales?
    And how do I ask and not be blunt?

  40. I have paintings in several on-line exhibits. I live in an isolated place and thought this may be the the best way for me to get exposure although I really haven’t gotten any responses. Do you feel these on-line shows are worth it? More discussion about exposure and sells that are on-line would be helpful. Thanks! And thank you for your blog and all the good information you provide to us.

  41. fiber/textile works.. are they still forbidden and sneered at? I LOVE YOUR BLOG and your book. see Linda Harbert’s post (above). I, too, am in a remote place, with little appreciation for art. very sad

    1. +1 I do medium to large art quilts and belong to an Art Quilt org. We managed to get a show at a large Art Center in an affluent part of the city. There is a lot of traffic there because they offer classes, films, etc. The show ran 2 months this summer. Out of over 100 beautiful pieces, only 4 sold. very discouraging.

  42. I want more information about selling prints. How to promote, and is this a good thing? Also, when people ask you to donate your artwork for a cause, do you give them a framed piece or one of your latest pieces?

  43. Jason, first off, thank you so much for putting so much helpful information out there! Many of us really appreciate you and all the work you do, but don’t speak up to let you know.

    Then you want some ideas for upcoming articles. How about an article on portfolios. Physically what should it look like? (Dimensions, number of pages, format, etc.) Should it be Physical or Digital or both? How should artwork be arranged? What artwork should it have in it? How many pieces? Should it have an Artist’s Statement? Anything else? Also, should an artist have any other material (beyond the Artist’s Statement and Biography)? Perhaps a book of all the pieces the artist has produced in chronological order? Or written statements about the creation/meaning of each piece of artwork? Perhaps photos of the studio, or photos of the progression of work or a video of the artist creating? In other words, what kinds of things would be useful to get a gallery to represent an artist and, once represented, to help get artwork sold?

    Another article could explore the question of how to set-up a website. What to include; how to arrange it; what colors it should be; how often to update, etc. Should the artist have a “chat” column? Should postings be weekly, monthly or is it OK for it to be static? How to get it noticed by people who purchase art!

    I hope this helps you.

    Cheers!

    1. +1
      I would also like to know what the gallery would like from an artists in terms of an Artists Statement, an ‘About Me’ or Artists Bio?
      Thanks, Jane

  44. Jason you obviously have enough ideas for many future blogs. My suggestion would be to emphasize the importance of good framing. Having been exhibition director for a pastel society, I am appalled at some of the terrible framing and cheap frames that some artists bring in for a show. They ask a lot of money for their art and put it in a frame they picked up at a garage sale. Some use mats and some don’t, those that do sometimes use colorful mats that do not add to the artwork and may just turn off a potential buyer. Thanks for providing us all with a great deal of your knowledge and experience that will allow us to become better at marketing our work.

  45. What measures should an artist take relative to estate planning for his work? Is it possible to work with a gallery that handles primarily deceased artists’ work to pre-plan? I’m still producing copious amounts of work as I enter my 70’s. Not only would the dispersion of artworks be a burden I don’t want to leave to family, but they would not have any idea what to do with it.

    1. +1 I am a glass sculptor. My current body of work is called “Childhood.” After my death, I see my vignettes being thrown in the trash because no one will know what to do with them. These vignettes represent the children I never had and their unknown disposition breaks my heart. Where do I find good homes for them when I’m dead?

  46. Awesome ideas everyone. I’m in the process of planning posts over the next several weeks, so you can count on me pouring over these suggestions. We’ve got a lot of great ideas, but don’t hesitate to add more if there’s something else you would like to see on the blog.

    Thanks!

  47. Hello Jason and readers:

    I enjoy hearing about different art styles and what each style is appreciated for. For instance, as a watercolor fine artist, I feel my work is under appreciated for there are few that understand the work made by watercolor.

    It is not merely a sketching medium as once thought of in the time of the great masters. When the artist understands the fundamental purpose for all the paints and the composition, it is fine art that can produce the darkest darks to the lightest of light and everywhere I between.

    A practiced artist does not need to let the paint simply do whatever it wants to on their papers for the skilled artist knows exactly where to place the paint for its best result. Some think that watercolor is a pastel colored wash with a single exuberant flash of color splashed somewhere. Odd, yet true, because that person thinks of watercolor as being an inferior paint and the artist an inferior artist.

    Bias beliefs that watercolors are worthless are bothersome. I believe that you see my point.

    But throughout history many things are true of many art styles and of many artists that are not defamatory in nature. Art history can be informative, inspirational and highly pertinent to what’s trending today.

    There are reasons that today’s artist is painting abstracts or contemporary art styles, and it is not always what is expected by the collector.

    What are the collectors trading these days? If they are throwing in competitive bids for certain art pieces, is it simply a competitive example between buyers, or is the particular piece drawing this excitement?

    I was taught that no one should express themselves in loosely painted art styles unless they could first make a name for themselves with a proven traditional and realistic painting style to show actual talent.

    How does a prestigious art gallery express talent in an artist’s work?

    How would an art collector express talent in an artist’s work?

    How would the public in general express talent in an artist’s work?

    How is it that most of the middle class does not own original pieces of art of any kind? Is art appreciation taught to only a few?

    Hearing opinions from collectors would be wonderful too.

    Does the public in general feel that one art style is better received than another and why?

    Good survey questions. Perhaps I could run a survey myself, because I find these subjects fascinating.

    It is my hope that no one takes anything expressed here to heart. I meant to comment on no one person or their art work. The ideas expressed on this post by me were intended to (hopefully) give Jadon Horejs a starting off point to build a blog post for us in the future.

    Sincerely,
    Melanie Herbruck

    1. My watercolor artists friends have told me that galleries rarely show watercolors because they just don’t sell well in our city. That was a shock to me. I have seen many outstanding contemporary watercolors that take my breath away. Do you accept watercolors in Zanadu?

  48. I have seen several galleries lately who charge the artist to submit a piece for a show and then charge again for each piece accepted for the show. Isn’t that putting too much financial pressure on the artist? As a gallery owner, how do you feel about this?

  49. sometimes I am asked to recreate my paintings that previously has been sold. Now I even offer this option on my website too, but every time I get a commission to repaint I wonder if it’s ethical thing to do. It’s an easy way to make some money and I enjoy having a particular painting in my studio one more time plus they always come out more refined and skilled. But is it a good thing? Should I decline commissions like this and only focus on creating new work? I see many examples of variations on one scene in art history, what is your opinion on this topic Jason? In the past you discussed the amount of prints that could be produced but originals are a different story. Thank you!

    1. +1
      Svetlana, how many times do you think Vincent Van Gogh repainted those haystacks? or Monet repainted his garden? I say “practice makes perfect” – if someone else wants it, paint it again!

      But, let’s hear from Jason on this one. . . I’m speaking from the perspective of one who paints local scenes over and over and over and. . .

  50. Having read many articles on pricing art. I would very much appreciate examples using a few different scenarios to price art (particularly paintings). One scenario to price a piece from an established artist with an art education. Another one for a piece from an emerging artist with little exhibit experience and an art education. And lastly, an artist who is emerging with nearly no exhibit experience and no art education (self taught). ALL with similar art work that is of similar quality. Please and thanks!!!

  51. You’ve highlighted larger works and installations, but what about small works? It seems like they’re just “extras” to the “big stuff” (big enough to worry about how to get it there, what kind of space it needs, and what kind of hardware you need to install it). A lot of artists, especially us unknowns, don’t have the space or money to work big “on spec.”

  52. Dear Mr. Jason Horejs, Owner, Xanadu Gallery:

    I would like to hear or read about how to get private, public and government art projects.

    I would also like to hear or read about how to hire professionals to do art installations for artists.

    Thank you.

    Desert

    1. I want to add: Where is the world did you learn how to do the Google Map Tour and where do we go to learn how to put out artwork on such a tour?

      I really liked the tour; and it is a tremendously great idea!

      Thank you again.

      Desert

  53. Hi Jason,
    You recently made passing mention of a minimum number of visitors/users/visits/sessions/page-views per week to an artist’s website. I recall that you suggested that “if you weren’t getting 200+ per week, then you need to rethink your strategy”. You hinted at writing a future blog on this topic.
    I recently calculated that all my online viewers on a range of art websites displaying my artwork, including my own, were in excess of 3,000 per week. That’s the good news.
    Unfortunately, there is no correlation with sales of paintings. None whatsoever.

  54. What tax consequences are associated with gallery sales of art for the artist. Do galleries do reporting to the IRS on particular artists sales? Any record keeping you would recommend?

  55. All your advice is wonderful for helping artists have a successful career. I’ve attended your webinars, bought your books and organizational software , read all your posts. Thank you so much. But what if like to understand is how do artists get represented in Regional, State and National galleries? I have twice been invited to be part of group shows in Regional galleries but I would like to have a solo show in a regional gallery and my dream has always been to have a panting in my Provincial Gallery or National Gallery.

  56. I’d like to hear more about breaking into the international market. Once you are doing well locally, taking the step to promote yourself outside your own country. Plus any other tips for artists who have already made a start but aren’t “there” yet.

  57. I would appreciate your thoughts about choosing which social medium to market through. There are so many, and if I’m going to market, teach, do my taxes and bookwork, write up mini artist statements for each painting on my website, enter all the keywords and images on my website, pursue gallery representation, keep track of and enter national and international competitions, take care of my household, train my service dog, attend shows and openings, develop and personalize client relationships, revamp my record-keeping, and still have time to paint 50+ paintings each year, I really, truly don’t have enough time to figure out and properly use four or five social media platforms. I am only one person, and I have to eat and sleep and bathe. How do I choose which platform to use really, really well?

  58. Over the years I have come to understand and appreciate why artists and galleries agree (most commonly) to a 50/50 split on sales. What I do not understand is why gallery owners/art dealers require that, should a designer be involved in that process, or a discount be offered to close the sale, that the commission (usually 10% and higher) and any “discounts” are evenly split between the seller and the artist. If a designer is helping the gallerist to sell, why doesn’t that commission come from the galleriests’ percentage? Ultimately the designer is helping the gallerist do their job by bringing clients to the seller. If I have someone help me stretch, prep, or frame a work of art I don’t ask the seller to share that expense as the task is helping me focus better on what I do: make art. Illuminate me; I wonder if my perspective would be enlightened!

  59. So far, it seems I am the only one interested (and posting) in you blogging specifically for photographers as artists. I realize that many people do not consider photography as an art, and others don’t consider manipulated photographs as art, or even as photography. Maybe adding the category of computer art, or digital art as a blog topic. Just because there haven’t been other posts here about this type of art surely doesn’t mean I am the only photographic artist out there wondering how to better their business in this genre.

  60. Jason, my biggest stumbling block is the divide between seeking gallery representation, and actually feeling like I have all my ducks in a row to hit the send button, or post the package in the mail. I’ve been working on all the preparatory steps; I’m sure you have already posted the a, b, and c of it, but I haven’t found that post yet. Thanks for all your good advice; it’s wonderful that you are so open about your process and business.

  61. I would love to know techniques for one on one sales. How to identify a real potential collector versus someone who is just casually looking with no intent of ever purchasing, or worse yet – an amateur artist who is asking questions so they can learn my techniques. Both take away from clients who will be collectors. As for the potential buyer, once I know the person is interested in a work, how do you ask for the sale without being blunt. I’d like to do that tactfully and don’t know how. As a result, the client leaves my booth and I don’t have a sale.

  62. I’d like to see an article about how to start an art career. The first few baby steps (or first ten steps) required to build a foundation for success-what you have to do when you have no art career, no professional creations. Starting from zero. Right at the beginning.

  63. Archival VS Freedom to Express
    In school, it is often taught to do everything possible to create archival works. Choose the best supports, use the best paints and apply then in a known manner on known grounds. Then you go out into the real world and meet great artist who’s works are not even close to being archival, but they have a waiting list to sell. Asking these artist how they get away with this and they reply: “Do great work and the future owners will find a way to preserve it for centuries. Don’t limit yourself by rules, express yourself at any means.” Jason, What do you think of this? Would an awesome piece of art on cardboard be any harder to sell than one on stretched linen or will the art sell itself?

  64. Gallery Presentation
    There are many ways to frame a piece of art. Some are simple and some are crazy ornate. As a gallery owner are there types of frames you cringe at? If you had your choice to help choose a frame for the gallery setting is there a style, color, material you would prefer? Or does it really matter?

  65. Artist Spotlight
    I would love to have you pick one of your gallery artists and give us an artist spotlight on them. Why you chose to include them in the gallery. What about there art seems to appeal to the patrons. Good and bad remarks (if any) that you have heard from the patrons.
    Here’s possibly another post: If you do occasionally get a sour remark from a patron regarding a piece of art in the gallery, how do you handle it? I’m sure at some level you must take it a bit personally.

  66. To glass or not to glass? That is the question. What kind? I just cannot afford Masterpiece Acrylic, truly heart attack prices. I feel that glass sometimes obscures the picture if it is lower quality, but so many shows and galleries will not allow glass. I have restricted my work to media that does not need glass but do not like that constraint. Any opinions?

    1. +1 I’d like your opinion on this, too. I originally used only acrylic glazing, (at a gallery owner’s insistence), but, it scratches and scuffs over time, so I switched to conservation glass, and will remove it for shipping, if necessary.

  67. What are the thoughts of any Gallery owners on your list. What joys/problems do they encounter regarding the search for and maintaining relationships with artists. Who is their audience, what do they think works well in their area ( and this can be important in terms of sales), what are the simplest things that artists forget to do when delivering art work to the Gallery, etc.
    Just a thought… Colouratura Fine Art Gallery owner

  68. I am a glass sculptor. After years of exploring, I have found my voice. The problem is my “song” falls some place between art and craft. My small glass vignettes celebrate the innocence of youth and are too whimsical for most of the diminishing glass galleries, too crafty for fine art galleries, and too expensive for gift shops. How do you find a sales outlet when your “round peg” doesn’t fit into the known “square holes?”

  69. I would like to know your thoughts on this catch-22 – is there an ‘industry standard best practice’. I would like to be able to offer pieces online perhaps not so much through my website but through other gallery websites such as yours; however, I do art fairs almost every weekend. I want to avoid the problem of selling a piece at an art fair and then coming home to find I sold it online, without having to do either
    a) “just” spending a couple hours before and after each show figuring what pieces I’m taking out, what website they’re on, then taking them down, and putting them back up again the day after the show
    or b) trying to manage this with alerts through my smart phone when I don’t wan’t to pay another $40/mo to have the kind of data plan that allows me to have email on my phone. In any case knowing my luck, I’ll just be closing the sale at the fair when I get the notification.

  70. I would love to hear how an artist deals with showing at festivals while being represented by galleries. I would like to hear your take as a gallery owner and maybe feature a guest artist who does this.

  71. I would love to see information about creating your own labels for exhibitions. I think it is always a struggle to find the best way to present the label – both in content, and materials used for the backing. I’m not fond of the clear labels stuck on walls if the walls are textured, and if you use a beveled foam-board, how do you keep it in good condition so you can reuse it in other exhibitions? Most of the ones I see, you can tell someone has peeled off an old label and stuck a new one on, or you see a stack where someone is using blank labels between old and new ones so the printing of the old label does not show through.

  72. You occasionally refer to instances of installing artwork in a buyer’s home. I was rather surprised it was something you would include in your services. Recently, you even related a story that included moving a bathroom towel rack and touching up the wall paint.

    I’ve had a few instances of being caught off guard when I delivered art and was expected to install it. In each case, my husband and I handled it quite successfully, relying on our experiences in our own home, but I wondered what tools, hardware and materials you generally bring with you, and what tips you have for installation (besides wearing socks with no holes in them!)

  73. Hi Jason,
    I am curious about marketing to corporations, restaurants and hospitals. I often see great art in these places, and wonder how it gets there. Who is the buyer? Do they go through galleries? Thanks you- love your blog and all the help you give us!

  74. I don’t need you to change your writing format because I get a lot of ideas and information. I do like to see what people are doing that you represent, and I like to know WHY you think one piece is a good work of art over another (not wanting to trash anyone’s work, tho’). I’m sure there are times when someone thinks something looks amateurish, but it receives raves so as a gallery owner I like to know what catches your attention, why you think this piece is a winner, etc. Tell me that you like the way all the detail is crawling up the one side, or how you think the monochrome aspect makes it more enticing, etc…..
    thanks.

  75. the gallery owner where I am represented told me she puts her artist in (3) groups according to age – young – middle – senior. The 1st and 3rd group, because of family obligations are inconsistent, less dependable and less productive as the 2nd group. Do most gallery owners feel this way? And as a senior artist, what can those of us in group 1 and 3 do to alleviate this preconceived opinion. What are the gallery expectations of their artists regardless of age?

  76. I would love to love to hear the best way to get a press release for shows and gallery openings out there for newer artists. I’ve submitted a number of emails and computer submissions to local papers and event listings online for my show, but I have not seen any go through yet. What is the best way to introduce yourself to the editors and news professionals and what is the best way to word the press release to get maximum attention?

  77. I have just started to approach galleries in my area and what I’m hearing so far is that they don’t want works under glass/plexi. I am a pastel artist. I love working in pastels, but I need to sell more work. One gallery told me that if I would do the same type of work on canvas, they would be very happy to represent me. Is this universally true? I know there are pastel artists who are very successful, so how do I find galleries that are willing to show works under glass/plexi, because I haven’t found any in my area.

  78. I would love to read a few paragraphs about recent (past 20 years) and current artists. What new and unusual things are artists doing now? What are some examples of traditional artists who are successful? Please feature a different artist’s story once in a while.

  79. It would be interesting to see an article on the topic of the ethics of art ideas. At a recent meeting I attended, there was a pretty heated discussion of how much art today is offered or marketed as original, when it is often the result of an instructor-assisted workshop/class session, or a riff on someone else’s work. A world of art is at anyone’s fingertips via the web, apparently making it way too easy to “borrow” or “build upon” someone else’s art idea or actual artwork, and pass it off as totally original. What is the definition of original in art today? How much does a gallery owner care? How much does the buying public care?

  80. Jason, I would love to hear your opinion and see a discussion of the relative value of online shows. Like most everyone, I receive many calls to submit to these shows. As with all shows, there is a submission fee and every time I wonder if it is worth it and whether one really gets valuable exposure. Do many people actually look at these shows? Have any artists gained contacts/added to their potential collector list from them? Made sales from them? Do they enhance one’s resume from the perspective of gallerists/collectors/jurors? etc. etc. etc. The list of online shows seems to be growing so it seems a useful topic for discussion.

  81. First of all, let me thank you for opening up this line of discussion. I am a virtual assistant (and a amateur artist) and I looking to focus my work on helping the creative community. Many artists want to focus more time on what they really enjoy; their art! Sometimes the business aspects detract. I would like to know what aspects of your business you would like to outsource in order to free up your time and your talent? What bookkeeping, marketing, social media, administrative tasks of your business would you like to delegate to a competent assistant?

  82. Thanks for asking! Our co-op gallery recently converted our sales system from the old paper-sales-book to an electronic system, and no longer have an easy way to collect our clients’ contact information (primarily street addresses). I’d like some suggestions as to how to ask customers to provide their names and addresses in such a way that they don’t feel we are about to inundate them with mailings.

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