Why self represent in selling art? A lot of good artists sell their own art directly not through a gallery or other art sales group. Why? Notoriously the gallery type sale carries with it a large markup. The building, utilities, staff, ads, all need to be paid by the sale of the art. In the old days some galleries actually controlled what art sold, the type, style, or group of artists making some artists join together to sell their art kept out the big gallery. A lot of newcomers suffer the fate of being cut off from an art market. Marketing art is tricky. An artist must be business man and creative genius, sometimes the two do not get along. Imagine Van Gogh going into an office each day to devise the business plan? At least he allowed Brother Theo to attempt to sell his art as he painted., devoting the little time he had to creating beautiful images. He too was initially denied access to the big galleries. He and his art were too much for the group who controlled the sales organization to handle.
Today many very creative artists sell art on the web. The web imitates reality in that there are art sales groups that again need to mark up art to pay for the web page hosting, ads, staff, shipping almost like the actual art gallery in a building. The reach though is now world wide. Some few of us do both. We 'self-represent" or sell our art direct to the public from our studio and now web pages. Finding us could be a treasure hunt as with each new days comes bigger, better, more efficient web page groups who sell but not create the art. Those web pages seem to crowd out the little guy who has a web page, sells his art, but cannot compete with the larger volume sales group with a staff who can get the web page high up in the search engines. Key words, submit a page, mega tags, are all things Van Gogh and Brother Theo would have surely think alien. An artist self-representing must learn HTML and all sorts of unusual terms, something not taught in most art schools.
Then why do it? Why paint? Why sell art? Why self-represent? I self-represent because I feel the buyer should know the artist. Each piece I paint, or thing I create is a part of me, almost like a child. It has meaning, a purpose, a reason for being. Knowing the artist adds so much to a work of art. Think art history class. We know so much now about Van Gogh from art history and movies we appreciate his art so much more. His torment in life is much better understood which shows in may of his paintings. Social comments too. To paint a bar room so well meant he visited them often and too the local peoples often ignored otherwise by history. What does your Postman look like? Knowing more about the artist makes his art all that more enjoyable.
Self-Representing art should be sought out, the artists needs the income to continue his creativity, who could very well be the next Van Gogh. Why do it? Why paint? That is an issue I will discuss in another blog entry. Now off to reality and paint.