“Write a blog about how you sell your art.” a friend suggested the other day.
“You have been living from your paintings for five years now, I want to know how you do it”
Tossing and turning in the middle of the night, I thought about this question; “How do I sell my art? What is my business model?” Watching the early morning mist over the neighbors Christmas decorations, I realized I have no business model.
I’ve written before about how every time I needed money badly it seems to come to me out of the blue. There was a phone call from a woman in Nebraska, mail from a man in Wisconsin and a knock on my door from a neighbor who wanted to buy a painting he had seen. Once in awhile I get a Facebook text from Joyce de Jonge who owns a furniture store in the Netherlands asking me where to deposit the money for a painting she’s sold.
Not having a business model does keep me up at night because if I don’t have a plan about how to generate income, it is just a matter of praying and believing, which does not equal financial stability. To be more specific, every plan I thought would work out, did not. It was always a surprise when money came in, so I also want to “know” how to sell paintings.
I’ve had a client come over by private jet from Indianapolis, purchase a large painting and then leave with, the rolled up canvas in the cockpit. I also had a client who came to my studio after seeing a painting of mine he liked in a local store. He had a penthouse up for sale in Sarasota and needed something on the walls and bought five paintings!. Another client has bought 25 pieces over the past two years to decorate her new house. Everybody came from totally different places. I didn’t “plan” for any of it.
Then there’s the collector who only buys from Facebook. She knows the value of my work and likes the way I handle her orders. The most recent sale was to a German gentleman who I met at a seminar about personal growth. I mailed him photos of my work. He liked it and paid in Euros.
Here is his reaction,…..You see I haven’t showed it to many people but everyone who has seen the original is quite impressed. Congrats! WELL DONE. SUCH A GREAT PIECE OF ART. For me this is such a great experience because I learn to trust my intuition and my taste for quality! I look forward to see the painting at it’s real value. I won’t sell it below 50.000 euro. And at this price I’d only sell it to see the increase of value and help creating more increase of value. I think art can best increase in value If it changes owner from time to time.
This is how my “ business model” works, with no rhyme or reason. But If I dig deep in my subconscious, I believe I had a picture of what I would like to have happen in a certain circumstance. When I put an effort in a pop-up gallery, I did meet my most devoted client. I had a vision. It was my deepest desire and I knew I only needed one person who would really appreciate my work. When I send messages out on the Internet I know I only need one person to fulfill my desire. So now at home I envision selling my inventory to one collector. I have seen it, so now it is a matter of waiting for reality to catch up.
Is this a business model? Not one that I would recommend to anybody else, I think it might just be mine.