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The following article was written by Debra Keirce, a regular contributing author to The BoldBrush Letter.
By the way, don’t forget to register for our Free Circles of Art Marketing webinar with our founder this Thursday (details at end of newsletter). Register Now.
It’s an obvious statement that much of marketing is in how we present ourselves and our art. Yet, how often do you witness artists who seem to forget this? How often do you forget? I sit here, hand raised, one of the guilty ones.
In 2016, I was plein air arting in Venice with a group of friends. In my defense, I got pooped on twice in two different locations, by pigeons. But the truth is, my hair was unkempt and I was wearing tie dyed sweats and a baggy tee shirt in one of the best dressed countries on the planet.
Our group decided to go to the top of the Daniele Hotel (can you say fancy?) for beverages. At the door, the lobby guards mistook me for a homeless person. For the rest of the day, I was the center of a style intervention. My friends explained that I needed to dress and accessorize like an artist, and play the part I was so desperately trying to live. To this day, I remember and follow that lesson.
So even when we are pressed for time, even if it costs a few dollars more, even if we have cracked frames folks may not notice, presentation matters.
How often are we tempted to skimp on shipping? We know how to safely pack our art. 2” cushion all around, pack tight so nothing shifts, reinforce corners, NEVER Styrofoam peanuts! Book boxes are great for paintings, and crates for 3D pieces, but they can be expensive, so I admit to frequently reusing Amazon boxes. Depending on where the art is going, this may be a good choice, or it may give a less than professional impression.
One thing that can’t be underestimated is how our art looks to a collector when they first see it. I try to wrap it like a present, framed with a clean covered back on the painting. Or I go minimalist and frame with points or clips showing, maybe adorning the back with a surprise painting like da Vinci and others would do. If there is any inconvenience to my collector, like a delay or any issue at all, I add a surprise gift of a sketch or a print. I work to make presentation a memorable experience so they will want to seek out that feeling again.
I’ve tried all these in the past - discount coupons for next purchase, money back or percentage off for referrals, pens or other small merchandise with my website printed on it. In my opinion, there is a fine line between a professional presentation and too many giveaways. We want collectors to know they are buying a highly prized family heirloom. We want them to unpackage our art, and realize it is what they will reach for when they run out the door of their burning house. Try to keep your presentation classy.
Think of the things you’ve ordered in the mail and enjoyed receiving. Many eBay sellers enclose a personal note. They encourage feedback. You could include a message asking your collector to send you a picture of the art displayed in their home. This opens the door for future communication. If you include work in progress photos of your art, the collector may share them with friends and family, and this could lead to more sales for you.
It goes without saying to always check frames, bases and art for flaws before presenting them to a buyer. The worst transactions end in refunds or returns. That is not the type of memorable we are aiming for.
What are your ideas for wonderful presentation of yourself and your art? We would all love to know!
Free Circles of Art Marketing Webinar
with our Founder and our marketing team
Free and Open webinar for all visual artists this coming Thursday, September 14th at 1:00 PM CDT!
Join us for our founder and our marketing team as we overview our unique and battle-tested art marketing philosophy called “The Circles of Art Marketing.” We will walk you through how this marketing framework works, and will follow up by taking as many of your questions as time will allow. This webinar is open to all artists!
Thursday, September 14th at 1:00pm CDT (2:00pm EDT, 12:00pm MDT, 11:00am PDT)