"You ought to try exhibiting in the on-line galleries”.
“Oh no, I can´t do that, I´m not tech savvy enough!”
That was my response to a whisper from a fellow artist during a torrential downpour at the annual Pine Walk Art Exhibition, which used to run during the summer months in Bournemouth. Rain or shine.
It´s interesting how my initial “No way! I can´t..” invariably turns into a “Well why not?”
Very slowly, I discovered that I could indeed follow simple instructions to post my paintings in an online gallery and to my surprise they began to sell. For many years now I have sold my paintings at both art and craft shows and in online galleries.
My venture into exhibiting on-line took off during the long Covid lockdown when I had time on my hands to research and try all kinds of new things. Nowadays I present my work for sale on my own website, as well as artgallery.co.uk, artfinder.com, art2art.co.uk, Etsy and Folksy with regular promotions on the social media sites. The impact on reaching a new, much wider audience at home and abroad has been tremendous and I´ve learned so much.
There are pros and cons to exhibiting at both craft shows and on-line. Art and Craft shows take time to prepare, loading up the car, setting up my stand and of course I´m there all day. You never know who will walk past. I love meeting people, talking about my work, and sharing ideas with my fellow artists. I get the impression that people enjoy meeting the artist too. There´s a particular thrill when a painting sparks interest from a stranger. I have made many new friends, and connections and met some inspiring, colourful characters over the years. I love it!
Exhibiting in online galleries is also time-consuming. So much so that I realised recently that I often spend more time on admin than on what I really want to do. Paint landscapes!
It requires a lot of coffee, systematic attention to detail, and patience and I´m not famous for either of those things I was prompted to take stock recently, to ensure that the paintings for sale on my website were also available on-line. To my dismay, I had managed to sell a painting which was not available to a very kind and sympathetic person who was willing to wait for me to paint her another similar landscape. There´s such a lot of information to hold in a mind that wants only to paint, and a heart that wants, above all, to share joy.
On-line galleries feel more like work than play to me. With my business head on, I find myself thinking about what sells rather than what I want to paint. Craft shows give me more freedom to paint whatever inspires me at the time, purely for pleasure. In terms of sales, there isn´t really much difference between public shows and on-line galleries. The details online are important for managing customer expectations. Recently there was disappointment when a small painting wasn´t the anticipated size, and when colours appeared darker in the photo than on the actual canvas.
But such occasions are rare and easily repaired. I´m delighted to note that the human connection I love so much is also possible on-line. Weighing up the pros and cons, balance seems to be the key.
Anyone know how to find that?
Original paintings and prints available from my website. Commissions undertaken with joy.
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