Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What's the MAIN way you have sold art in the last 12 months?

This month's Making A Mark Poll is all about What's the MAIN way you've sold art in the last 12 months?

In the summer of 2008 and 2009 I conducted polls on this blog to find out the main way you had sold art in the previous 12 months.  Last year's poll compared results to the one done in 2008 so I'm continuing the tradition this year.

It's worth repeating this poll on an annual basis so we can check trends towards or away from different methods of selling art.  Hopefully, by the end of this month you will hopefully contribute your results so that can divine the trend over the last three years. 

It's worth reminding ourselves of the principles behind the poll.
The Making A Mark Poll for August asked What's the MAIN way you have sold art in the last 12 months? It's important to emphasise that:
  • you may have made sales in a variety of ways - this poll just examines the MAIN way in which artists achieved sales.
  • this poll only focuses on the last 12 months
August 11, 2009:  MAM Poll: What's the MAIN way you have sold art in the last 12 months?
The THREE key questions about sales in the last 12 months are:
  • We're supposedly out of the recessions so have sales improved this year?
  • Or is the prospect of a double dip recession having an impact on how peiople are spending money on art?
  • Have any changes in sale values reflected changes in your success (or otherwise) using different channels?
Do please also comment about any changes you've noticed this year about your personal trends plus your success or otherwise with different channels for selling art.

The categories for different methods of marketing art are:
  • Commercial Gallery: gallery artist
  • Gallery: Invite Only Group Exhibition
  • Juried Group Exhibition (Society/Competition)
  • Gallery: "Rent a Space" Exhibition
  • Annual Event / Art Fairs
  • Street sales / Regular Art Markets
  • Studio sales / Open Studios
  • Commissions
  • Word of mouth / friends and family
  • Online: Via traffic from own website / blog
  • Online Shop - eBay
  • Online Shop - Etsy
  • Other Online Galley / Shop
  • Print on Demand Galley
These have been slightly refined from those used last year - again because of the very helpful comments received.  See the end for a very informative comment about approaches you might receive relating to one of the new categories - the "Invite Only Group Exhibition"

The survey will run until the end of the month with the results being reported on 31st August.

You can find the survey in the right hand column - under the matrix of bloggers who follow this blog.

Previous Polls

If you can't wait for the analysis of this year's results you can see the surveys and survey results in the last two years in these posts.
Recognition for Selling Art Online - Resources for Artists

Last week, my group of "resources for artists" websites which focus on the business of marketing and selling art all received a "purple star" from Squidoo which means that they've all been recognised as excellent.

For those of you who've not come across them before, I've listed them below with a short summary about each one.  Some of them provide important comparative data about the traffic each site gets and it's place in the overall hierarchy of websites for selling art.

featured lensSell Art Online - Resources for Artists
Do you want to know how to sell art online - or improve your knowledge of e-commerce for artists? This site helps you find out about selling art via your websites, blog, shopping carts, auctions, online galleries, online stores, print on demand and email marketing and how to drive traffic to where you sell your art online.

featured lensPrint Art on Demand - Resources for Artists
Are you interested in having your artwork printed using print on demand technology? Do you want to check out who are the suppliers and what people think of them? Find out about:
  • what is print on demand / publish on demand?
  • suppliers of print on demand services for art - and reviews
  • suppliers of print on demand services for printed publications (eg marketing materials and books)
featured lensOnline Art Galleries and Stores - Resources for Artists
Online galleries offer to help you sell your ORIGINAL ART - but do they actually work? Which is the best and which gets the most traffic? If you're trying to find out more about online art galleries this is the site for you! Do some research before you make a decision as to which online art gallery or print-on-demand service to use and AVOID BEING DISAPPOINTED with the choice you make.

featured lens
Email Newsletter Software - Resources for Artists
Are you confused by the different software options for generating a newsletter delivered via email? You're certainly not alone - and this site is starting to try and sort out what are the free and paid options and how they compare. Plus tips on using newsletters and email.

featured lens
How to pack, post and ship art - Resources for Artists
How do you pack art? How do you post art? What about international deliveries? What about customs? How do you get it back again?  This site doesn't pretend to have the answers to all the very many questions people have about getting art from artist to purchaser or from artist to exhibition and back again - but it's a start!

...and finally

Alan Bamberger has two very helpful posts about:
I guess you can tell by the title of the latter where his comments lean.......


    1. Ah, I only wish I had.....sold paintings this year. I think it is the first year I haven't sold a single one!

    2. My main way isn't actually on the list. The majority of my sales, money-wise, have been through an agent who arranges different shows, does an open house, and attends art fairs. I voted 'commercial gallery' although technically she isn't a gallery.

      On the flip side, however, the majority in terms of number of paintings sold was on eBay.

      Both were significant portions of my annual earnings for 09-10.

    3. I know a lot of former gallery owners are choosing to not have the major overhead that a physical gallery represents but to continue to do all the things that a gallery owner does - as Tina indicates. So I think on the whole Tina's definitely correct in regarding herself as being a "gallery artist"

      I wonder how many other people have sales split as yours are Tina?

      I'm very pedantic about what I mean by "main" way. For me it's net sales value every time since realistically the focus has to be on net profit if you want to be a full-time artist.

      Which may or may not be closely correlated to gross sales value and/or sales numbers.

      Tina - I think you did an interesting analysis once about remembering to look at net profit when focusing one's effort as opposed to the gross sales line. Do you still do that?

      (For all those accountants out there that's the management accounts perspective as opposed to the financial accounts view)

    4. Just finding my way back to making art, open studio sales seems to be the way to ease into the business of art. While I'm still working out the how of internet sales, which interests me--small sizes, easily and inexpensively shipped--I'm really evaluating the costs of doing business. Buying right is a must for pricing right in this economy. Net profit is really the bottom line. You've got to keep books and work up a roster of patrons.

      For the time being, private studio sales is where I'll stay. It's a very pleasant way to do business that leads to commissions. It's right for me now, a new "kid" on the block.


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