One Ear Society

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Intern Files: April 19th

The last couple of days have picked up business wise, I saw the sale of a few paintings, and saw several people who are looking to decorate their new houses. But today I want to focus on one particular question, the question I get asked on almost a daily basis: How does one get their work into the gallery? Well there are several ways but one way is to not come into the gallery with all your paintings and try to leave them here when I'm here by myself and cannot approve of them for hanging. The last artist took over an hour of my time away from my tasks trying to convince me that her work should be in the gallery. I've been told that there is a proper process for all of this, that you come in at a certain day, try to get an appointment and then present a workable portfolio in a professional case, not one inch by one inch printouts on stapled paper or on your IPod or phone. "Wait a minute I have it on my ipod let me find it" is not acceptable.
Then there was a mother of an artist who stopped by and she was unprepared and unknowing about what she needed to bring and ask (her friend didn't know what a portfolio was). Decorum is important when presenting someone. If I sound harsh it's because I was somewhat embarrassed for the artist because her mother walked in on her behalf, without her knowledge, unprepared, and was giving us a bad impression of this person.
It's not just selling your work, it's selling yourself with your work unless you are completely absent from the process, and then it's the presentation others give of themselves and your work that is a factor in whether or not you sell a piece. I myself am learning to speak louder and be more outgoing as I'm a "low talker" (says AnnaMaria and Fred) and appear shy as a result. Since I've been consciously speaking louder I've managed to help make sales! If you think about your art, and the marketing necessary behind it then you'll understand that art as a business is multi-layered and complicated, just like the process that went into your work to begin with.

Tips for getting into a gallery:
Come with your portfolio, but do not expect to be seen that day if you have not made an appointment.
Try to make an appointment for a specific time on days when the gallery is open to portfolio reviews.
Come prepared with questions, research the place a little before coming to any gallery.
Visit the gallery at least once before you bring your portfolio to see if your style will gel with what is already in the gallery.
And please remember that Galleries are a place of business, and many customers also need attention, so do not take up more than 10 minutes of their time when doing your first general inquiry.
And last thing to add please support the gallery, come to events, promote it yourself, if you do get in it can only help you and your work.

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