Following on from my last post about 'being seen in the right place', one of the marketing avenues I’ve thought about for my photography is to take the plunge and start producing my own framed canvases and try selling them direct to the public. This is not a new idea of course, but I'm guessing there are a number of pros and cons associated with this method of selling.
Not that I’m a negative person, but the first thing that comes to mind is the RISK. Compared to online selling where canvases are printed to order from a huge catalogue of pieces, this way of selling requires the artist to risk printing out something that someone may never buy. There’s a lot of money’s worth of time and materials tied up in stock just waiting for a chance sale, which probably explains why in the picture above they’re being sold ‘unframed’.
This factor makes it imperative that you know what the market wants in order to minimise the risk, which sounds like it would require more in the way of ‘crystal ball gazing’ than meaningful research, as people’s tastes in art can be very fickle and hard to explain or even understand.
I mentioned there are pros. In the event that you do get ‘lucky’ and let's face it, that’s what it boils down to in the end, there is a much larger profit margin on each sale as well as an opportunity to meet those who love your work face to face. I’ve been told that art buyers like to know whose work they’re buying. It’s not uncommon for such art buyers to buy more than one piece. The important thing is getting your artwork in front of real people.
I put this to the test recently. After selecting 3 pieces to sell I duly set about printing them out on canvas on my Epson printer, which does a brilliant job but I’m limited to a width of 17inches.
Each print got a Museum Grade coating of matt varnish before stretching onto frames.
Then I entered them into a local gallery exhibition with high hopes of making a sale. Unfortunately they were exhibited alongside 150 other pieces, many of which were much larger in size. I must admit that once I saw how they were presented, I wasn’t too hopeful about making a sale and sadly I was right.
For now I’ve resorted to loaning them to friends to hang on their walls seeing as all my walls are full. But I have a few more ideas up my sleeve about what to do next. I’ll do another post about that later.