A young Alabama artist wants to ask you some questions. Help a girl out, would you?
|American Eagle in Drydock, by Carol L. Douglas|
Why limit this to one artist’s experience? Drawing from her list, I created a short survey, which you can access here:
How do you build a sustainable art business?
or just go here:
or just go here:
If you are a professional artist and can complete this, that’s great. If you can forward it to your working-artist friends, that’s even better.
What am I going to do with this data? Why, share it with you, of course.
|It can't be all brushwork and happiness...|
Here are more of Cat’s questions, which I’ve answered from my experience. If you have any advice you want to share with her, just write a comment here (not on Facebook) where she’ll see it.
How often do you replenish stock at a gallery? When I finish a new piece that is appropriate to a gallery, I approach the gallerist with it. Paintings take a long time to sell. Be patient.
How do you ship work? Small works, by USPS. Large works, through a dedicated local shipping company that makes the crate for me.
|A shipping crate from back when I used to make my own.|
Do you provide the gallery with your own contract, or rely on theirs? In Maine, things are pretty informal. I read their contract and ask questions and make annotations if necessary.
How often do you increase your prices, and by how much? Every few years. I survey the competition and my galleries for advice.
Do you ever offer discounts for repeat customers? Of course.
What made you choose your art market? I like the tradition of plein air painting on the Maine coast, and it’s a market with a history of making and buying landscape paintings.
|Barnum Brook, by Carol L. Douglas, is located in the Adirondacks, which I still consider as part of my regional market.|
What percentage of your time is spent creating work? Office duties? I shoot for a 50-50 division of time between painting and promotion.
How many off days do you take in a week for family and personal time? I try to work five days a week. In the summer, that’s impossible, but I remember that “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”
What advice would you tell young professionals who want to build a fine arts business, specifically in original paintings? Be serious—as you are—about a business plan up front. Frederic Edwin Church was from a very successful family. Their wealth enabled him to pursue an art career. In turn, he was expected to be business-like about it. It was his skill in business and promotion, as much as his prodigious talent, that made him the legend he is today.