Galleries or Go It Alone?

Gareth Naylor from Japan writes in with some good questions:


“I have two tough questions that maybe many artists face.

“Firstly, should you go it alone or try to enter galleries? I think both.

“Secondly, if you do enter galleries should you still insist upon selling work from your own site or should you direct people to your gallery / galleries?”


The first question: it depends on the kind of person you are, and the attitude and mindset you choose.

Emphasis on the word choose.

If you really can’t stand marketing and don’t want to deal with selling, then it might be better to not try doing it yourself.

After all, you’re not likely to become good at something you really don’t like or don’t want.

And you can’t force yourself, that just won’t work.

In such a case, galleries might be the best option.

But before you throw in the towel and send another pitch to another gallery, take this from me:

Once you really understand that ‘marketing’ only means ‘having conversations with interesting and interested people’, you’re going to really enjoy the process.

I assure you.

And a final thought: you can’t avoid selling.

If it’s not directly to customers, you still have to ‘sell’ to galleries.

So then, should you go it alone at all?

Why not?

It’s not like you need a gallery, not if you learn how to do marketing and have conversations that turn into sales.

That said, there doesn’t have to be a reason to turn down a gallery, if you get the opportunity.
The second question is interesting too:

If you are represented by a gallery, should you direct website visitors to the gallery, to purchase there?

Hell no!

You’ve just made the effort to attract a visitor, and you’re going to send them away to another platform, where the gallery ends up with the contact details?

No, don’t do that. Not a good idea.

That visitor is your visitor, you generated the view, that there is your lead, and you shouldn’t give it away to a gallery.

What you should do instead, is have your site ready and optimised for conversion, in other words: when a visitor lands, you need to invite them to sign up to your list.

That way, you get to stay in touch, and send emails and updates, so that once they’re ready, they will buy from you.

Next, Garret says:


“A good point to mention here is that a successful gallery owner told me that the artists who sell well at his gallery also tend to know about marketing so even if you go the gallery way it is still a good idea to know and do marketing.”



The ideal situation is to have the best of both worlds:

Your own platform, marketing, list building, email updates, and on the other side one or more galleries who represent you.

That way, you rely on yourself and that’s always the healthiest option.

Like I’ve said before: nobody – no gallery or agent or anyone – will ever care as much about your art business as you do.

And you are the only one who can build that business.

A gallery can get your work sold, but only you can build a healthy, sustainable and prosperous art business around your work.

And I can show you the steps, ingredients, and building blocks.


In my upcoming ‘Build and Grow a Healthy Art Business’ Masterclass.

Details for your perusal after the click –>



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