Selling Art Directly to Buyers – Are You Doing it Wrong?

Let’s play a game.

I’m going to give you a scenario, and then you get to guess what’s wrong with the picture.


Let’s play.

Artist gets picked up by a gallery.

Gallery sells a painting for $1000.

Gallery gives artist $500, as agreed.

Private buyer visits artist.

Buyer chooses a painting, same size as the one sold in the gallery.

Artist charges $500.

Buyer goes home happy.

What’s wrong with that story?

Some would say ‘The gallery taking 50%, that’s wrong!’.

Now, you know I’m not a fan of galleries, but not because of the percentages they charge.

See, a gallery that sells your art does have to work for it.

They rent premises, invest in decoration, they network and build lists and organise events…

And if they do it right, they sell your work.

Their pay is whatever percentage they work with.

So what’s wrong in the story is that the artist didn’t pay herself.

Lots of people think that they can’t sell their work directly at gallery prices.

But why not?

Do you not have your own operational costs?

Website, phone, advertising, travel, events, building a list, networking, studio rent, electricity…

At the end of the year, running your business costs heaps of time and all sorts of money.

So why would you pay for all that?

Why would you slash your prices – shouldn’t you get paid for the work you do?

As in: the business work, the stuff that goes around spending time in the studio?

Of course.

The bills won’t pay themselves, you know.

This – paying yourself – is one of the hardest things for freelancers and creatives.

It’s also the one thing that makes everything else better and easier.

Taking the 50% that a gallery isn’t taking is not a matter of greed:

It’s paying yourself for doing the work to get the customer.

It’s paying yourself for the work that the gallery didn’t do – because YOU did it.

Pay yourself.

You deserve it.

You earned it.

Now I’ve run into a problem: no logical way to transition into a clear call to action.

So I’ll just throw in the link to my conversion optimisation service –>

It’ll help you get more people to buy your work, so that you can pay yourself more.



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