A fairly heated discussion yesterday with Helen, the Irish lady who organises the annual art exhibit in this town.
Told me that galleries are useful for artists, that it helps get exposure.
Poor thing: she doesn’t know me very well, so I think she was a bit surprised to see me jump on my hobby horse and ride that sucker like there’s no tomorrow.
Because if there’s anything that gets to me, it’s when artists are stuck in an old-world, feudalistic system that lives to look after itself instead of after the artists.
Or, as the highly inspiring Ann Rea says:
“Side-step the permission and scarcity based art establishment. It’s broken”.
Of course it’s broken, it’s breaking more every day, what with the powerful tools we have at our disposal.
For example: if you’re an author you’re no longer at the mercy of the publishing industry because the internet has emancipated authors and artists alike.
You want to self-publish?
Nobody stopping you.
Same thing for painters: who says you can’t do your own promotion and client acquisition?
Musician? Youtube, Facebook and Twitter are your friends.
To be fair though, a gallery can have its use. It can indeed help you raise your exposure.
But if you start by aiming for the galleries you’re doing things the wrong way round.
You want to build your own audience and sales first, and only then go after the galleries.
Because once you have that audience of your own, it’ll be a lot easier to get your work into a gallery.
AND you’ll have your own audience to market to – regardless of whether a gallery takes you on or indeed sells your work.
Another thing I insist on: The gallery approach should never, ever, be the only route an artist goes for.
For starters, you always want to have multiple sales channels.
If only for the fact that if a gallery goes belly-up, or decides to drop you, you’re left out in the cold. And you wouldn’t be the first artist to see that happen.
Might have already happened to you.
Note that I’m not bashing galleries here – I just want you to be thoroughly aware that your own business should run on your own efforts and be built around your own list.
Galleries can be a part of the mix, but not necessarily. And it should never be the main course.
The old model is broken, no two ways about that.
You have the choice to try and wheedle your way into it, hoping you’ll get lucky and successful, or you can make use of the new model, where you’re the boss and you get to pick and choose how your work goes into the world.
You don’t need permission from critics, gallerists or promotors.
You don’t need to wait for approval or critical acclaim.
You just need to find a system that works for you and become expert at running and improving it.
Want to know how to go about that in simple, clear-cut step by step instructions?
The September LEAP will tell you how.
Get on board here –> http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/