Recently, I chatted with an artist who is struggling to sell his work. 

It's a conversation that I've had over and over again with various talented artists.  I sent this particular artist an email about what I thought he could do.  Here's the email below with the name removed.  

Hey ---, 

The harsh reality is that MOST people apart from the super-rich are NOT buying art of any kind, especially in this economy.

Given that, what's an artist to do?

Well, let's examine this from a pure business standpoint, shall we?

Why not expand your own boundaries and possibilities by doing what many super-successful clothing designers have done?  Why not create a high-priced, gallery line for your work and a lower-priced line that's available to anyone in the world through a reputable, online source or your own website?

Obviously, you would build the cost of shipping into the price of the painting posted online.

Does this mean your work would sell immediately?  No.  Does it open you up to a whole new audience and expand your own business model as an artist?  Yes. 

Art should be available to people at ALL income levels.  Why not make your work available at several price points? Let's open our minds, expand our possibilities and watch the clients roll in.  Will this take time?  Absolutely. 

More and more artists are getting hip to this.  It has worked for businessmen like Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren.  It could also work for artists.  It's called, "Business." It's also better than waiting for some wealthy collector to show up. 

Hope that helps in some way.


The whole point of this email was to get my artist friend to think more like a business person and not an artist who is locked away in his studio all day painting.  We all have lofty visions about our work and the way we want things to be, but reality and bills always beckon.  As I write this, I'm also reminding myself; hold on to your lofty vision.  Honor it ... but let's also get practical.  We don't have to be monolithic in our approach to problems.  We can try numerous things simultaneously.  We can approach situations and scenarios using various techniques at the same time.  Why are we always looking for that ONE silver bullet?  That's silly.  The more approaches that we can use to address an issue, the quicker we can resolve it and move on to the next thing. In other words, there's more than one way to skin a cat.