Discussing with a local pub landlord last night about my being part of a forth-coming art exhibition he wants to hold in his pub one day in August I realised that I’ll actually be part of six exhibitions held locally during August. That’s fine, I can fit them all in, and as they’re spread over the month, I’m confident I can work out the logistics of shunting pictures around to each venue. But will it be worth it? Will it bring in any sales for me? Will it promote my artwork? Conjour up future commissions? I live in hope that it will. I have to. Its a lot of hard work though, setting up an exhibition. Hanging around to talk to people, to promote what I do. Or else I just drop off my pictures at a gallery, and someone else does the setting up, and I go home, and fervently wait, in hope, with fingers crossed. And when I return somebody might say – oh someone was in asking after you earlier, they hoped you’d be here. And you think, bugger, I’ve missed a sale through that. But if I went and sat, and sat….. and sat….. at a gallery (and I’ve done that, on many occasions!) no-one comes in, no-one is interested, until perhaps five minutes before the end of the exhibition, when someone will come in and for the next half hour they’ll tell you ALL about their brothers neighbours cousin who is a brilliant artist – have you heard of them? (I never have, but I smile sweetly at them). And then you go home, without a sale. And then you’ll talk to someone who’s interested in art, and visits art galleries regularly, and they ask where you exhibit, and why haven’t they seen your work before? And you wonder why they haven’t either, when you do your best to push your art, and exhibit where and when you can, and they’ve never even heard of you! So what do I do wrong I ask myself? And the answer is probably – nothing. Its just the way it is, trying to sell art. You live in hope that you can paint a picture that someone will like, and want, and want to pay for, and have room on their wall to hang it on. That’s why I’d rather do commissions, because then I know I’m painting something that someone actually wants. Exhibitions are basically just advertising the fact that I paint, and what I paint, and how I paint. If I make a sale, its a bonus. Its also good to see what other artists are doing, and meet them, have a chat and compare notes.
So I’m not expecting to sell many pictures in August……. but I live in hope!