Hang Outwith the Experts:
Selling Art? Can it be a Creative Expression?
Hang out with artist Tanya Torres
This hang out is part of an interview that I did with my good friend Tanya Torres for the December 2013 issue of the Butterfly You! Magazine. Read the full interview, enriched by Tanya’s inspiring art: http://mariamar.com/butterflyu-2-own-your-value/
In the interview for Butterfly You! Magazine, Tanya shared the story of how she manifested her dream of making a living from her art and as she did she revealed her own blueprint of how she went from Caterpillar Self to Butterfly Self. But the interview was so rich, I could not fit everything in the magazine. This part is new! Here’s the part of the story that has to do with a moment in which she discovered how to sell her art ~essential if she was going to make money from it! Enjoy!
Tanya Torres reveals how she discovered that selling her art was part of her creative expression.
Discovering a Personal Sales Style
During the time that we were doing exhibitions at Mixta Gallery, I studied the basics of business, read “Guerilla Marketing,” and began to explore marketing and selling.
It seems naive now, but I never really thought about learning any of this in college. It was sort of taboo for an artist to think about selling art.
Little by little, I was able to assimilate the knowledge of art marketing and business into my practice.
Gaining confidence in your capacity to sell your work is important. But it’s not about selling for the sake of selling. What fills me with joy when someone buys an art piece from me is that I see the effect that my art has in that person.
In the process of going out there to events, exhibitions and craft fairs, I discovered something surprising. Selling my artwork feels very natural to me. A friend once described my sales technique with the phrase: “You don’t sell. You seduce.” It always makes me smile to think of that phrase because to buy art, you truly do need to fall in love with the piece.
I really feel that selling art has nothing to do with selling. I couldn’t live with a work of art I do not like, so I would never want to send one of my pieces to the wrong place! I don’t set out to sell the artwork, but to connect with the people who have an affinity with it. Here’s what I do:
- Before attending an opening or a craft show, I prepare myself by writing about my art and making my thoughts about each piece clear in my own mind.
- I answer the questions people ask about a piece by incorporating them into the creative experience.
- I listen carefully to the feelings and thoughts the person has on the artwork and find the connection between this and my own ideas as the creator of the piece.
- This creates a conversation in which the feelings that the piece evokes in the person become clear.
I am a sort of translator for them, but to translate the feelings of an art piece I need to be able to connect with the person’s soul as well as the mind.
During our conversation about the work, its process, my thoughts and their thoughts, we find that connection.
Because I communicate a lot better in writing, my blog is a wonderful tool for selling my artwork. People who are attracted to an image, read my thoughts on it and become connected with it.
Larger pieces often sell through a relationship I create over time with the people who like my art. Because most of my customers are not super-rich, when someone decides to buy a piece, I make it possible and easy through a payment plan.
Since this process often takes a while, often years, I know by then that the person is trustworthy and a kindred soul. And they know that I am too.
When my customers take my art home, in any form, they know that they are taking a bigger package. They take our friendship, a special place in my life, and special treatment. I gives them the VIP treatment forever because they are helping me create more art and have the space and resources I need. This might include preference when they order something new, creating a special item for them, special invitations and gifts.
Where to find Tanya Torres:
Originals, reproductions and Jewelry:
Greeting Cards and Mini prints:
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