...serenity in motion
I just did an art show wearing a mask this weekend. I hope you all saw that there was no post for last weekend. The thing about social distancing and mask wearing, it only works efficiently if everyone does it. I won’t say that selling art in the time of COVID is easy, it is uncomfortable and awkward. If you are willing to brave the weather and the virus, there is still art selling.
My observations are as follows;
People still want to buy art, there just isn’t as many of them out spending. Work on keeping your costs as low as possible. Find friends who are comfortable with you staying if you can and eat out of a cooler instead of a fast food place.
Have plenty of smaller priced things for impulse buys. You don’t need to rely on greeting cards but make sure if you have paintings above $1,500, you have plenty to pick from the $100 range. We don’t know where we will be in the future and smaller buys are less stressful.
Make it easy to pay. There are vendors out there who refuse to take credit cards or checks. If you limit your buyers options, you limit their ability to make purchases. Try to pay attention to which application you are running your credit purchases through. One buyer stopped a sale because they didn’t trust the platform the artist was using. We are all getting exposed to scammers right now, don’t be surprised when your clients are wary.
Have several masks to wear. They get lost, they begin to smell funky, and sometimes clients laugh when you wear ones that are clash with your outfit. Choose something that is comfortable and easy to work with. If you need to drop your mask to talk, just give your potential buyer plenty of space.
Hand sanitizer everything! Don’t worry about offending your clients. They appreciate the extra effort to clean their credit cards. Make a joke out of it, “I’ve just gotten into the habit of bathing in it after I get out of the shower.” Offer it to your clients to use and don’t be shocked when they are afraid to hand you change. Re-assure them that it is okay and we will all get through this together.
Be patient and try not to rush anything. Taking it slow gives everyone a chance to decide how they want to approach something. We are feeling a lot of pressure right now and having someone impatient with us just makes it worse. I feel a lot of stress just going shopping for peanut butter, imagine how hard it is for someone to pick a piece of art.
Finally, Smile. Your eyes crinkle in the corners when you do so and people can see that. Keep your hands at your sides, your shoulders relaxed and smile with your eyes. People are learning body language now and need to rely on it. Relaxed shoulders, equally distributed weight on your feet and hands at your sides tells others that you are not a threat.
I did give out brochures, I just didn’t hand them to people. I had a holder that people could grab from for themselves. I would tell them to “please feel free to grab one”, I would reassure them that they were for that and I was not putting anyone at risk by handing them out. People will remember if you were easy to work with and made them feel at ease.
Good Luck out there!