...serenity in motion

You can't make a million dollars if you don't have the inventory to sell

You can’t make a million dollars when you don’t have the inventory to sell.

I was talking to a very talented artist the other day.  He has been fighting to get into a gallery that is very high end and was complaining that they never called him back.  Actually, he was talking to someone I was visiting with and I broke in with a question; “How many originals do you have?”  He stopped and looked at me and replied, “Counting the 3 hanging here, I have about 20.”

I read in an article once that galleries won’t take an artist that can’t produce less than 1 painting a week.  They wanted to know that the artist would be able to maintain their stock in their store and in order to do that they felt that 52 paintings a year would facilitate that.  One painting a week, that’s it.

Consider; if you sell a painting for $500 and you only have 20, you have $10,000 in your inventory. (Actually, $5,000 wholesale; let’s see you pay bills on that in a year.)  Now this young man, is committed to running an art business but I don’t think he had considered that a high end gallery wasn’t going to want to carry his prints or cards.  It doesn’t matter how good your work is, if a gallery is going to try and sell your work; they want originals.  As time goes on and if you become a consistent seller for them, they might offer to sell canvas prints but not very often.

Don’t be obnoxious to the gallery either, they are constantly looking at submissions from artists.  Pestering them all the time makes you look unprofessional and gives them the impression that you might end up being a pain in the ass.  No gallery is going to offer to sell for an artist that is going to be high maintenance, especially if they only have $5,000 in inventory.

A website, portfolio and a simple email is all you need to give them; anything else is just going to give them the wrong impression.  The only other thing you can do is make sure you have the inventory to support them if they start selling your work!  Good luck and Get Painting!!