...serenity in motion
Your relationship with your gallery. What are your responsibilities and your rights?
You have been accepted into a gallery, Congratulations! Very exciting news for you. You take your best pieces to them and they get hung on the walls waiting for the checks to roll in. First of all, you can’t expect the gallery to do all of the work. Depending on the commission you pay, you must be involved in the promotion of your work. People need to know you are there. Also keep in mind, just because you are in a store, doesn’t mean you are going to get top billing. Galleries are going to hang their most consistent sellers in the front of the gallery. If you want to be moved up to an area of greater prominence, you need to promote yourself on your social media pages and websites. Letting your followers know which of your pieces are being showcased will help bring people in to see what you have there.
There is a rule of three when you are promoting yourself. First time you get your work in front of someone, it gets about 3-5 seconds of a person’s mental attention. Second time, it is a reminder of what they have seen but more importantly it gives you a boost in their memory. The third time is the most important. This is when they see your name and work, and it now becomes, “I have seen this artist somewhere before.” It is considered the reassurance interaction and people don’t remember where they have seen the first two times. It is just that they have seen it enough to consider it a legitimate product.
Social media has become a cheap and cost-effective way to do that work for you and your galleries. Yes it takes a lot of work to follow up on this but consider, how much does it cost you in dollars? There are applications available to help you post to multiple sites at once (doesn’t count as your three as it has to be three different timelines to be effective.) and will save you some time. I am a big fan of Hoot Suite and use it weekly but I also then share my scheduled post to my personal page on facebook. If you can get a group of friends to share your posts while you do it in return, even better. Create a round robin where everyone is sharing, and you can triple your coverage. Talk up your galleries, give them the attention your work deserves and earn that place up front. All of this is important to consider. A gallery isn’t going to spend $1,000 on a quarter page ad for you when they aren’t sure if you are going to bring a return on their investment in the advertising. Do it for them through your material so that they have sales of your art and will move it to a prime spot.
Put your galleries on your website, share events that they are having there to help bring people through their doors. Be a consistent producer of traffic in their business and build goodwill. It isn’t just about hanging your art on their walls but earning their attention and investment as well. The more stir you create on their behalf in your name, the better. You want a good, profitable relationship that you both can profit from.