Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Both Sides of the Desk

A lot has been going on lately. I have the honor of being included in the July issue of Ocala Magazine. It's a page they do every month featuring a different artist. How cool!

The other projects happening right now are things I can't share. Here's a piece of one of them. They're both colored pencil commissions that are surprises for friends and family. I'll be able to share after they're gifted. 

We've been busy at the gallery too. We have a wonderful scrap metal sculptor named Josh Price from Contrived Curiosities. We sold this adorable pair of owls this weekend.

A face only a mom could love! This is actually one of my favorite sculptures in the gallery. 

So all this has me thinking about what I do work wise. I'm a painter who sells work in galleries and now I co-own a gallery too. Over the years I've heard from other artists how horrified they are that retail galleries take a 50% commission on sales. People new to the scene don't realize that 50% is the norm. Non-profits sometimes take a smaller commission because they receive other funding. Some galleries like ours are collectives or co-ops, meaning they charge a monthly fee instead of charging a commission. I've never begrudged my gallery reps their share. They've earned it. Since being part of Gallery B I have an even better understanding of what's involved in opening a gallery and keeping it open. 

What do galleries do with your 50% or your monthly fee? They spend it on rent or mortgage, utilities, insurance, salaries, taxes, advertising, web design and hosting, licenses, building upkeep, supplies, phone service, banking fees, merchandiser fees, accountants, legal rep, signage, reception costs, and the list goes on.

If you're an artist thinking of jumping into gallery representation, please keep in mind that it's a business partnership. A good gallery will work for you, sell for you, and they have huge expenses just like any other business. You can do your part by being professional, providing good materials like your consignment list, giving the gallery as much information about you and your work as possible, have a consistent body of work to show and have new work available for them when asked. The best thing you can do is have the best quality work you can do. Make sure your presentation is clean - if you frame your work, make sure the frame is good quality and free from any nicks or scratches. Have your work ready for the gallery to hang. Basically, be considerate of your gallery and the customers. 

As a selling painter, you wear a lot of hats because you have to do the selling along with the making of the art. Now I'm on both sides of the desk and get to experience not only selling my work but the work of other artists too. One thing I've noticed - it's easier to talk up other people's work than it is my own. Why do we find it so much easier to brag on others than it is to toot our own horns?

Enjoy the rest of your day. I hope it's filled with joy and the creative juices are flowing.

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