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Steps for getting your art shown

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Steps for getting your art shown

Postby artfont » Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:49 pm

Hello everyone,
I decided after so many years of working in an office, that I wanted to work on my art and make a living at it...haha don't laugh, they say it can be done. I set up my web site, and finally got a couple paintings in a small gallery here in Ontario, Canada only after joining as a member. I have looked at other galleries and find some that you can send emails on line with a picture of some of your work, but a lot don't reply. What are other ways to get noticed, by the galleries, especially when you have no personal connections like I find a lot of people have. I live in a fairly small town now and do not know a lot of people, I grew up in Toronto, where there are so many options. If anyone can help I would love to hear some suggestions. Through the years I have sold about 25 paintings, all to family and friends, and they all think this is what I should be doing, but the last thing I did a couple weeks ago, was paint a picture on a rock for her garden.......can only sell that for so much...helppppp! lololo
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Re: Steps for getting your art shown

Postby ehoeveler » Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:48 pm

I know what it's like living in a small town!
Selling art is all about having connections and being persistent.
If nothing's happening in your small town you'll have to cast an eye
towards a bigger town. See if there are art associations you can join
and get in the car and start driving around. There are art fairs and if they
are far away you might have to pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it.
If you are the shy and retiring type, pay a friend to promote you - work
something out. Your work is lovely - I know there will be people out there
who want it. BTW, have you tried Etsy?
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Re: Steps for getting your art shown

Postby artfont » Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:51 pm

thanks E, I have not tried Etsy, but have checked it out before as another friend told me about it. I will try it there as well. I just wondered what is the best way to get galleries to look at your work, by email at there site, by phone, in person since I don't have a connection with anyone at a gallery. I recently went through a divorce after 27 years of marriage, my whole life was thrown upside down, painting really helped me through it all, and I realized life is short and nothing is for sure but to do something you love makes all the difference. I joined an art forum on line in Toronto and that way I can hear of any art shows there that come up, I am very stubborn, I will not give up, maybe on doing it for a living, but never will give up making and creating art!
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Re: Steps for getting your art shown

Postby ehoeveler » Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:56 pm

I know that e-mails and CD's are rarely responded to and it has indeed come to my realization that
a 'walk-in' might actually work better.
For that personal gallery introduction wear a 'sports cup'. Gallery reps will be mostly bitchy and stand-offish
(US galleries, anyway). Your best bet is to do a 'recon' on different galleries and try to see which one would
be a good fit. Then, finesse your way in with whatever you think will instantly grab their attention.
You really have to bear a mix of delicacy and persistence with these folks - they've seen it all and heard even more.
Always compliment the work being shown and admire the rep's hair, dress or professionalism if it looks
like you can get away with it. Don't be downcast if they turn you away at first - many, many artists are
always trying to get in - Thank whomever, walk away, but keep in contact.
Remember - Believe in yourself but accept support and feedback from friends.
Lastly, be persistent and tenacious. Best of Luck! E
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Re: Steps for getting your art shown

Postby Erika Takacs » Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:12 pm

Hi Artfont, your work is lovely. I agree with E, probably a walk-in would be the best approach. Not sure that Toronto would be your best choice but there are some very good galleries in cottage country that might be interested in this type of art. There is an outdoor art show every summer in Bon Echo park that is high quality, you might want to research it. Also, juried shows a re a good way to let yourself known in the art community and meet other fellow artists. When I first started I didn't know anybody at all, and after a few shows I found that at every occasion I met one new colleague. The circle is growing like this. I like your determination, I am sure you will do fine with that attitude.
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Re: Steps for getting your art shown

Postby rhknigh » Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:18 pm

artfont wrote:thanks E, I have not tried Etsy, but have checked it out before as another friend told me about it. I will try it there as well. I just wondered what is the best way to get galleries to look at your work, by email at there site, by phone, in person since I don't have a connection with anyone at a gallery. I recently went through a divorce after 27 years of marriage, my whole life was thrown upside down, painting really helped me through it all, and I realized life is short and nothing is for sure but to do something you love makes all the difference. I joined an art forum on line in Toronto and that way I can hear of any art shows there that come up, I am very stubborn, I will not give up, maybe on doing it for a living, but never will give up making and creating art!


Aside from Etsy there is also StorEnvy that does not charge to list, nor do they take a portion of your sale, so the only cost of business is shipping and PayPal fees because you have to use it on StorEnvy.

Welcome to the wide world of art online and offline they tend to go hand in hand, although some lean more to one or the other. I have been learning much this year, you will see if you read my profile. When I have something worth sharing it is either here or on my blog, or both.

Hoping that you get to where you can sustain yourself through art. This is something I think too few are brave enough to do.
Last edited by rhknigh on Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Rebecca Knight, representing artist Tanya Davis & author of a blog celebrating creativity:

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Re: Steps for getting your art shown

Postby artfont » Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:37 am

Thanks for all your suggestions, I really appreciate them and will check out Etsy and Storenvy as well , I have 2 paintings in a small gallery now, but will check out more and keep you posted on how I am progressing!
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Re: Steps for getting your art shown

Postby johnwalkeasy » Sun Jul 21, 2013 7:53 pm

Hello, John here.
I've been doing metal art work for over 30 years. The only way(And I try every way) I ever got work into a Gallery was by dealing with the gallery in person.
And ofcourse the art shows and fairs are good to. If you have the time.
Perfection is what drives an artist.
The inability to achieve perfection is what creates a work of art.
John A. Barandon
http://steelbronze.vpweb.com
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Re: Steps for getting your art shown

Postby rhknigh » Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:29 pm

I am finally nearing the end of a very long article in which I review Etsy, StorEnvy and Big Cartel. Since it is prominently on my mind right now, I got curious and came back to this post. Does anyone here have stories about their experiences selling online they wish to share here?
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