Florida painter, Everglades, Marco Island, artist Jo-Ann Sanborn


It's not a new toaster, March Morning painting by Everglades artist JoAnn Sanborn

Marsh Morning
acrylic on canvas, 20"x20"

We haven't had much rain yet but the mornings have been lovely, and visiting the marshes early in the morning is a joy. There's peace and beauty in this Everglades march. Still, sometimes there's something in your mind that won't let go, so here goes!

Marketing art in this economy is not easy, and many artists have discovered that a combination of gallery representation and self representation is the best way to manage art sales. Pricing is always a big issue, and get a group of artists together and the pricing conversation can go on for hours. the goal is to get a decent wage for your work and for your level of professionalism and training, and yet to remain competitive in the marketplace.

Most artists know to never, ever, to set the price of a work differently for particular venue, or in that case, for the look of someones shoes. The price set should be the price, no matter where the work is seen, although it may rise as time goes on. An example of this would be a limited edition sculpture, where pieces rise as less are available, or if you sell a similar piece at a higher price.

Professional artists also know that if a gallery collector happens to make a studio visit and to purchase, the gallery is due its commission. This works for both sides if the gallery has willingly shared the names of your collectors it has sold to as it should. It's also wise to have a policy in place for sales through designers and decorators, ensuring that the final piece a client pays will be the same as if they had dealt directly with the artist.

This is good business because it builds trust with others, who are then free to promote your work for compensation, and with clients, because the value of the work they purchase is solid. At the international level, prices paid for high-end art work has reached the ridiculous, but on the local level there's a lot of talk about discounting artwork because the economy has affected so many incomes.

To me, thoughtless discounting of artwork is a betrayal of the client who purchased equal work at a higher level. While it may serve to bring in immediate income in the long run the work is devalued. Still, it's important to reward those who are repeat collectors, and care about you and your work. Artwork is not like purchasing a new toaster, and shouldn't be treated as such.

When you tell me that you love my work and want one of my paintings, I want to help you to own it. If you don't have the means to make a large purchase, choose one of my smaller works to get started, or for something larger we can work out a payment plan that meets your needs. Then the sale will please both of us.

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