Selling Art at Markets | Podcast Episode 29

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Adam Rineer shows off his new painting from artist Kelly Walker
Adam Rineer shows off his new painting from artist Kelley Walker

Who Buys Art?

Today’s show is a little different. First the interviews (yes, with an s) were recorded on location at First Saturday Arts market in historic Houston heights.

First Saturday Arts Market has been going strong for 10 years. It’s a very family friendly venue, great food trucks, lots of artists and even better, lots of buyers.

That’s right, artists, there IS a buyer for your art out there.

While at the market, I picked the brains of three artists with knock your socks off work on display about what new artists need to know before showing at market.

  • Michelle Bowers, a self-taught fiber artist from Katy, Texas, offers practical advice.
  • Sergio Santos, a mixed media artist from Cypress, Texas, suggests seeking the counsel of other artists.
  • Ellie Teramoto, fine art photographer, also in Cypress, Texas, reminds us that it’s about the art.
Potter John Delafield Selling Art at Market
Potter John Delafield Selling Art at Market

Checklist for Artists New to Selling at Markets

John Delafield is a potter in the Houston area, whom I also met at First Saturday Arts Market. Unfortunately, I was not able to do an audio interview with John, but he did share this great check list for new artists:

  • Make your art.
  • Develop a line of products or a style of art.
  • Take it to a market and see what happens.
  • Pay attention to what other artists are doing.
  • Pay attention to what people are buying.
  • Of your products what draws people in and what sells?
  • What prices move your product the quickest?
  • You have to do what you are passionate about but you also have to sell it for what people are willing to pay. The only way to figure this out is to jump in and give it a try.
  • You also need to find the right outlets. If an art show isn’t for you, would a gallery be better? What about a craft show?
  • Take enough product as the average shopper wants to have a selection. If you only have a few things your shoppers might think they are looking at the leftovers. For a shopper, part of their experience is to meet the artist and maker of the art.
  • You have to have your best energy there. Be available but not intrusive to the buyer. Be ready for a quick friendly visit but let them move on when they are ready.
  • If you have trouble being friendly, take a friend along who can help you present your work
  • Create your pitch: Have a couple of standard things you can tell them about your work as a form of introduction.

If you have trouble figuring out what to say to potential clients, I offer a free 25-minute pitch workshop on demand that will help you craft a few points about your art.

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