During one of my live demo, someone asked if I am selling my work at a gallery. I answered no.
This isn't saying that I discredit art gallery and the work they are doing. Many artists, whom I admire greatly are selling through different galleries. I have bought artworks from a gallery before as well, because some artists' work only available through gallery. There are several reasons why I don't sell through gallery, but let me share with you a personal story of buying a piece of artwork from the gallery:
You saw a piece of artwork that you liked — a "signed lithograph" that cost $617. You bit the bullet and purchased the print, only to find out it came in a tube. Custom framing cost another $145, and by the way, "shipping and handling" was another $160. After about 12 weeks, the painting finally arrived. It was heavy and bulky, the art work is poorly framed, and a drag to hang. I know, because I was that person. I am not going to mention which gallery it was because that's not the point of the story. And I suppose that most gallery are the same.
This is one of the reason why I don't sell in a gallery. Many galleries find ways to charge the customers extra for something that should be cheap or even free. And the artist doesn't have any control over it.
The other reason why I don't sell through gallery is relationship. I don't want to take a traditional artist route - take my works to the galleries, hoping they will sell it for me so I can just keep painting and not worry about buyer's experience and how the gallery present my product. Because I care about my art, I don't want a 3rd party to handle my works and transactions. I want to be in control of that! I want this to be a personal experience. I want you to be able to write me about how you feel about the art you received. And I want to be able to email you personally about new works and stories behind the paintings!
Whether you are an artist or not, I am sure you had the experience of showing your drawings to your parents when you were a kid. Do you remember the feelings you had when they put your drawings on the fridge for family and friends to see? That's how I feel whenever someone likes my works and wants to show them to others! How can I undermine that sense of enjoyment and honor by not fostering that relationship myself? I remember packing my sold paintings/prints felt like I'm wrapping gifts to my loved ones. And that's what I want you to feel the when you receive them! I want you to feel you have received a personal gift from me!
I understand today's post is not about watercolor technique. But I really want to share this with you. One of my goal for Café Watercolor is make it a space not only for learning watercolor painting, but also a place for people to enjoy artworks.