Being in the right gallery is wonderful. However, finding the right gallery can take time and effort and once you're in, the work is just getting started. Too many artists believe that once they are accepted into a gallery, they no longer have to do anything. I can't count the amount of times that I hear artists say "that's the gallery job, after all they take 50%". Being in a gallery is a collaborative venture. You can't just drop off your art occasionally and sit back and wait for the checks. Good gallery relationships take work. Do you communicate with your gallery? Do you reach out to them and ask how sales are, what seems to be selling (i.e. small or larger pieces), do they want to rotate work out? They are on the front lines and I find that if you ask, you often receive valuable information.
Don't you think that a gallery might promote your work more if you offered them something to tell their customers, i.e. this artist just won an award or was featured in a magazine. Do you promote your artwork in a gallery or do you expect them to do that? Consider sending out an eblast to your customers inviting them to see the new works that you are delivering. If you run an ad in a magazine, consider listing your galleries or writing a press release about your upcoming gallery show. Maybe offer to do a demonstration for their customers one evening...what is better than a captive audience? Even just thanking your gallery on social media for a sale is worth 3 minutes of your time. Consider inviting your followers to see other works available (and always tag the gallery). Everyone likes to feel appreciated.
While this may seem to be small and insignificant things, they can show your galleries that you are in this relationship as a partner. Wouldn't you work harder for someone who is willing to take the extra steps to be successful? I would. If you aren't currently in a gallery, take this into consideration as you seek gallery representation.
15 Minute Challenge
1. Call each of your galleries and have a 5 minute conversation. Ask about how your work is being received? Do they have feedback that can help you better determine future work for them. Make sure to add having a conversation with your gallery(ies) a couple times a year.
2. Do something this week to promote a gallery and your work on social media or to your subscribers.
For expert help with your art marketing needs, contact Kelley Sanford, Artist BFF and see a list of my services, visit my website.