So don’t fixate on it
I got a message today, DMed to me on Facebook.
Hi Paula! I’m selling my art to support a charity so every piece is super cheap. Go buy some art. Cheap! Also it’s cheap. Very cheap.
Here’s the thing, the thing most artists and creatives miss: price is less of a barrier than you think. You could have work priced stupidly low, as one artist I know does, and still struggle to sell anything.
If price were a deciding factor in an art purchase, he’d be constantly selling out every month and he’s not.
So what is the deciding factor?
You need to give people a chance to connect both with you and the art you make. Tell stories about it. Invite them into your world. Have them feel like they’re a part of your story.
Look, most artists will say that their art speaks for itself but it doesn’t. And let me say that louder for the people in the back: YOUR ART DOES NOT SPEAK FOR ITSELF! You need to speak for it. You have a responsibility to guide people into connecting with it.
A few years ago, another artist shared a piece with me that was an ok painting of the New York skyline.
But then she told me why she painted it. She told me her 9/11 experience. What emotions were tied up in the piece and what she feels to this day. That “ok” painting has stuck with me in my head and heart for years. Had it been for sale, I might have even bought it.
People buy art because of the emotions involved. If they connect instinctively based on colour or energy that they feel from the work, they connect more deeply when you share about it.
This dude who texted me today didn’t send me any links. He didn’t share his cheap pieces with me, or even which charity he’s helping. He didn’t do anything to draw me into even looking at his work.
Did he make a series especially for this event? Don’t know. Does he have strong feelings about this charity? Don’t know. Is he trying to make a difference in the world? I don’t know. He did nothing but send me a ridiculous, incoherent message.
And though I did look at his work on his site (professional curiosity), the sales pitch I received today means I won’t ever buy something from him. Not even if I can get it “super cheap”, because it’s clear he doesn’t value his work and his prices are random.
As creatives, we need to remember that we create magical, living stories out of nothing and that’s a powerful thing.
Most non creative people don’t make anything. They don’t do anything remarkable. Most people live mediocre lives that consist of work, pizza and tv over and over again. Living for the weekend. Dreaming of vacation.
We creatives are glitter sprinkling magical fairies to the people around us. So OWN your power. Share your stories. Connect with your audience. Gather them close and bring them into your world.
They’ll be clambering to buy your work. Price won’t matter because if they want something enough they will find the money. So don’t shoot yourself in the foot and fixate on the wrong thing.
Don’t race your way to the bottom and alienate the very people who crave being a part of your universe.