I was having a little difficulty coming up with something to write about. I came across a site that recommended a Content Generator. There are lots of them https://www.hubspot.com/blog-topic-generator . Most of the ideas are not particularly relevant and they don’t really generate content but they do offer headline ideas. This one sparked my interest “How to sell art to a skeptic”. I’m not in a position to sell my paintings but I was in sales for many years so here is my opinion.
A painting has no use of any kind that I can think of, but we have a painted door on our garage, it’s a regular size door for human entry. It’s a lovely door painted by my daughter and many people have noticed and commented on it. However sales isn’t really about selling usefulness, the general idea is to sell the sizzle not the stake. This doesn’t mean that a salesperson sells useless things, it’s about how they sell useful things. I believe art is about how it makes you feel not about what it is. It’s nice to know how archival the painting is, but what many people will want to know is how it might make them feel every morning when they wake up. How will the painting improve their home? How will it improve how others think about their home? Art isn’t about the bottom line, it’s about how it makes us feel. I’m sure there are people thinking about the investment and the rush of buying at an auction but I don’t believe that is why THEY will buy the painting; it’s about how they or someone close feels when they look at the painting. The wonderful thing about art is it crosses boundaries. People whom I’ve thought were emotionless slugs have proven me completely wrong when talking about art.
It’s very hard for me to sell my own work. My paintings have very little value for me once they are done, so if I were selling my work I would find someone else to sell it for me. If I look at a painting that I did years ago I think I see it somewhat as others do. I can critique it and come to some conclusion about how good it is. I’m encouraged when I’m surprised with the result.
With regard to skeptics it depends on what they are skeptical about. If it’s the price the best place for a skeptic is an auction. If it’s what the painting means, a skeptic’s opinion is as good as anyone else’s. If the art doesn’t mean anything to them then why are they considering the purchase at all? I think the best way to sell art to a skeptic is to take it away. Argue against the purchase. If you fail you have made yourself a sale. If you win you will have made yourself a name as an honest artist and that might count for more sales in the future.