How to sell to corporate art buyers when you don`t like selling
I don`t like selling, or more correctly I didn`t used to like selling art. Selling surely is a dirty word for artists anyway, right? Well if by `corporate art selling` you mean conning companies and art buyers out of money then I agree with you. But, what if you provide a corporation with something that changes their mood, makes them smile, makes their office happy, increases their profits perhaps? Is that conning them or is it simply providing them with something they want and need ?
We like to paint (or whatever medium you use). We like to have our art appreciated, right? So wouldn`t it be nice to be paid for it?
Corporate art buyers (or perhaps they are their own CEO) want to buy art! They are looking for someone to produce art for them that achieves a goal and they expect to pay for it.
You might have never sold a painting before but right now, that art work you have stored in your studio (or holed up in your kitchen) could be exactly what a corporate art buyer is looking for and they could be prepared to spend thousands on it.
Just think. It could be sat in the reception area of a major corporation next week, being admired by thousands of people everyday and inspiring them in their work and lives. Would that feel good? It would be rather better than having it sitting in your kitchen collecting dust, right?
So, have I persuaded you yet that earning money for our art is actually a `nice service` you are providing to someone?
The next questions is how to get your art noticed. Walking up to a buyer might be scary. They might be bored, frustrated, had a bad day…and of course there are plenty of other artists pestering them for their attention.
And it get`s worse. We`ve all walked into a gallery and studied the first few works and then our minds have just started to wander onto the kids, the washing up, life. The last thing we wanted was to get disturbed in our thoughts.
But have you also ever found yourself crossing the gallery floor to look at something that attracted your eye? Have you ever been struck by something even when you didn`t want to be simply because it interested you. That`s exactly what you want here.
You can beg them and plead with them but ultimately the best artists simply provided the right art for the right buyer. Let the art do the work.
Did you bring the right piece of art to the gallery though?
Will a happy, vibrant company want a canvass that studies the nature of suffering? Probably not. It might be the most thought provoking piece that all your friends love but if you are trying to sell it to a corporate, then it`s probably the wrong one to pick.
Think about the people going to the event. Who are they likely to be? What goes on in their lives? What moods are they likely to want to reflect. Think about what your art says. Which one conjures up the energy a company might want to represent? I tweeted a picture by Susan Olmetti the other day (http://www.susanolmetti.com/) showing a body covered in paint. After a moment, you begin to appreciate the expression of energy that travels through our bodies. It`s all portrayed by the paint and the way it flows in the pictures. Surely that could also be energy and passion of a business?
Finally, I`m just going to say one more point. If you love your art, don`t be afraid of sharing that passion with a potential buyer. They `want` to be excited. It`s why they are there and why they love art in the first place. You don`t get into corporate art buying unless you like art. All you need to do is transfer the passion that you already feel across to them. You do it with your friends right? So, why not do it to them?
I wish you the best of luck with your corporate art work. I think it is a tremendously exciting area to be in. Like I say, what`s the point having a piece of your work collecting dust when it could be being appreciated by thousands of people everyday.