So, after my whole "The Gallery Scene Sucks" post, I started brainstorming ways to get around the amount of time it takes to actually start making money as an artist. It's not that the gallery system is broken, per se, and far be it from me to intimate that, it's simply that it takes too damn long for someone with limited cash reserves like myself. I'm watching my bank accounts' steady, anxiety-inducing trajectory towards zero, and coming to the conclusion that I gotsta get paid!
A few ideas:
- Sell paintings on Ebay
- Create my own gallery online and sell work there
- Hawk my work at street fairs or via sidewalk card tables
- Try to obtain a commission of some sort
- Turn tricks as a 'performance artist'
The two biggest delays with the gallery route are the review process and the lead time before they can actually fit me into their booked space (often 6-12 months out). Both of these delays occur because galleries are in the business of art. It's the only way they make money, so they have to be sure they're selecting the right artists to show, as well as booking them far enough in advance to maintain a steady income.
It seems to me that the solution is to target venues that make their income via other means. Coffee shops, restaurants, and bars all fit this criteria. Obviously the price for works hung in these places would be lower, but I bet the volume and quick turn-around time would more than make up for the lower price.
The $100 Experiement
With lower price points and volume in mind, I'm going to produce a bunch of smaller pieces geared towards coffee shops and bars. I feel they almost need to be priced as impulse buys. I'll purchase $100 worth of canvas and paint, and attempt to turn it into $600 ($500 profit).
I have NO IDEA if this will work, but I'll let you know how it pans out.
Off to the art store!
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