Have you ever bought something on eBay using the “Buy it Now” feature? You might feel like you are paying more, but you don’t have to wait, and you don’t have to risk someone else buying the item. Maybe the bids will price the item higher than the “Buy It Now” feature, and you’ll end up getting a bad deal. Buying artwork is very much the same way. I am often pulled aside at one of my art shows, and asked in a quiet way if it would be better to wait until the show comes down to purchase the art directly from me, that way I get a higher percentage of the overall price. My answer is always, “If you love it, and you want it, buy it now through the venue.”
When I hang artwork at a gallery, brewery or coffee shop, I am working with that venue as a partner. I want to be invited to have art shows there again, and I also want that business to succeed. Rent, employees, and other overhead costs are part of the reason I pay a commission to the “house”. They sell my art for me, so I don’t have to be there in person to sell it myself. Galleries would not be able to exist without their cut of the sale. Breweries and coffee shops have a pretty fine margin, and selling artwork helps supplement the high costs of paying employees and buying ingredients. Galleries curate artists, which may seem as easy as approaching one and asking to be represented, but there are actually a lot of artists competing for a limited amount of wall space. The galleries will represent the artists who sell more work, and reject the ones whose artwork stagnates. Please buy directly from the venue, it helps me get more space on the walls, and leads to more solo shows. As Dos Manos always says, “higher tides float all boats.”
The times to approach me to buy directly from me is if you see the piece on the Internet and want a more personal experience than buying it online. In that case, you can schedule a studio visit. Also, if you want a special piece made just for you, or if you saw a piece that has already sold at a venue and want a similar one, or if I am not currently showing anywhere and you want to buy artwork you previously saw at a venue. Don’t wait to ensure that I get a larger cut of the profits. While I do appreciate the sentiment, I prefer that you have instant gratification of owning that piece that caught your eye. I wouldn’t show my artwork at a venue that I didn’t think was a fair deal. If you wait, there is a chance the piece might sell to someone else.
The moment you are inspired to buy artwork is a special thing, if you wait until later you may not have that same feeling. Your wall will possibly stay unadorned, and it can become a constant thing on the back burner of your mind. Meanwhile, the piece of art sits in a cabinet unseen and waiting to find its final home. My goal as an artist is to see all my pieces find good homes, where they will be properly taken care of, and valued by the patron. When pieces leave the studio to good homes, that inspires me to make more art. When I bring home a lot of pieces at the end of an art show, I also consider not showing at that place again. So don’t delay, “Buy it Now,” you won’t regret it, and I will applaud your decisive decision to be a patron of my artwork!
So, where can you currently buy my art in person? This blog post was written on March 23, 2023.
- Dos Manos Gallery
- Turnagain Brewing Co. until April 6th
- Alaska Cycle Chic starting April 7th, until May 4th
- My studio by appointment
- Arctic Comic Con May 6 & 7 at Dena’ina Convention Center
- Girdwood Forest Fair July 7, 8, 9
Cheers to original art, and to partnerships between artists, galleries and patrons!