FINDING A TOPIC AND STICKING TO IT
If you want to build a portfolio of your art to share with a gallery, you want to have ALL your artwork in it, right? WRONG! Really? Why? Because a gallery wants to know we are first of all CONSISTENT! What does that mean?
An artist goes into a gallery with a 10 pound portfolio to show how prolific he is thinking that the gallery will be impressed. Then the artist explains that he feels it is important to keep his work fresh by not painting the same thing over and over. That is the LAST thing a gallery wants to hear! An artist needs to do some real work by studying art that is out there being shown and sold and put his thinking cap on and find some way to do something different! I know I have said this before, but it needs to be said time and again.
This week my husband and I took a trip down to a gallery in a small town not too far from us. It is a beautiful gallery featuring ocean and nature art of Florida. I had a nice conversation with the owner who was quite willing to spend some time with me. I had been emailing him about representation as I felt my art fit within his genre. He made the point to me that each artist he represents has something unique to offer. He tries NOT to duplicate the same kind of work by two artists as that wouldn't be productive for the artist or the gallery. I found that to be a profound statement and I wholeheartedly agreed. It just drives home the point that we MUST find something unique and different in order to be promoted.
The interesting thing is, I found that several of my pieces would fit in his genre and still be different. That's a good thing, and he said he had looked at my website and is interested. So hopefully it will work out. I should know something soon. Here's hoping!
His gallery is as I said beautiful for several reasons. First, it is not overcrowded. Second, as I said before, each artist is different. Third, his prices are not ridiculously high, and Fourth, the people there are not stuffy salesmen, but rather very down to earth and friendly! All big pluses in my book!
As to being consistent, most galleries want to see at least 25 GALLERY-READY paintings that are consistent in content, color, or topic. In other words, they fit together or can be recognized as the work of one artist! This all goes back to branding - something that makes people know this is your artwork. Again, I've talked about this before, but it is so important. For instance, at this gallery, one artist had approximately 10 paintings all of turtles. Each was different, of course, but each used the same color palette and the same painting technique. They were very unique in that they almost reminded me of the old paint-by-number kits. Of course they weren't but he used spots of color instead of blending. They were very good! Another artist had different landscapes, but all used quite a lot of ochre colors consistently! Again, very good! A third had abstract water themes using resin and dyes, all very beautiful with similar colors. Do you see my point?
So, the very best thing an artist can do is go to several galleries and study the different artists work. Each one will have something consistent that ties their work together and thus is their "brand." By studying art this way, you begin to see how this works and thus it gets your "juices" flowing and you just may get an idea of what you can do that will make your art different! It doesn't take a lot to set you apart from everyone else! I did this, and I am working on my idea now!
I will not reveal it just yet as I am still working on it. "It" is taking a little learning and practice, but it is coming along and I think it may be very successful! Only time will tell. It is an adaptation of a known technique, but a rather new one, I think.
In the meantime, I have another new painting for you to see. It is a night scene of a huge wave framing the moon. I ran a little contest on social media asking for names and the one chosen would win a 5 x 7 painting. In the end I put two suggestions together and each will win a painting! Enjoy, and Thanks for looking!
16 x 20
Acrylic on canvas - framed