I consider myself an artist, but I'm a bit unsure of how to sell my work. I've only finished one so far, though I am sure that I have the talent. Can you help me Chatelaine's Antiques Collectibles Appraisals


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Chatelaine's Antiques and Appraisals MagazineFine Art > Market Notes > Our Opinion: Selling Original Artwork

Selling On Consignment

Art Price Guides 2003

Oil Painting for the Serious Beginner: Basic Lessons in Becoming a Good Painter by Steve Allrich

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The Artist's Complete Guide to Figure Drawing:
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How Not To Be A Starving Artist
Selling your first painting

Hello Chatelaine's Antiques,
I consider myself an artist, but I'm a bit unsure of how to sell my work. I've only finished one so far, though I am sure that I have the talent. Can you help me?

Dear Katherine,
Selling your first work is very, very difficult, but it can be done. First up, you need to complete at least 20 more paintings before you try to sell anything.

Phoebe Hoag of Pine Plains by Ammi Phillips, 1829 Galleries look for a consistent, distinctive style and an ongoing body of work. Gallery directors will often ask to see your work again after six months to see how you've progressed. They'll judge your work on skill, craftsmanship, uniqueness, and style.
To have your paintings shown in a gallery, be respectful, direct, and brief with gallery directors. You don't want to turn them off by appearing unprofessional or taking up too much of their time before they see your artwork. You'll need 35mm slides of your paintings to show prospective buyers, gallery directors, and exhibitors.

Neighborhood galleries or co-op galleries often sell work by emerging artists for $400.00 to $800.00. They won't buy your paintings outright, but they'll sell them for you and keep a 30 to 50 percent commission. If you can't find a gallery to take your work, try libraries, cafes, or nightclubs. Of course, for those of you looking to buy a good, inexpensive piece of art, these are great places to search. Who knows, maybe you'll find the next Picasso.

Art competitions, shows and regional exhibitions all offer exposure to the unknown artist. Like any career, an art specific CV should list competitions won, exhibitions (especially solo exhibitions), press clippings and in some cases references (or referrals).

Artists & Graphic Designer's Market 2001: Where & How to Sell Your Illustration, Fine Art, Graphic Design & Cartoons
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The Artist's Guide to New Markets: Opportunities to Show and Sell Art Beyond Galleries
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Davenport's Art Reference & Price Guide, 1999-2000
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Davenport's Art Reference and Price Guide 2001-2002
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