The art market is a complex world that has always been subject to fluctuation due to various factors. However, recent events, have exacerbated the already floundering economy, making it harder for artists to sell their work. Nevertheless, selling art during a downturn is not impossible. Artists need to adapt to the current conditions to thrive, and this article aims to provide some tips and strategies to help artists sell their work in challenging times.
Be Flexible with Selling Prices
One of the most important things that artists should consider when selling their work during a downturn is to be flexible with their selling prices. Art prices, like any other commodity, fluctuate based on supply and demand. So, it’s crucial to monitor the health of the art market and respond appropriately to changes as they happen.
Dropping your selling prices can be a great way to attract more buyers during tough economic times. However, you should avoid announcing a 70% off sale, as it can devalue your work. Instead, you should monitor your customer base and look for signs of declining sales volume or increasing reluctance to buy artwork. If you work with galleries or agents, it’s important to check how their businesses are doing and how the weak economy is affecting their part of the art market. When their news isn’t good, you can offer price decreases, time payments, or other incentives to encourage people to buy your art.
Rent Your Art
Another way to generate extra income during lean economic times is to rent out your artwork. You can rent out some of your pieces that are less likely to sell outright for $20 per month. This can help you earn $400 per month that you wouldn’t have if the art remained in your studio. However, it’s essential to avoid tying up your marketable pieces that can generate significant amounts of money in a short time.
Barter Your Art
Successful artists barter their work for everything from medical, dental, and legal services to meals, pots, pans, groceries, other artists’ art, and almost anything else they need to survive. For instance, you can offer to hang your art at restaurants or other eating establishments in exchange for a monthly food allowance. You can also ask people having garage or house sales if they’d consider taking your art in exchange for items leftover at the end of the day. In other words, suggest your art as an exchange for goods or services whenever and wherever you can.
Part Cash/Part Exchange Options
Artists should also consider offering part cash/part exchange options when someone wants to buy their work outright. You never know when a buyer might have something to exchange that you really need. The great advantage of exchanging is that you almost always come out financially ahead.
Create Artworks That Reflect the Current Situation
Creating artworks that reflect the essence of specific adverse conditions can also be a great way to sell your work during a downturn market. Pieces that represent our current feelings of passion, strength, unity, courage, and resilience as a nation may sell well in the marketplace. For example, James Montgomery Flagg’s iconic World War I recruiting poster of Uncle Sam pointing directly at the viewer and proclaiming “I Want You!” has become a symbol of American patriotism.
Selling art during a downturn is not easy, but it’s not impossible either. Artists need to be flexible, adaptable, and creative to survive and thrive in challenging times. By being open to new selling strategies, monitoring the art market, and responding appropriately to changes, artists can increase their chances of success. So, keep creating, keep adapting, and keep hustling, and your art will find its way to the right buyers.
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