Top Two Mistakes Artists Make at Open Studios

Cover-Title#1 Mistake at Open Studio Events

Inconsistent and/or Inappropriate Pricing.

 Let’s face it: most artists hate putting a price on their work. Emotionally it feels like taking a loved one and turning them into a product. But in order to actually sell our work, it’s a step we must take.  Getting the right price for your art is a big key to your sales, so take a deep breath and begin to look at your work objectively.

Too often artists either over-price, or surprisingly, under-price their work. And very frequently their pricing is inconsistent. Paintings (for example) of similar size and subject can vary by hundreds of dollars, which will completely confuse a potential buyer. Typically this discrepancy is because the artist has priced their work emotionally instead of objectively.

The easiest way to objectively price two-dimensional work is by size. This step is clearly and simply outlined in my book Open Your Studio – Nine Steps to a Successful Art Event. Options for other mediums are also included, but the most important concept for everyone to remember is to price your work appropriately and consistently.

 #1 Mistake at Open Studio Events

No, that’s not a typo. I just couldn’t decide which mistake is of greater importance, so I decided they were tied.

Lack of Artist Interaction With The Public

I know, I know, we paint, throw clay, bead, weld, design, draw, glue, and shoot film; if we wanted to use words to describe what we do we’d be writers! Unfortunately, in most circumstances, art does not sell itself.  In my seminars I have found that many artists are shy about speaking with the public. If you have similar feelings, you are not alone. However, now IS the time to talk about what you do.

Very often the best “sales pitch” is to simply talk about your work and inform the potential buyer about some part of your process. The important concept here is to engage with your visitors. Find a story or technical aspect of your work to share that you can comfortably discuss. Stories sell art. You may even consider posting a story next to your work about why or how you created it. Consider having friends or relatives on hand who can also help you communicate with your visitors.

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Melinda Cootsona is a recognized authority in staging a successful Open Studio. Over the last 11 years she has hosted over 15 Open Studios, routinely grossing as much as $20,000.  Her book  Open Your Studios – Nine Steps To A Successful Art Event has been a #1 best seller on Amazon.







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