So Steven, how do you arrange your showings? Where do you send your invitations? Do you advertise in your local paper? I’ve thought about it, but unsure about people perhaps meandering around the house. Personally, I’ve bought several things at home studios over the years. Lovely experience.
I don’t advertise publicly for a home-studio show. I agree that it is a little awkward and maybe unsafe to have strangers wandering around one’s house. I invite friends and art acquaintances. And I keep a guest book with emails - to invite them to future events. So the list grows. Friends can invite friends. But I don’t invite the public for indoors events. For my Art in the gardens (outdoors), I invite more broadly.
Years ago, I did “salons” or art shows in other friends’ homes. They would host and invite their circle of friends, their business/office, etc. Sometimes the event was combined - like an office party but with an art show. Then the friends sent out invitations in envelopes (nice) and requested RSVP.
The art has to be featured and lit or it becomes a background or gets overlooked.
Just some ideas… But summer is rarely successful for art shows/sales.
It is interesting to see & compare the comments of those who have been on here for some time, and those that are new. Those of us who have been at it for a while have surplus inventory & look back to see diminished sales. Those that are new see a couple of sales as a positive thing and suggest to just keep painting. I have to chuckle a bit, because those newbies will one day have their surplus painting pile & wonder what to do with all of them! LOL
My original post pertained to the DPW sales, although most online is feeling the same pinch. Even the gallery I work at has seen sales decline even among their well-known artists. I took a look at my number of online sales - I started on DPW in 2011 and have been active (and have sold) every year. My high was in 2013 when I did about 50 online sales. My low is this year, so far, at only 7. Fortunately I do diversify on where I show & sell - my eggs are not all in 1 basket, so to speak. Still, online was easier to work & maintain. Perhaps the drop off was just a phase and it will rise up back. But I agree that diversity is key.
BTW - I stopped doing “daily paintings” some time ago. I found my quality went down as I rushed to get a painting done every single day. So I agree with J_Dunster - slow down & don’t rush (I am guilty of that too).
I will keep painting whether I sell or not. I think it is a mistake to stop painting because you don’t sell. Discouraging yes, but you only get better by doing. All my life has been off and on art, and every time starting up again was like learning all over. What to do with the surplus? Take a good look at them and sort into yes, no, and maybe, and throw the no’s away. Paint over the oils if you don’t like them. I too hope sales will pick up, but in the meantime I have a place to show paintings when people ask.
I have been on DPW since 2011. On Etsy since 2010. All websites evolve. So much has changed with both of these sites over the years. It is easy to get discouraged, but you have to work through the quiet times. But you cannot rely on just one venue to sell your work! You have to have several because each one ebbs and flows. And yes you have to promote, promote, promote! I sell through my website, an online gallery, etsy, and 3 brick and mortar galleries. Pinterest, IG, FB, and I use DPW to display, not sell: I direct buyers to my other sites. Each gallery/ site has good months and bad months. So I am one of the DPW veterans and I say keep painting! Not everyone can make a living as an artist- but if that is your goal- keep fighting! And keep changing your marketing strategy as the market changes.
And PLEASE add links to your websites to your forum profile. When I click on your avatar most of you don’t have your sites linked. How can anyone see your website or DPW gallery if you don’t link them?
Donna, thank you! I did not realize the website was not automatically linked to the profile. Fixed it!
I updated my profile here to have my links - I did not realize that the links on DPW did not carry over to DPW Art Talk. Thanks Donna.
And yes, I do still paint, I doubt I would ever stop. But I did stop trying to do a painting a day, that seems to not work well for me. And those 30 day challenges (new painting every day for 30 days) just gave me tension about meeting deadlines! I think they are suppose to loosen up your painting style, but they became a bit too regimented for me - gauging a painting finished based on a calendar! LOL
And I agree, diversity is important, especially as things change. One area may increase while another decreases. Many of my art friends who do festivals will stop doing the same one after a few years, then return again after the break - they said a break is often good, as the same people tend to show their work to the same prospective buyers year after year. Probably a good idea with online as well, just to mix things up a bit. I’m not leaving DPW - at least not yet. But I am monitoring things, hopefully to achieve some more sales.
Good luck all & happy painting everyone!
Hi Candi Hogan, I just realized you asked me a question - I’m sorry for not replying sooner.
When you first upload an image on DPW, it will appear on their “front page” usually the next page. You’ll see it listed in your Art Tracking grid as “Front Page Date.” DPW allows artists to show the same piece of work on the Front Page 3 different times, but 6 months apart. For example, uploaded art on January 1 will be on the Jan 1 Front Page. It would be eligible to show on the front page again on July 1 (6 months) by changing the Front Page Date in you Art Tracking grid. If you try for sooner than 6 months, or try to exceed 3 times, the website will not allow & give you a message. This is what I mean’t by re-showing the art.
And it seems that the # of views you had on January 1 is kept when the art is re-shown on July 1, which would skew the Average views for the day that you see in your My Traffic grid. (it shows your views & Average views).
Hope that is helpful & not confusing!
Hi Nan, thanks! Helpful and not in the least confusing. Never realized we could repost, have to go back and vamp some of my early paintings up!
According to the statistics given, some 40 paintings a day sell on the DWP site with some 150 paintings a day on the index page, which would indicate that some 25% of the paintings posted sell. By simple empirical observation it can be ascertained that some 5 sales a day occur with the auction format. At this time say some 1700 to 1800 paintings are posted in the auction format for any given day and paintings with bids might be around 20 or 25, then paintings sold with the auction format would be at some 1% or a bit more. It would seem the percentage of paintings sold in the non-auction format to be far greater, of course, but also that the chance of selling a piece in the non-auction format should be far greater as well. Most activity on the site seems to be artist generated far more than buyer driven. For all that it is still more a toss of the dice than any other factor.
While most of my paintings on DPW are sold directly via DPW, I also list paintings that are for sale on Etsy or UGallery. So when they sell, they may be listed as “Sold” by DPW. In the case of Etsy, I get a lot of visits from DPW, so a sale to Etsy very well may have been because the buyer saw it on DPW. In the case of UGallery, who knows? Maybe some of them found out about the painting through DPW. In any case, it means that the artist sold, and that’s encouraging to see.
Great thread of information. Thank you all! I too feel that my sales are down on DPW compared to a few years ago, but it is still a good place to gain exposure. I think getting your work “out there” in as many places as possible on the internet is key to selling on-line and my overall sales have doubled every year since I started (even though down on DPW). I have e-commerce on my website, I’m on pinterest, instagram, facebook, and am going to do my first outdoor show in the fall…so trying to be as many places as I can all while working full time. It’s sometimes overwhelming, but can’t imagine life without it!
Agree with everything you said here. Thanks for spurring me to throw paintings that never sold OUT (or paint over them) despite offering them over several years! It’s a hard thing to do, but my painting subjects have changed, and those paintings are not really representative of what I’m doing now anyway!
I still have to purge my stuff. I have been quite prolific. There are paintings I am not happy with at all. Those need to go, and most of those I never showed. I am not sure if not selling is a criteria for throwing them out; sometimes they just need to find the right person. Look at them critically. But yes, we accumulate a lot of paintings! In the end my family will have first picks, then friends at my funeral, and the rest the dumpster. Not my problem any more
I am doing the same Fran…just keeping one of each ‘style’, subject for myself. Painting over old work is very cathartic…exciting seeing something new emerge.
Best wishes, Anne
Interesting on the repaints - I will do that, but only after I look to see if I can improve on what I did previously. I will often review old pieces to see what I think is wrong or off with them. Some can’t be fixed and they go in the repaint pile. But some I have made changes that drastically improved them, and some repaints have even sold! I think it’s a great learning step to look, critique, and rework one of your own existing pieces. Sometimes I can connect with the moment I was originally trying to capture, and then improve the work so it relays the moment better.
I’ve also revamped a few old pictures. You just get this feeling that you had something else to say and didn’t say it at the time. And yes, I sold the altered ones.
Sales slump or no, I’m staying with my art. It’s worth staying with because it’s something I’ve gotten skilled in, and… I don’t know… It’s something that means a lot to me whether it sells or not.
There are some of my paintings that are old and total duds. Either I’ll rework them or they’ll never see the light of day again.
Don’t be too hasty about disposing of artwork just because it hasn’t sold. If it’s so bad that you’re ashamed of it, sure. But otherwise, try to hang onto it.
Not too long ago a family member, in a fit of negativity, told me to throw out anything that had taken too long to sell because obviously it was just junk that was wasting space. Guess what? I had a painting that was sitting around for two years and suddenly it sold! It was one of my favorites, so no way was I going to throw it away. I just thought it was destined to never sell. Until it did.
Haha… I didn’t realize that our profiles didn’t link to websites, so run right away to put my avatar and link to the gallery.
Thank you, Donna!