We’ve all seen or participated in discussions about sales or the lack of them. I do feel that prices seldom improve even for those artists who are selling well and therefore would usually raise their prices a little after each successful year. There is a mass of art on DPW which really should not be going for the price of a few beers - it is far too good and head and shoulders above some similar priced work. It’s not good for anyone for better art to be available for buttons. I know artists set their own prices but a look across the board is wise from time to time and, if the price is low and the work doesn’t sell, that says more about the swamped art market than the quality of the artist’s work. In other words, it’s worth considering if there is another way of marketing one’s work - in the flesh or on line.
Of course there is also the argument that too low a price makes a buyer feel that it might not be worth buying. So putting on a higher price can sometimes create a sale!
Having been in some lengthy correspondence with fellow artists and art groups through Facebook and elsewhere it does seem that there is a crying need for selling sites that have a level of discrimination when accepting new artists. Artfinder, for example, has become so swamped with some doubtful work, although it professes to set a standard for applications to join the site, that I know many who have left it in the past few months. Another contributing factor is that Artfinder has made a change in its rules re discounting prices which don’t make sense and harm the artist. Where to go is another matter as many sites are like Artfinder. One has just started up recently which is trying to buck this trend and it deserves to succeed. It is run by a practicing artist who knows all too well the problems we face.
I have done a test with 2 paintings added to DPW in the last week and looked at the statistics today. Interesting that 84 viewings in total, only 2 have visited my Gallery and 1 my Website! I suspect this might be because the majority of viewers visiting DPW are artists themselves. Of course, it may well be that their initial look at my 2 images put them off! I don’t know.
Taking exactly 12 months to date I had 1434 views, 122 looked at my Gallery, only 12 visited my website. I think this does back up that most visitors are artists. Buyers might have been more curious about an artist and their work. Admittedly I haven’t posted many works due to a lengthy house sale and move, then the creating of a studio only just completed. But some of my works have had many visitors each but little in the way of conversion to Gallery or Website.
I used to make sales on DPW but they have dried up or some people want paintings but won’t even pay a heavily discounted price. Whether to stay or save the monthly fee, I just don’t know but will probably try to get back into producing much more work to see if that makes a difference - but I suspect it won’t.
The art market is not what it gloriously was a few years ago and galleries and art societies (at least in the UK) are folding. Even the best exhibitions and art fairs have seen big changes from the good times. I win awards but that doesn’t mean a work sells, sadly.
What’s the answer? I don’t suppose any of us know but it would be good to hear from those who are bucking the decline. MInd you, perhaps if you are successful, you might be wanting to hide your cards!
Good luck to fellow strugglers.