Saturday, July 13, 2013

How to Sell Your Art....(and Paint it so that it Does!)

Yesterday, my friend and fellow artist Cathy McIntire

gave me a wonderful compliment.
She is one of the new artists at the Scott Art Gallery
At first I was wondering if it really WAS a compliment, seeing as she followed it up under her breath with b---h.
But, she's funny like that! hehe.
She said, "Kendall, you have such a knack for selling your art"
I thought about that.
One could have taken that comment as meaning, well, your art is not very good, so you are just a great salesperson.
That's not what she meant.
First of all, as an artists, you have to put yourself out there.  
My first art show was one of the hardest things I've ever done.
5 years ago.
Since then I have sold over 500 pieces of art.
Good selling, or good art?
I really thought about this on my 1 1/2 hour freaking drive home last night
(yes, Atlanta traffic has been a nightmare this week)
Is my art good, or am I just a good salesperson?
Then I realized that other people have sold many pieces of my art.
And I had to think deeper....
What makes good art?


Well, first, these are just my humble opinions.
Things that I really probably know nothing about.
However, over 500 paintings in 5 years is nothing to sneeze about.


Believe it or not, most artists are very shy.
Not salespeople.
Some are actually very introverted.
To sell your art, you HAVE to get out there.
You have to meet the person, get to know them, listen to what they want and try to fulfill it!
This comes naturally to me because I'm a people person and I love meeting new people and seeing what they like!  It also THRILLS me when I have painted something they want.
Not a better feeling!

You HAVE to have a subject matter that evokes a passion in the person buying your art.
Do you know how many people paint vases of flowers?  Seriously y'all, they are a dime a dozen!
What distinguishes vases of flowers?
The most famous painters in the world have all done them.
Steve Penly however, made a name for himself with his.

he put an abstract twist on his vase of flowers.
Now, let's change that vase of flowers up a little and do a stick of cotton.
Remember that cotton field you used to see on the side of the road when you were a kid?
My artists friend Kathy Cousart
did a beautiful cotton boll painting which I love.

and then there's the dog.
Unless that dog looks like yours, it probably isn't going to sell.
Let's make a playful dog, however and it's more generic
I seriously can't keep my dog paintings in stock.

I looked at my art yesterday and realized that the paintings that sell the most are my churches, angels, and dresses.
they immediately evoke a passion inside of someone.  They tell a story, they speak to your heart.
A lot of folks like abstract work.
Why? Because they see something subliminally in that art that speaks to their heart.

LOVE what you are doing.
If you don't love it, then customers won't either.

Follow the trends on colors.
Some artists really, really struggle with this.
I am a previous designer, so, I naturally follow design trends. 
While I don't want my art to be "trendy", I do want to sell my art and realize that people have to have things that are going to compliment the design of their home.

BELIEVE in yourself!!! You are good!
I once saw a sign that said "there is no such thing as bad art, just bad framing"
I thought about that, and really believe that to be true.
I believe everyone has an inner artists that wants to come out.
What is good art to some, is bad to another.
No one can really tell good art from bad.
If you painted it from your soul, it's good!
image from Beltline Art

Have a great day y'all!


  1. Great post...thank you for mentioning me! And a big sister artist friend taught me early on to paint what you love...and love what you paint! As you said...that comes across!!
    Congrats on 500 sales- that is amazing:)

  2. You may be a salesperson, but your art is fabulous...we are your biggest fans!!!!