Sunday, 26 July 2015




How does trust affect Art sales? What is the role of trust between Artist and Patron?

The occasional buyer will choose your work simply because they like the style, the subject matter, or the colour scheme, however these are few and far between. That type of buyer can just as easily buy a print from a big box store. 

 Trust of the intrinsic value of the piece

It is a rare patron that doesn't give at least a passing thought to whether the work is worth the money they are paying and is likely to increase in value. The serious investor is actually more concerned about the investment value of the piece than whether they like it, or even if they have space on their walls.

Image is everything here. You can increase the sense of value by showing a professional face to your buyers. This can include business cards, website, a track record of sales in the same price range, showing gallery backing and/or a list of juried exhibitions or membership in a prestigious art society. 
Trust in the longevity of the piece

Use the best archival quality supplies that you can find and make sure that is mentioned on your website and in other literature. This is especially true for acrylic painters and mixed media artists because buyers tend to trust oil painting more. Your buyer doesn't want to find that in 10 years the colours are fading or yellowing or worse still, pieces are detatching themselves from the body of the work.

Well known artist Robert Genn, sadly deceased last year, added a lifetime guarantee with his work. Robert would touch up or fix any problems even foxing on the matt or damage to the frame. You can add a similar guarantee to your certificate of authenticity.

Trust in your image in the Art world

If you have earned prizes for your art, flaunt it. Show that you have passed through the jury process and been selected for exhibitions. If you sell internationally, let them know and especially if your work has been collected by a museum or public gallery.

Trust that your Art will increase in value or at the very least not lose value

Buyers want to know that you are serious about your profession and will continue to work hard to get your name out into the marketplace. Show that your work has increased in value over time, or let them know that every year your ticket prices is increased by a percentage. This also helps with sales if they are considering buying just before your price increases.

Trust the price they pay is the best price and a similar painting will turn up somewhere for less

This is a tough one, but buyers need to know that your prices are set no matter where the work is displayed. This is increasingly important now online sales are becoming more common. Some inexperienced artists set an approximate amount that they want for a work and then change the price according to whether the piece is for sale in a show, online, or in their studio.

For example, if an artist values their work at $100 and a gallery charges 50% commission the price there would be $200 and if the purchaser buys direct from the artist, $100. An online website may have costs of 10%, so the painting would be 110% if purchased online. You can see that a gallery would be annoyed at this and a buyer would feel insecure.

It is also important to be careful about discounting and charity auctions. If a buyer knows you have holiday sales or that you will let your work go for low prices in a charity auction, they will wait and buy at the lowest price. No so good for regular and ongoing income.

VIew my online Gallery of large works and Limited Editions at ARTFINDER
View my online Gallery of small works at DAILY PAINTWORKS
Shop for Limited Edition ACEO and printed products here
Art Cards $5 and Art Postcards $3 here