An often overlooked option that many artists miss is the easy availability of custom photo books. In these days of user friendly technology, there are a number of sources who offer custom printing from uploaded photos. The use of these digital archives can be a powerful source in validating an artist's “track record”.
Over the years, as each new artwork has been created and prepared for galleries and shows, I have taken the time to photograph each piece before they left the studio. As that archive grew, it occurred to me that some of the same tools I use to collect and share pictures of the grandchildren are the same tools that could be used to professionally present artwork.
Several internet providers come to mind – Snapfish, Shutterfly, and Winkflash – there are many others. All provide templates for anyone who isn’t gifted creatively to arrange and display the images for print. Most cater to showcasing the user’s vacation photos or members of family, but why not use them to create your own art record?
I show artwork in a gallery that has consistently referred customers to me for commission work. The number one sales tool has been access to past works in a photo book. The books are printed and bound by one of the online sources, and presented as a professional collection of images. Clients can review the pieces they are drawn to, and even specify the aspects of several pieces that they like…the color of the sky in this one, the marsh grass treatment in that one, and so on. When creating the commission, I can see what they have selected, and cater the piece to fit their needs. It is an effective tool to help clients visualize the paintings they want, and a less frustrating task for me to create their vision. We both win.
Additionally, visitors to the gallery often flip through the books that are readily close at hand, and ask “do you have more of this artist’s work?”… of course, they do! I also use some of these same online sources to print smaller, pocket sized booklets of work (you could do these yourself). They are easy to carry and ready at hand to give to a potential gallery rep, decorator, or client. Like carrying a business card, I never leave home without them.
There is something wired in the public to see printed matter as validating reality. Collected images of works convey that the artist has a track record - that they create consistently. It is also a durable way to share with the public, in addition to web based technology. For a minimum of expense, you can publish your work in a professional way, and make an impact on potential clients. It works.
So much about selling art is based on opportunity. Using this simple tool is a cost effective way to showcase your art in a polished way, and convey that you are serious about what you put so much effort into.