Selling my work and what I learned.
The apple cider and cookies are put away. The packing material, receipt books, business cards are put away as well. My “Open” sign has been retired for the weekend. I sit in my studio and it is quiet and calm. I have time to think about “What will be next?” For right now NOT answering that question is a good thing.
As a person with an introvert preference it is good to sit here, write and enjoy the sunlight as it streams in the windows. I will get back to creating but for right now reflecting is just how I want to spend this beautiful warm November morning. I am grateful for all the people who came through the studio this weekend. I sold far beyond my expectations and more than anything it was fun to see who bought the work and hear why they wanted to purchase a particular painting. I was able to imagine the framed work in their home or office. I loved getting to know my customers and it was interesting to observe them looking at what I had created.
So first and foremost I realized how different creating work and selling work is. When I am painting it is a time of solitude and the see-saw process between creative problem solving, critical thinking, and using skills of the brush and paint. I paint to my own rhythm. Selling is hectic for an introvert. I had to wear my extrovert persona, making connections with the customers, explaining my process and inspiration. Balancing their need to look and wander through the paintings and asking about a particular piece made for an interesting day. Quicker rhythm, lots of connecting and most important lots of listening.
The people who came to the gallery this weekend connected to the artwork in varied ways. Most often they connected personally. Three themes seem to emerge. People loved to talk about their first reactions to the work, what the work reminded them of, and/or their experiences that connected with an image. Storytelling was an important part of responding to art in the gallery.
Generally each artwork can be looked at in terms of what it is telling the viewer, be it through its content, its title or the type of work it is. Many of the people yesterday were also interested in content. What is the work? What is it about? What is happening? They were interested in the process. How was the painting made? What kind of skills were involved? It was flattering to have people ask questions and be genuinely interested.
So tomorrow I will consider my question, “What should I do next?” Today it is time to chill out and enjoy a day without selling or creating something to sell.