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I'm a beginner. How can I get others to display my paintings?

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asked Oct 11, 2013 in Studio Help by anonymous

1 Answer

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If you are a beginner that simply enjoys making and sharing paintings, you will readily find family and friends very willing to accept your paintings as gifts to hang up.

If you are a beginner trying to become better-known and mean that you would like galleries to show your work, it does take some time for that to happen and you need to put effort into the process.  Galleries don't only look at an artist's style and skill but also like to put up artists that have traction with their work.

A good first step is to enter your work into art shows and competitions and visit lots of local galleries to get a sense of the kind of work they tend to put up.  While visiting each gallery, collect the contact information of the gallery owner and research their gallery online as well.  Call ahead and ask if it's OK to send in samples and when a good time would be to call.  What you want to do is first give a gallery owner a chance to see your work samples and then a fee days later when you know they are not as busy, to speak with them on the phone briefly and and see if they're interested to have you come by for a visit.

It's also going to help if you know somebody who knows the gallery owner and have them recommend you first, before you make your own contact, as that will give you a better  chance at a meeting.  If you do manage to find a gallery that is interested to put your work up, keep in mind they will usually retain up to 60% commission on beginners for selling the work, 40-50% for artists that are starting to get known.  When you begin to become well-known and your paintings easily sell, commissions can go as low as 20% but that's rare and depends on great negotiation skills.

A lot of restaurants are also a good opportunity for showcasing your work - you can speak to the restaurant manager or owner to offer them the opportunity to hang your work in exchange for a small decal next to the work with your name and other information, some even allow a price in case a customer would like to buy the painting.  If that happens, expect to share a percentage of the sale amount with the restaurant.
answered Oct 12, 2013 by artist (2,620 points)