trading art

Turning art into profit: a dealer’s game

on March 11 | in Business, Finance | by | with No Comments

8734612048 7e599cfaa9 Turning art into profit: a dealer’s game
So you have a studio of high quality artwork which is receiving a lot of interest but few people are willing to pay the prices you feel the work demands. These simple tips are a great starting point to raising the perceived value of your artwork.

Choosing the right outlets
I used to work for an art dealer who claimed that 90% of art dealing was finding the right space. This doesn’t mean you need to turn up at Christie’s to sell your items, but being selective about the space in which you sell artwork is essential in order to gain the right clientele. If you want to sell from your own studio or gallery, location is important as for lesser known works of art, a huge amount of selling depends on footfall. Footfall is important only if the right customers are walking through the door. You need to be selling in a location where footfall matches your average customer profile in terms of their wealth and their stature. The serenity of the location and the aesthetic value of the property can help to sell an item. Furthermore, the way in which an item is sold is different depending on the work. Should a painting go to auction, have a fixed price or a price available to negotiation?

Dos and don’ts
Always try to avoid selling your own work. It is much easier to convince someone to buy and invest in someone else’s work. If you are selling lesser known works of art, it is also far easier to combine a variety of artists than it is to sell just a single artist’s work, the exception being at an opening or an exhibition. People like to think they have autonomy in the opinions they have about art and the selections they make. Don’t take this away from them.

 Framing it right
If you are looking to sell artwork, learning how frames can be used to bring out the best in a piece is essential. Alternatively, knowing someone who can do this task and build professional frames might be one of your most cherished business contacts. Custom picture framing is often expensive and picture framing in London is considered an art in itself. Striking up a deal with a local framer will decrease the cost and give you an important business contact.

Finally, publicity is the key challenge for any arts dealer. Promoting a new artist is all about subtly situating them within current trends and getting their name brought up within fashionable art discourse. Once you have their name buzzing around, it must be nurtured with positive associations and exciting news. Furthermore, with the advent of on-line showcasing and selling more, the world of publicity is always changing, making it essential to stay ahead in the market.

Harold Arkwright has been working as an art dealer and critic for emerging artists for over sixteen years. He writes regularly for a range of newspapers, magazines and online media and is currently writing a monograph on the role of the frame as a piece of artwork. Click here to find out more about the role of the frame and picture framing in London.

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