Sunday, January 15, 2012

Art Blog: Missed (MONEY) Opportunities

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude” Zig Ziglar

I started writing this post in my head a few years ago. I was sitting in a very expensive front row seat at a Dave Matthews Band concert. Despite being frugal by nature, I would always splurge on a DMB ticket. There was a woman sitting next to me. She was about my age, but that (and DMB) seemed to be the only thing we had in common. She was wearing very extravagant, designer clothes. She had diamonds and jewels on every finger. It was very obvious; she was doing well in the wealth department. Her upper class ($$$) stature alone made me feel like I was sitting next to an unknown creature. I have never been familiar with having lots of money.

While we sat waiting for the show to start, I struck up a conversation. She told me that this would be her fourth or fifth DMB concert that year. She went on to introduce me to her son sitting next to her. She said they “follow” DMB all around the world. I said something stupid like “WOW”. After that, I just smiled and shut down the conversation. I mean, I couldn’t top that! We continued to wait and smile. She got up to go get a drink. Her son started talking to me and he told me his mom has three homes in three different countries. They hop around the world most of the year enjoying their favorite music. I think I said “WOW” again.

After the concert was over, I was driving back to the hotel. I thought about the rich lady and her son. Three houses, huh? Hopping around the world, huh? It was about that moment I wanted to stop the car and kick myself. Designer clothes, jewels, houses, traveling…………. She probably owns ART too. Yet, I sat there and said nothing to her about my life as an artist. I didn’t try to promote myself or my art at all. I was intimidated or just shy or dumb. LOL I missed a golden opportunity.

Sheree dropped the ball.

Honestly, this kind of missed money opportunity has happened to me a lot. It doesn’t even occur to me to try to SELL my own art. I have sold a lot of art in my life, but 90% (at least) has been sold in gallery situations. I have never honed the skills of salesmanship. I never had to or wanted to worry about the money side of art. This past year, I had people in my studio numerous times and my attempts to move my work out of my studio was totally lack luster and without fanfare. My salesmanship genes seemed to be dormant.

Well, I am going to change this. Lesson has been learned. I need to wake up my gregarious nature and go for the gold. Last night, I was enduring an art opening (my hell) and I was hiding in the corner. After an hour of torture, I finally realized I had to STOP this now. I make all this art and it is starting to look like I am an art hoarder. Not knowing how to start developing my new attitude, I went to the familiar. I grabbed my iPad and looked up the famous salesman, Zig Ziglar. After reading some of his words for about fifteen minutes, I jumped up and started talking to people. One woman was admiring one of my paintings and I engaged her in conversation. After laughing and listening to her say “I should put this in my office”. The words just popped out of my mouth and I responded “YES!! You should! Buy it for your office!”
Then, she did. OMG!!! I was so shocked.

I still have a whole lot to learn and many people skills to hone, but at least this is a start. I am going to be ultra aware of these opportunities to engage with potential collectors. It isn’t just for the money either. It feels good to know my art is being appreciated.

Have you ever missed opportunities?

Click pic for detail view


Andy Morris said...

I certainly have missed opportunities, and I agree with you promoting ourselves is the difference between success and failure. I've recently started reading books on marketing. Glad to hear of your recent sale, and best of luck to you.

namastenancy said...

Good luck to you in your new incarnation as "art saleswoman." It's not easy "owing" the title of artist but to promote one's own art work is even more difficult. But I know that your courage and your moxie will make it work.

Sheree Rensel said...

I have read tons of art marketing books. However, knowing the information is similar to being on a diet. In other words, they ALL WORK, but you have to DO IT! That is my biggest problem. I don't follow through. I am going to try to stick to it this time!

Sheree Rensel said...

You have that right for sure!! Why do you think I have gone this long and ditched the idea so many times. However, I was raised in a different era. Things are different now. We live in a different kind of (art) world. That is why I am going with this flow. When in Rome.............