In the Art Marketing Minute Podcast, you’ll learn how to sell your art, how to market your paintings, and everything else you need to know in order to have a successful art career. Each episode answers questions from artists by host Eric Rhoads, author of “Make More Money Selling Your Art,” publisher of several art magazines and newsletters, and author of 

In this Art Marketing Minute, Eric Rhoads explains why galleries might keep up to 40 or 50% of the sale of your painting; and what you should know if you’re looking for the single best way to sell your paintings.

Listen to the Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 96 >


Submit Your Art Marketing Question:

What questions do you have about selling your art? Email Eric today at [email protected] (include your name and where you’re from) to hear your question answered on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.

FULL TRANSCRIPT of the Art Marketing Minute:
DISCLAIMER: The following is the output of a transcription from an audio recording of the Art Marketing Minute. Although the transcription is mostly correct, in some cases it is slightly inaccurate due to the recording and/or software transcription.

This is the Art Marketing Minute with Eric Rhoads, author of the Amazon best selling book, “Make More Money Selling Your Art.” In the marketing minute we answer your questions to help your art career brought to you by, the place to go to learn more about marketing. Now, here’s your host, arts magazine publisher, Eric Rhoads.

Eric Rhoads:

In the marketing minute I try to answer your marketing questions and you of course can email me anytime [email protected]. Here’s a question from Darlene Wilson, who asks, is it worth to have your artwork sit in a gallery for long periods of time? And what should you get in return for the 40 to 50% they get from your sales, I have seen my friend spend a lot of money shipping and hanging shows and galleries even being asked to provide all the beverages and appetizers as well as their contact list, etc. Where is the line? Well, I gotta tell you, Darlene, a natural thing for people to do is to assume that these people are getting 50% for doing nothing. And I suppose there are probably some galleries out there that are doing nothing, but most of them are doing something and they’re doing a lot. You have to ask yourself, is it worth it? Now, quite frankly, I know an artist who’s given up 75%. And he’s just bust in the doors open, he’s selling so much. And he’s happy to give up a large amount of money because he’s making so much money on on gallery sales. If things sit and they’re not selling, maybe you want to have a discussion with the gallery, why is that? Are they showing your work? Are they getting positive reaction to it? Is it something that you should refresh, send them something new. Once in a while, I’ll pull something out of the gallery, and I’ll repaint it or touch it up or change something in it. Because I have fresh eyes after it’s been sitting a while and then maybe send it off to another gallery. The galleries really have a hard time nobody really understands the plight of the galleries. First off, it’s tougher than ever to make a living at a gallery. Sometimes I know galleries that are paying 25 and $50,000 a month rent in their locations, that means I got to sell a lot of paintings, you know 25 or $50,000 paintings or half that you know something like that for a break even plus they’ve got lights, you know, lights in galleries, the electric bills are massive, because of all the lighting. And they have marketing and advertising list building working clients, the cost of events, salespeople, commissions, cocktail parties, advertising, you know, you name it, they work hard for their money, do not ignore that fact. And a lot of people I know make a lot of money from art galleries, and some of them don’t some of MYRIN and some of them don’t. But you know, you got to work with your galleries, it’s a two way street, they need your help, and you need their help. And so I think that’s worthwhile. Now, of course, you can survive without galleries. But then you got to take on marketing yourself, the idea of having a gallery is that they’re selling for you when you sleep. And they’re selling for you when you’re painting. And your inventory could sit there a while everybody has hot and cold spells, you know, economies in different markets are good or bad. Or sometimes things change. You know, you might spend weeks or months or even longer periods of time I’ve had with my gallery have had hot and cold spells, you know, they’ll call me one time, that’s like three times in a row and in a month are like selling tons of paintings and all of a sudden, you know, they sit for a long time, and I don’t sell any for a while it just, it kind of depends. But they need to hear from you. They need you. They don’t need to hear from you complaining or whining or, you know, beating him up, you just want to kind of let them know what’s going on. They need to know your stories, they you know, send them an update of other shows that you’re doing or the things that you’re doing. So they have something to talk about, keep fresh in their mind, got to remind them a friend of mine sends chocolates to the gallery. Every time a salesperson sells something, he sends chocolates to reward that salesperson guess who he is going to promote next, or he or she is going to promote next right? So if it sits sits in your studio and sold, what’s the difference? If it’s sitting in the gallery, it’s being seen probably unless it’s in the back room. And by the way, I went into one of my galleries last summer and my painting was not out it was sitting in the back room and I asked why and he said it’s not very good. I decided not to put it up. I said I wish you told me you know I will take it back and fix it. But instead of just sat there and he didn’t tell me because he’s got so much other stuff on his mind. Good idea to rotate things in and out if they’re not selling. But anyway, sometimes a frame can make all the difference in the world too. But if you want to keep 100% I get that but doing that you’re taking on all the responsibility of marketing and is that the best thing you can do now I teach marketing I have helped a lot of artists, but it’s a lot of work you need to spend 20% of your time minimum and probably a little bit more if you want to really be successful and a good galleries worth their weight in gold. Seriously.

Here’s one from Bob in San Ramon If you could only do one thing to sell your art, what would it be? Well, Bob, if I think anyone should, I don’t think anyone should do one thing. You see, imagine the Parthenon, right, the building in Athens with columns on it’s got that triangle on top and the columns. Imagine, all the columns are gone except for one column in the middle. And it’s holding that big, heavy marble thing up. So now imagine a car slams into it, that column comes crashing down, the Parthenon comes crashing down. That’s what we call a single point of failure. And single point of failure is a flawed marketing strategy. If you want to succeed, you need massive action. That means you need lots of columns, you need all the columns all the way around the building, do as many as you possibly can multiple ways to reach people to touch people. If I had to start out with one thing, it would be list building, finding a list, creating a list of people who are truly interested in my paintings, and finding a way to stay in touch with them on a regular basis. Now, if you don’t have any money, you can do it by email, or you can do maybe a little with direct mail, that stuff works extremely well, but don’t live or die on a single point of failure. You need to do lots of things to market work, which is why it’s nice to have galleries working for you, that get the time it saves you. The other thing is, you know, artists these days are so distracted. You know, the thing that you’ve got to ask yourself is what’s the best and most effective use of your time. And the best and most effective use of your time as an artist is getting better as an artist and painting and doing as much painting. And all these people who are so busy doing other things that they’re not getting time to paint. I had a an artist tell me recently that she was not painting anymore, because she was doing so many workshops, she never had time to paint. Another artist told me that he actually came to us and said, I want you to do my videos for me because I don’t want to take customer service emails and calls and be running to the FedEx and UPS people all the time. Because I should be painting. And so you know, think about the things that are distracting you and actually actually what is the best use of your time? Well, the best use of your time is painting. The second best use of your time is figuring out how to make your business fly, which is communicating with your galleries or if you don’t have galleries focusing on your marketing.

Well, this has been the art marketing minute with me. Eric Rhoads. My goal in life is to eliminate the idea of the starving artists to help your dreams actually come true. So if you want to submit questions, simply email [email protected]. And to learn more about marketing ideas, you can visit Thanks for listening.

How to Submit Your Art Marketing Questions: What questions do you have about selling your art? Email Eric today at [email protected] (include your name and where you’re from) to hear your question answered on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.

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