Michelle Winters, an artist from New York City, has been attending live my Saturday classes as a free guest.
Imagine what she could do if she was enrolled in The MAKING Art Making MONEY Semester?
I listen to your free seminars every Sat., and think they are excellent.
I took your advice and had a client’s appreciation party. It was really outside of the box for me, as I have a very small NYC apartment (that needs serious renno, and am very uncomfortable entertaining there, as it is also my art studio). Also was afraid no one would show. 10 people showed, everyone praising me about what a great group was there.
I invested about $200, and wound up getting hired to create a 2,500 commission. (The person was a referral from a collector of mine. They both came to the party. The collector may be buying a painting that I displayed at my party.
Just wanted to let you know that it was an excellent idea, and I am going to do the Appreciation parties on a monthly basis after Labor Day.
Thank you so much, for this simple idea that I wouldn’t have done without you. I am planning on applying your class hopefully soon. Need to sell two more paintings.
New York, NY
Here’s a transcript.
– Never met Michelle. She’s just, she’s been to some of my online classes on Saturdays for The MAKING Art Making MONEY Semester. And she’s come as a guest and or she read my blog. I’m not sure which but she did pay attention. She said, I listen to your free seminars every Saturday and I think they’re excellent Thank you. I took your advice–
– [Michelle] You’re welcome
– And I had a client’s appreciation party. It was really outside of the box for me as I have a very small New York City apartment that needs serious reno and I’m very uncomfortable entertaining here as it is my art studio. So that’s not unusual, a lot of artists feel this way. And then Michelle writes also was afraid no one would show. Another thing a lot of artists are afraid of. And she said ten people showed. Everyone praising me about what a great group that was there and she said she invested about 200 dollars and wound up getting hired to create a 2500 dollar commission. So not only did Michelle cover her costs she also– she’s made enough money to enroll in the Making Art Making Money semester if she wants. And then she said the person was a referral from a collector of mine. They both came to the party, the collector may be buying a painting that displayed at my party. So she may actually be making more sales. And she said I just wanted to let you know it was an excellent idea and I’m going to do the appreciation parties on a monthly basis after Labor Day, good. And then Michelle’s saying thanks so much this is such a simple idea that I wouldn’t have done without you. I’m planning on applying for your class hopefully soon.
– Like I said I was really going outside of the box because of the condition in which my apartment’s in and afraid no one would show meaning my I didn’t even have ten people to invite. And I said just– I said to myself just do it even if one person showed and I tried to listen to everything you said, all the directions.
– There’s so many artists who think yeah that sounds like a great idea, but they come up with then all sorts of excuses about why they shouldn’t do it. My apartment’s not big enough, it’s not perfect. What if nobody comes. But you did it so congratulations.
– Well I learned a lot because I really wasn’t thinking about the group that I was inviting. I was just thinking who’s gonna show. I wasn’t worried about the chemistry anyone would have. And everybody’s like oh my God this is a fantastic group. Everyone’s so interesting and I was like very enthusiastic about it and um New York people don’t do a lot of entertaining in their homes anyway because it’s so small and I’ve gone to the art shows and I don’t get anything there. You know there’s nobody there except a lot of people drinking and eating up all the food.
– Yeah I call them cheese eaters. They just come eat the cheese and drink the wine and then they leave.
– But I was kind of worried about not having enough food and this and that because I have some very, very wealthy clients and I– everyone bought stuff, I didn’t ask them. They bought wine and one guy bought me some sunflowers.
– It was a really lovely group and I kind of was um there’s one other person that may buy and there’s another one that’s been looking, another guy that’s been looking to buy for a while. I don’t know what it is, money situation, whatever. And people did bring guests. So the person that bought the painting was a guest of one of my best customers who had seen one of my paintings in their apartment.
– I’m so glad you mentioned that because another huge thing that I teach is that when you own a micro business as an artist or any small business, over 85 percent of your sales will come by way of personal referrals. If you’re represented by a gallery representative you will never ever get those referrals. So that person who has now come into your life and commissioned a painting, now they can also provide you with referrals and your network could expand. So it’s awesome.
– You know I just kind of followed through. Not in a pushy way because um I kept– anything you’re saying I’m really listening to actually. And I keep on saying it’s not a sale, you’re not selling yourself like just–
– Nope, not selling yourself.
– Yeah, so you know I priced the paintings like you said to price. It was kept very discrete and I learned a lot. I also learned that people didn’t give a damn about the condition in which my house was.
– No, exactly they did not. You don’t underestimate genuine, warm hospitality. You know you could go to a mud hut and if you felt like you were warmly welcome you’re not going to look around and criticize the owner of the mud hut. You’re going to say wow they were so warm and welcoming and these people were all so lovely and I had a great time. And that’s what you’re going to think about. I think artists underestimate the need that other people have for connection. And you can provide that by just having an appreciation party.
– I was just so surprised because people are like kind of saying to me you should be so proud of yourself you have the guts to do this almost. Like everyone wants to do something that they crave for in their heart, but most people don’t have the guts you know.
– And they’ve seen me– they’ve seen me in good times and bad times, but trying to survive as an artist, as a professional artist and people really admire that. So they don’t care if it’s a mess. They’re like oh this is where you work from. I had piles of paintings like behind me here and they were looking through the paintings that weren’t even hung, you know, that kind of thing.
– That’s a very good point, that’s another thing that artists underestimate. Artists underestimate the fact that people do admire, often admire artists. They admire artists for their creativity because they don’t see themselves as creative. They admire artists for their courage and so take advantage of that, not in a manipulative way, just welcome people.
– Um I would say not to do things in a traditional way and I am shocked at the amount of people that I talk to that won’t even listen to what I’m saying. I’m like this seminar is free on Saturday at four o’clock, just listen to it and they were like I don’t need that, I don’t need that. A party, like big deal, what’s the big deal. I would know to do a party. And it’s like these little things that you don’t know to do or you don’t do, okay. So I would say that, you know, you kind of have to think in a more, a non-traditional way to sell art. I totally agree with you on that. And um that you have to keep your mind open to things. That’s what I would say.
– Here’s the good news, there’s all those people who are not going to listen. They’re just not going to do these small things and take these pretty small risks and there’s a huge benefit, there’s a huge payoff. And you– like you basically blow those other artists away when you start listening, you start doing. Like you leave them in the dust. It takes time, it takes effort, but people want to support artists. They want to connect with the artist. They want to buy from the artist and you just experienced that.
– You really did a great job and I was waiting to get the sale for the painting so that I could write you.
– Well okay, well write me when you get the next one. I want to hear about that one too.
– [Michelle] I will.
– Okay, all right thanks Michelle.
– I’ll be there on Saturday, now you know who I am.
– Yep, okay I’ll see you then, all right bye.