Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Buying Me

Yesterday, on Twitter, I was asked how, if I don't have traditional gallery representation, people might acquire my work.
I resisted the impulse to be glib. After all, it's simply a matter of emailing me. And yet in this age of 'click-to-buy' and next day delivery, this might be, for many people, counter-intutive.
I don't have an online catalogue. I don't even have a stockroom of available works to browse offline. Nearly all my works are commissioned (some a few years before I begin them) and those that aren't are being held for exhibitions planned over the next couple of years. My website has been designed as an archive not a shop front, a research resource for collectors, curators, auction houses, students, media and anyone else with an interest in my work or me.
Maybe surprisingly, I am very approachable and 'user-friendly'. I am a temperamental artist, sure. But I am also a competent business woman. I answer every enquiry personally – and immediately, if I am online. If I'm not, if I'm travelling or I'm busy in the studio, it might take up to 12 hours (but no more).
Most people write to ask what works are available. Sometimes they refer to a work they have seen on my web site or elsewhere and ask if I have anything else like it. I provide details about what works I do have available, as well as new works I'm developing. I also pass on any information I might have about works being sold by in the secondary market, through auction houses with whom I have good relations. Very occasionally, I will sell works on behalf of collectors wanting to 'trade up' to a bigger work of mine. Prices for my work range from a few hundred dollars for a small drawing to upwards of $A35,000 for a very large enamel on canvas.
If a collector is interested in commissioning a work, I outline very clearly the steps of the process, providing as much information as possible so that they feel able to make a decision. I answer any and all questions they have collector by email or 'phone. I give my number to genuine enquirers and answer my phone to them at any hour. Calls from the USA and Europe in the middle of the night are common.
I don't have a gallery and only collectors and dealers with whom I have a close relationship are welcome at my studio. I'm not interested in operating as a shop. However, I do believe in providing a good buying experience: I email (or, less frequently these days) snail-mail color-accurate photographs, dimensions and technical descriptions ahead of a sale and ongoing updates after it.
I give a watertight guarantee that the finished work will be delivered in pristine condition (otherwise, I will fly to wherever it is to repair it). I meticulously wrap and pack small works in layers of archival tissue or breathable foam and bubble wrap. Larger works are wrapped and packed in my studio by professional art couriers. I often organise transport on behalf of collectors: I don't charge extra for this service and I don't take a commission from the companies I recommend.
When a work is delivered, I advise on how to handle and hang the work, including, if appropriate, archival framing. I provide a signed artist's valuation and provenance for insurance and future sale purposes. And I remain available to all my collectors, at whatever time they want to contact to me.
If you're interested in buying my work, or would like to be contacted when new work is available, just email me. My address is listed on the contact page of my website.

1 comment:

Lorna said...

Thank you for this insight. I have followed with a similar post on my blog.