This post is by Luann Udell, regular contributing author for FineArtViews. She's blogged since 2002 about the business side--and the spiritual inside--of art. She says, "I share my experiences so you won't have to make ALL the same mistakes I did...." For ten years, Luann also wrote a column ("Craft Matters") for The Crafts Report magazine (a monthly business resource for the crafts professional) where she explored the funnier side of her life in craft. She's a double-juried member of the prestigious League of New Hampshire Craftsmen (fiber & art jewelry). Her work has appeared in books, magazines, and newspapers across the country and she is a published writer.
Your chance to support your customers AND the small businesses that support YOU!
(4 minute read)
Today’s big insight for me: All these newsletter topic suggestions will also work for blog posts!
And today’s column will also be a lot shorter, because I won’t have to go into deep explanation mode on why this would be such a great topic for your email newsletters. Because it’s pretty obvious!
I wish I’d thought of this back in the day when I did wholesale fine craft shows, and my work was carried by galleries all across the country. Dang!
But it’s not too late. I still have galleries in New Hampshire, and several here in Sonoma County that carry my work. And now I can help promote them!
- I can talk a bit about the owners/managers. Like the co-managers of the League of NH Craftsmen gallery in Littleton (except pandemic shut-downs have addled my brain that I can’t remember Beth’s partner-in-crime art! Ack!) who brought homemade chocolate chip cookies to all the craftspeople at the week-long Annual Craftsmen’s Fair who had work in their gallery. Let’s just saw I was always glad to see them, not just because they are awesome people, but because homemade chocolate chip cookies!!
- I can share the gallery location. Not only so people know that my work is available nearby (and certainly closer than California!), and share where they can stop for lunch, other cool shops nearby, sight-seeing, etc. Because usually when I made the trek to delivery new work, that’s what I did, too!
- I can share pics of the work available. Soooooo much easier these days! Yet another gift of online marketing/social media.
- I can share my gratitude that they’ve chosen to carry my work. Corrick’s is just one of the wonderful stores that carry my work here in Sonoma County. Corrick’s is a highly-respected family-owned biz (four generations!) here in Santa Rosa whose history goes back generations. They are avid art-lovers in all its forms (opera!), and they are terrific supporters of the art organizations that sponsor our open studio tours. (In fact, they have an entire gallery for those artists!) They offer custom framing, and quality gifts, office supplies, books, and collectibles. They’re employees are stellar!
- I can share other art forms they support. The Cloverdale Arts Alliance also hosts musical events. Sebastopol Center for the Arts also features musical and performance arts, and they host a film festival.
- They deserve a shout-out during these difficult times. Although some people complain about “visual art exhibits” not being as engaging, and many artists complain that their sales have suffered from them, all my galleries are making tremendous efforts to support us all while also keeping us safe, often a thankless job. I consider them heroes!
- We are “vetting” these great galleries for other artists. Galleries are always on the look-out for artists whose work would be a great fit. And both galleries and artists value our validation that these are good people to work with.
- A prestigious gallery is good for OUR reputation, too. For years before my work became better known, people would ask me what kind of art I made. And when I described it (which was and still is hard, because it’s out-of-the-box), they’d go, “Oh, okay.” Then they’d ask what galleries I was in. I’d say, “I’m a member of the League of NH Craftsmen” and their whole attitude would change from, “Yeah, sure” to a heartfelt “Wow! Where can I see it??” (This was before smart phones, so I couldn’t easily show them my work.)
- Sharing our personal experience is seen as more ‘truthy’ than an ad. Anyone can purchase an ad, which is why most of skip over ads in newspapers and magazines. But an article is seen as having “outside validation”, and that’s the role our email newsletters play. In other words, we artists validate our galleries, for our audience.
Sharing our galleries is a win/win for everyone!
Speaking of sharing (hint, hint) if you found this article helpful, share it!
Link back to it here on Fine Art Views, or my blog at luannudell.wordpress.com.
If someone shared this article with you, and you’d like to read more in this series, here are all my articles at FineArtViews.com.
NEWSLETTERS 101: #20 Share the BIGGEST Gift of All!
NEWSLETTERS 101 #17: Share an Aha! Moment
NEWSLETTERS 101 #18: Love (and Art) in the Time of Covid-19
NEWSLETTERS 101: #19 Share a Family Tradition!