Tips, tricks and things I wish I knew before I made my art shop

Way back when I first started to make the Vango pieces I really had no idea how to sell art or even get into a gallery. The pieces were made because a gallery in town put out an open call for artists and my friend Shannon suggested that I should enter and see if I can get my photographers in the gallery! After applying and them saying yes to be honest I was in shock someone liked my work enough to say yes! I also know that I had to do something to stand out with the number of images that flutter past our eyes every day I know I needed to take it to the next level. I worked really hard and created something really beautiful. I went to the opening night of the gallery and was so excited I thought for sure the images would just fly off the wall but while people loved my work and I got compliments all night long the sales department was crickets then let's add in the fact the gallery really was never open/never really did any good marketing for the event! An just as quickly as it started the gallery was over I got my images were back and I had no place for them to go. My mother thankfully took the images and put them up in her office.

Then in a moment of courage and some encouragement from a friend I showed my art to a gallery owner up in Lake Tahoe. He was in love with my pieces and asked me if I could please be a part of the next art showing I said yes and I dropped off five prints surely these would sell the gallery is always open there marketing was on point. Once again my pieces were met with a warm reception and a lot of love but still no sales. I then realized that if I wanted to sell my art I needed to start doing it on my own. I hoped on my website and spend a large amount of time trying to figure out the best and easiest way to try to start selling my work.

I ended up creating a gallery that looked and acted a bit like Instagram but when you clicked on the image it opened a buying option. I thought this was great it's easy it's available surely I will get some sales. It wasn't until Christmas that year when my aunt said she loved my artwork and would love to buy some of the pieces but didn't know how that I realized while it was easy for me for someone who wasn't as tech-savvy I just made it impossible to buy the items in a seamless and easy manner. I went back to the drawing board and after trying about a dozen different options I found Printful and not only could I sell my art prints. I now had the ability to make stickers, mugs, t-shirts and so much more. Loving my new freedom I started to play with graphic design and just created a few different items and stickers that I thought were fun and published them to the shop. I then know that I needed to market them so I started posting some photos of the stickers and art pieces online but not just on Pinterest, Instagram but also on Reddit and any sort of public forum I could get my hand on, and suddenly not only was my website getting traffic I was also starting to see a few sales and people take a real interest in my work. I did have a few people here and there who said they didn't like it that they didn't understand what I was doing or how that could be an art. I also had people who defended me told me my artwork was beautifully asked where to buy it and were interested in me. I hope this story helps you realize that you can do this! It might take a while you might make some mistakes. Things might be easy for you to understand but not easy for your ideal client. Keep going you got this!


© Copyright Chantell Peck

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