Art suggestions for gallery

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Not your average framer
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Location: Devon, U.K.
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Re: Art suggestions for gallery

Post by Not your average framer » Sun 14 Feb, 2021 9:34 pm

My various trade customers who I do framing for are not providing me with much work at all. Their first priority is mainly paying their overheads, spending money on getting things framed is much lower down the list. I do keep in touch with my trade customers and we do dicuss what's going on. Generally most of us can't wait for the warmer weather and a busier time of year.

Don't get my wrong, most of us are not complete poorpors, but we living of our reserves quite heavily. There are customers looking to do business around here, but it's like trying to get blood out of a stone. Some customers are from locally well established families, with plenty of old money, they've got plenty of money, but are currently grinding you in to the ground to get the deal that suits them. Lot's of these people are supposed to be my friends, or so I thought.

I depend quite heavily on half a dozen, or so art dealers who supply some of the bigger galleries in well money'd part of the big cities, they are only getting artworks framed now, when a sale has been agreed. Before I get a look in, the budget for the framing has already been agreed. We've had recessions down here in Devon before, but never anything remotely like this. This is usually not the easiest time of your for any of us, but we are all doing deals just to get the cash flow. Nobody is looking to spend much money just for stock.

I have a business friend, he is not a framer, but makes custom designed fitted kitchens, he's very good at it and perhaps one of the best. He's never struggling for money, but he is right now. He just always has a full order book, but he's down sizing and moving to smaller and less expensive premises. These new premises are going to cost some serious money to get them fitted out and he won't be borrowing it. I has to be financed out of incoming work, not much fun I would say and his wife gave birth to twins during last year as well.

It's the luxury end of the market and it's always been his market and it's my market too. It's also the same with my trade customers who sell art, interior design. How are we all doing? Sadly not as well as we would like. Is it hurting? Well is definitely starting to! Part of the difficulty is that we a all part of a group, who generate business for each other and we all recommend each other. Lack of business, also means a lack of opportuniies to recommend each other and we what am I basing my comments on? it's right under my nose!
Mark Lacey

“Life is short. Art long. Opportunity is fleeting. Experience treacherous. Judgement difficult.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer

Not your average framer
Posts: 10373
Joined: Sat 25 Mar, 2006 8:40 pm
Location: Devon, U.K.
Organisation: The Dartmoor Gallery
Interests: Lost causes, saving and restoring old things, learning something every day
Location: Glorious Devon

Re: Art suggestions for gallery

Post by Not your average framer » Sun 14 Feb, 2021 10:17 pm

Hi Max,

Everything you are saying makes sense, but I'm not sure that this is quite what the origin poster is asking. He appears to be talking about trying to avoid spending money up front and perhaps clearing some older stock which is not generating enough regular sales. I guessing that cash flow could be better right now and I don't know what cash flow is like where he is, but it's not great around mid Devon right now where I am based. In general making significant changes to a businesses image and business model usually involve spending some level of money to make it happen. Well how many of us are wanting to be spending money to do this right now. I would say that it might not be very many of us. Well I'm the only one that I know around here, who is currently spending any money giving his business a face lift and I would not be doing it if I did not need to be doing it.

For most of us, everything is about viability, stability and cash flow for the foreesible future and spending much money any time soon probably not part of the plan. He has not necessarily spelt this out, think that he is thinking about both cash flow and raising his game quite a bit at the same time and he is hoping that at least some of us might have some understanding of how to do this. If he is already running an up market business, I doubt if he is thinking of going down market at all. You don't hear of up market businesses going down market, it's probably the kiss of death. Volume of sales is almost certain to be under pressure at times like this, so it's going to be the value from each sale that makes the important difference, so selling work from really top artists as he has been suggesting sounds like a really sensible idea.

He wants to buy the locally produced artwork on sale, or return. Getting local artists to go along with this, requires a bit of strategy and it's probably not going to be easy.
Mark Lacey

“Life is short. Art long. Opportunity is fleeting. Experience treacherous. Judgement difficult.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer

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prospero
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Joined: Tue 05 Jun, 2007 4:16 pm
Location: Lincolnshire

Re: Art suggestions for gallery

Post by prospero » Mon 15 Feb, 2021 9:28 am

Max Roberts wrote:
Sun 14 Feb, 2021 8:55 pm
The majority of Framer galleries will be selling "Decorative" art .........
What I call "Wall Furniture". :lol:
Watch Out. There's A Humphrey About

Not your average framer
Posts: 10373
Joined: Sat 25 Mar, 2006 8:40 pm
Location: Devon, U.K.
Organisation: The Dartmoor Gallery
Interests: Lost causes, saving and restoring old things, learning something every day
Location: Glorious Devon

Re: Art suggestions for gallery

Post by Not your average framer » Mon 15 Feb, 2021 12:49 pm

But is that where the worthwhile money is in difficult times? Maybe not!
Mark Lacey

“Life is short. Art long. Opportunity is fleeting. Experience treacherous. Judgement difficult.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer

WorthingFramer
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu 25 Oct, 2018 1:03 pm
Location: Worthing
Organisation: AOT Framing
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Re: Art suggestions for gallery

Post by WorthingFramer » Wed 17 Feb, 2021 9:35 am

I started out as an art dealer before running an art gallery for 3 years in the heart of Brighton's Laines and sold mainly pop art from artists such as Banksy, Invader, Peter Blake, Henrik Simonsen as well as a roster of 12 local artists/friends who I believed would be the future of art. Using every method of promotion known to mankind, including, hiring an art pr, personally distributing 2,000 leaflets for each event, facebook/instagram ads, you name it we did it.Some of the events attracted up to a 100 people and the bubbles and beer flowed freely throughout the evening. The artists we were representing were incredibly talented, some did regular installations at the Tate Modern, others work was collected by people such as Ronnie Wood and Demi Moore. However, even at reasonable prices hardly anyone bought anything at all,(1 screen-print if lucky) but did enjoy the free booze. It's a thankless task and it was disappointing for myself and the artists alike. I had presumed that people would use their eyes and be moved by the aesthetic of the art and buy for that reason ,but they never did, rather they follow like sheep and just buy what everybody else buys such as cutesy animals and seagulls on beach huts! (which I didn't stock) In fact, the biggest problem of an art gallery is just getting people through the door. Some days no-one would come in at all and this is in trendy Brighton! Propping up the business for years, finally I asked a fellow gallery how on earth did they survive as I was going broke. That's when he mentioned framing and I've never looked back since. I relocated to Worthing and am now constantly busy and happy not to have the headache of working with artists. Now I stock a few pieces of art from my personal collection and on occasion I do sell, but more often than not they're used as framing examples. I just wish I'd read this before starting out, it would have saved a lot of time and energy. www.aotframing.com

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