ArtId Art Blog
Do your homework: Check out the gallery on their web site or even better in person, to see what kind of art they carry. If you paint impressionist, oil landscapes and they have a big selection of pop art, chances are good that you should move on to the next gallery on your list.
Make arrangements: Gallery owners are busy people, and you should respect their time. Being interrupted by "cold calls" is a distraction and these well meaning interruptions could really mess up a day. Not a good way to start a relationship. If a gallery will not see you in person, ask if you can send a CD and bio package that may be more convenient for them. Be sure to direct them to your web page.
Presentation is everything: Make sure your work is presented in a professional way. Use quality materials, the outcome can be subtle but make the world of difference. Make sure your work is well matted and/or framed. A gallery will not want to hang obviously flimsy or scratched frames, it reflects badly on them. Take the buyers perspective, when they purchase a piece of work they want it to stay in one piece and look good for a long time, so quality counts. If you can't afford frames, at least have works on paper well matted and paintings well wrapped to avoid wear and tear.
Be confident: If you have self-doubt, leave it at home. Speak about your work with confidence and never apologize or point out mistakes or shortcomings. If a gallery agrees to show your work, they will look for a long-term relationship, of mutual benefit. They want to represent artists who truly want to be engaged in the business of making art. It__™s OK to be new to the gallery environment, everybody has to start somewhere, just don__™t speak about your work as though it were a pastime. Decide your prices ahead of time and don__™t waffle, but remain open for negotiation.
School of hard knocks: Be prepared for ___rejection___. Not all art is for every gallery. Your timing may be off or the gallery owner is planning something else. In any case, try not to take it personally. Just because they can__™t or don__™t want to show your art, does not mean you or your work is a failure.
Stick to it.