How To Be An Artist And Gallery Owner In A Tourist Destination-part 2

Devonish Art Gallery

The Devonish Art Gallery has always exhibited works by other artist and crafts persons.

I have witnessed several of the artists we represented over the years try to open their own galleries and failed. Many of those who made the change did so because of our success selling their work.

When you are the artist and gallery owner, there are many challenges to consider. First you must consider the location and overheads. Make sure you are within easy access to hotels, town or shopping center or tourist attractions.

Can the artwork you produce cover your cost of living and overheads? Should you offer to represent other artists and crafts persons?

Selling Work On Consignment.

bronze pelican
If you decide to sell only your work, what happens if you fall ill and have to cease production for a while; If some one comes in one day and purchase half of you stock do you have enough backup stock to keep the gallery looking attractive?

I have raised these questions because of my 48 years experience as an artist and gallery owner. Recently a group bought 50 of my own pieces in one day; I not only had to spend long hours trying to replenish stock but I was able to rearrange the empty shelves with works by other artists; some bought and some on consignment.

You should only sell other artists fine art on consignment, 40 to 50 percent commission is standard.
Gift Items
If you are in a tourist destination, if is advisable to supplement your inventory with gift items at lower prices, between 20 and 100 dollars; only buy quantities of items with a successful sales history, If you want to introduce a completely new product see if you can arrange a 30 to 60 day sale or return. if the creator of the product is confident with his or her work they will accept the offer.
Tourist Attractions
If you are in a tourist destination select your gift items according to the popular attractions of the tourist, -birds, animals, beaches, building, culture, etc. Your gift items can range from T-shirts, prints, carving, ceramics, jewelry or other craft items from local materials.

carrolle's bead jewelry
Business Cards and flyers

Print some business cards and flyers and make sure the flyers contain your personal story, remember tourists love a story.

Public Relations
Be your own PP; whether you are sitting at a bar; taking a swim in the water, Talk to people and invite Hotel staff, tour operators, taxi drivers to your Gallery.
I once had a Swedish ceramic artist exhibiting at the gallery, He would walk the beach with a friend’s Labrador, that dog opened the door for many a tourist to visit the gallery.