Why Would Someone Buy Your Art?

By Daniel Walters in Misc > Art Opinion

I hardly ever look at my work honestly like a buyer.

After all, the buyer doesn’t know the amount work I put into it and, when I’m face to face with a potential buyer, I don’t explain all the troubles and tribulations I had just getting my idea on the canvas. I want them to have their own experience with the painting. I don’t want to taint their first impression.

I will usually wait eagerly, anxiously, with my eyes wide open, for some form of expression, good or bad. I stand there with my heart pounding, listening for a comment. The anxiety of showing a piece will never go away for me, but that’s why I do it. I love to see that first reaction.

If I get a bad reaction, I will usually also receive the small consolation prize of how to improve my work. It may be too dark, too light, or they just don’t like the composition. It’s always different. They will look around for a little while longer, tell other people what’s wrong with the art, and then they will leave.

I’m not concerned with that uninterested potential buyer, at least not right now. So I let them leave without trying to push my creation on them.

Instead, I want to concentrate on that other person who had a great experience while enjoying my artwork. They think my work is wonderful. They tell me I could be the next great American artist. They say they can’t wait to see more of my work. They shake my hand and compliment me a few more times, ask me for a card, and then they leave. After a few days go by, I realize that they, too, will not buy an original.

So what would get that potential buyer to reach deep into his or her pocket, to acknowledge that beauty that’s laid upon the canvas before them? How can I get them to say yes to an original?

Well, for me, I have always thought that my work would sell itself, because I put so much work into it. If it wasn’t selling, then I should just work harder and become more efficient at capturing my subject matter. That is true at times, but there’s one very important question I have always overlooked. It’s always been at the back of my mind, filed away, and never seriously thought of. “Why would someone pay that much for an original painting?”

I asked myself that very question the other day while trying to make a few brochures. It perplexed me so much that I had to write it down on a piece of paper, just to look at it. It sat there for several days. I would pass by the question without an answer, and then after tormenting myself long enough, I sat down and this is how I answered it.

To buy an original painting could be a defining moment in your life. A chance to give someone a gift that will last a lifetime. An original painting of a lasting memory that will be considered a new family treasure. A treasure to be handed down through the family, to be loved and cherished for many years to come. And when the stories are told of where it come from, who will they thank for giving them this treasure? They will thank the person who could not live without it; the person who had the foresight to know what a great investment that it could be.

Those are the reasons I came up with, anyway. My answers may not be your answer, but I believe every artist at some point in their career will have to honestly answer it in their own way. So think about it:

Why would someone by YOUR art?

To learn more about Daniel and his work, please visit his website.


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