Artist Insider: The Truth About Gallery Partnerships - Interview with Lisa Schuster
Even established artists, who have had success in the past, struggle to make quality connections with galleries and designers nowadays. The art business is changing, and quick, thanks to the internet. There are so many artists flooding galleries and designers with emails it’s difficult to sort through them all, and forget about just walking in demanding for an appointment with a gallery owner. We saw how well that worked in our past blog. So, what’s an artist to do to get the exposure her or his artwork deserves?
We were recently able to catch up with Lisa Schuster about her experiences as an artist in the shifting art market, how she was able to adjust, and how she found success working with new galleries and interior designers as the result.
Lisa Schuster is one of the leading floral abstract artists in the Midwestern and Southern United States. She is largely a self-taught artist, although she did a study in Florence, Italy at the Angel Art Academy. She has won many awards, including some through our annual art competition Art Comes Alive (ACA). Her work has been featured in numerous art publications, and it can be found in numerous private and public art collections in the United States as well as other countries.
Q: What’s your number one obstacle as an artist?
A: One of the biggest issues I struggle with as an artist is the seasonality of sales. Because so much of my art is represented in Florida, I’m crazy busy from October through March. But by May, things slow down considerably. Thanks to Blink Art Resource, the art sourcebook ADC Fine Art publishes every year, and the national exposure it provides (over two-million touchpoints!!), I was invited to show my art at a gallery in Maine. That, too, has a short buying season, but it is in the summer which helps balance my workload and stabilizes income from sales.
Q: What are some of the best ways you promote and market your work?
A: Since almost all my sales are through galleries and designers, much of the sales and promotional efforts fall to them. As such, I support them vigorously through social media and participating in shows, painting demonstrations, and their local news and media promotions and fundraisers.
I have very close relationships with the galleries and designers that represent me, so I make it a priority to be extremely responsive to their commission requests, damage issues, or any trends they want to explore. Also, I make it a point to honor my galleries.
Some customers see work hanging in a gallery and then contact the artist directly intending to get a better deal. This is a very quick way to ruin a relationship. I never undercut the galleries who have invested so much not only in the brick and mortar but in me. I deeply appreciate the wall space they give me and fully understand there are many artists out there they could’ve chosen, but they put their trust in me.
You’ve been a Blink Art Artist since the beginning in 2015, and we know you’ve had some success getting into galleries because of your work in Blink Art Resource. Would you provide a few more details about this and how this has helped?
A: Blink Art Resource has served me well! The first year I didn’t get much of a response at all, but the catalog was so beautiful and exciting I gave it another chance. Since then, I have signed contracts with three quality galleries and have new relationships with four high-end interior designers, because of the catalog!
This is my painting Sarasota Wavellite which hangs in the gorgeous new Centauri Insurance headquarters in Sarasota, Florida. The designer for this project found me through Blink Art Resource.
The next two pieces are from a customer’s home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She commissioned them through her designer who found me through Blink Art Resource.
This photo is from Art of Centre Gallery in Amelia Island, Florida. They also found me through Blink Art Resource.
I truly believe success builds on success. Getting in that first gallery lends ‘street cred’ to get into the next. Blink Art Resource has been instrumental in connecting me with the kind of galleries that fit my look and price point. Because the catalog publishes the artist’s website and contact information at the top her page, galleries and designers can easily explore the artist’s full range of art to see if it is a good fit for them. I’m extremely grateful to Litsa Spanos for her vision and the strength it took making Blink Art Resource happen. It is an amazing tool for both artists and galleries.
I’m also grateful to the team at Blink Art and ADC for such well-executed orchestration of its publication and reach. Sandy, their graphic designer, has been so patient and helpful to me through every issue. It makes what could be an intimidating experience wonderful knowing the team has your back and that the product is so exquisite and important.
Thank you, Lisa, for sharing your experiences with interested artists! We wish you continued success!
We can't wait for all the connections and success stories that our 2019 Blink Art Resource will bring for artists!
ART COMES ALIVE – NOW OPEN FOR ENTRIES
Known as the “Academy Awards for Art,” Art Comes Alive (ACA), ADC's annual art competition and exhibit, is embarking on its 10th year of helping artists get their work in front of art-industry professionals such as interior designers, art galleries, private art collectors, and corporate collections. Each year the art competition gets bigger and better, and this year over $300,000 in awards will be given to artists through gallery contracts, purchase awards, publishing contracts, and more!
DEADLINE TO APPLY EXTENDED TO: 8/12/19