Dear Pastel Journal,
I have a marketing question. Recently, our local museum and art organization put together a presentation on how to get into galleries. I emailed some images to one of the presenters, a gallery owner, per his request, after I called him to ask questions (Don’t ever send images to a gallery unless they ask you to!). Long story short, he said that my technique was good, but that works on paper do not sell, and that it is hard to sell pastels in Indianapolis, Ind. He explained that people see them as fragile, less valuable, and as something that they can do themselves. He also said that people continually confuse pastels with chalk. I was very disappointed to hear this.
I also know of a pastelist who gave up and switched to oils because he got tired of educating the public.
I asked an artist friend for her thoughts. She suggested that I quit using the term “pastels” in any of my marketing materials, but refer to them instead as mixed media pieces. But I am stubborn! I love pastels and I want people to know that I use them. I want people to realize what can be done with pastel. I do art fairs. I post little “Did You Know?” signs with facts about pastels. People actually take the time to read them and sometimes comment that they “learned something today.” But how do I “sell” pastels to galleries?
I would like to know how other pastelists deal with these issues. Am I just in the wrong state? The same gallery owner that I mentioned at the beginning told a wood turner and carver who was at the same presentation, that he needed to go to N.C., N.M. and Ariz.
If you’ve been at a similar point in your career, and have some advice for Lisa,
please share! We’d all love to hear how other artists have had success
opening doors or spreading pastel enlightenment. (To post a comment,
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