My name is Josh Baker and I'm just getting into the world of art shows as a landscape / cityscape photographer. My goal as of now is to do a handful of shows around the Chicago area next year and then rapidly increase my show schedule and possibly radius in 2017 and beyond.
Being in the midst of just starting out, I'm hoping to use this great resource to bounce ideas around. For anyone wishing to check out my work please feel free to visit www.bakervisuals.com
With all that said, here are a bunch of questions to start things off. I appreciate any and all thoughts and ideas you folks might have.
1) Canvas wraps vs metal (aluminum)? I've been checking out the local (Chicago area) art shows and have noticed quite the mix of materials being used. My first thought was that collectors / buyers would be more inclined to purchase a landscape image on canvas. However some artists have said that they have all but abandoned canvas for metal prints or other substrates / materials citing similar or better sales and lower production cost (I'll be using White House Custom Color and Fine Art America for production as of now). I'm curious if any other 2D artists have any thoughts.
2) Is the selling of matted prints worth it? Sure, almost everyone (2D artist) has a print bin, but are any of them making enough to justify the labor and expense of matting prints? I've seen on here and elsewhere that it might be better or offer only larger wall art pieces or limit the smaller pieces to image blocks or other more unique items. Could the slightly higher priced image blocks or bamboo prints be a viable alternative to traditional matted prints?
3) Special order vs cash and carry. Because of some startup budget constraints I was hoping to run my business on a custom order model. I've seen this around art shows and was curious what others thought. My goal is to pursue more of the higher end buyers then say the average bargain shopper. Granted, I'm sure this is everyone's goal at one point or another. However, is this special order model even practical these days or does the majority of buyers insist / expect to go home with their art the same day?
4) Has anyone ever tried creating one price per size of image across multiple materials. For example 8x12 as a metal, acrylic or canvas for $150. I made a spreadsheet of five substrates and figured my sale price and then averaged the five to come up with an average price. My thought was that this would streamline my sales process and uncomplicate it for any buyer since they would only have to know the image size to determine the price . Does this actually help sales or do people question the method behind it and end up potentially costing sales.
5) A dozen large images vs a couple dozen (or more) small images? I'm currently doing different layout designs for my booth (both 10x10 and 10x20). I'm quite divided over whether to stick with a dozen or so large images (40x60) or to go with maybe 30 or so smaller images such as 24x36's. I feel I have a decent portfolio of work that might benefit from being shown at the larger size however that also obviously cuts down on the variety of work shown.
I've done some mockups to illustrate my booth design concepts which I'll include to give you an idea of what I'm talking about. The mocked up images are all roughly 40x60.
Thanks in advance for any feedback to this long winded post.