Mana Is the Magic Behind Selling Your Art

Guest Blogger: Carolyn Edlund

Have you ever heard of “mana”?

An ancient concept, Wikipedia defines mana as “the stuff of which magic is formed, as well as the substance of which souls are made.”

Think of mana as a piece of the creative soul of an artist. When someone purchases your artwork, they aren’t just buying a physical product. They are obtaining a piece of your creativity, a connection to your talent and vision.

©Amadea Bailey, Looking Back, Looking Forward. Mixed media on canvas.
©Amadea Bailey, Looking Back, Looking Forward. Mixed media on canvas, 52 x 54 inches. Used with permission.

When you are in the position of speaking with the public about your work and presenting your art, are you creating an environment where those connections can be made? Or do you appear to be bored, distant or uncommunicative?

By interacting with your audience, you share your creative spirit and set up a memorable connection.

Tell the story of your art. Talk about what inspires you.

Engage with your prospective collectors on an authentic level that says that you respect them as people, are interested in them, and have something of great interest to them. When they make the purchase and hang your artwork in their home, give it as a gift or wear your creation, they will remember and talk about your story.

People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou

Customers buy for emotional reasons. Connecting to them on an emotional level establishes your personal value in addition to the value of your work. This enhances their experience and increases the likelihood they will purchase, speak about you and refer you.

Connection works physically as well. Observe body language, tone of voice, and gestures of the people you speak with. When your body language matches theirs and your voice level matches theirs, you make unspoken connections.

How else do you forge a bond with your customers?

When a purchase is made, the buyer has something more than just the thrill of collecting art. They have made a connection. They have bought a treasure.

Collectors of your art have received some of your “mana” – your creative spirit.

About Our Guest Blogger

Carolyn EdlundCarolyn Edlund is the acting director of the Arts Business Institute and spent 20 years as an artist running a successful ceramic jewelry studio. She provides business consultations to creative entrepreneurs at Artsy Shark.

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4 thoughts on “Mana Is the Magic Behind Selling Your Art”

  1. So true! Some artists are afraid they’ll give away the mystery by talking too much. I often see new ways of looking at my work when sharing the story of a piece, things I might never have figured out on my own. I often refer back to those perspectives/discussions when making new pieces or interacting with other exhibit visitors. When I have personal contact with buyers, I am always open to writing a specific statement about a painting if they’d like that. This resource helps them also feel more confident when talking with their friends about the art they just bought, especially if they’re new to buying art.

  2. Well written, and I must second Lori’s feeling.
    This was one of the very frst lessons an art mentor shared with me. She had always noted that art is a form of language, a form of communication from which a visual dialogue begins…. and that though we may all look at the same picture, we each bring our own story and experiences, our own interpretations that from there, make it personal… in conjunction with the artist’s creativity.
    When an artist is able to truly connect with their audience, then it becomes more than just a picture. The artwork becomes inspiring and valuable.

  3. Pingback: Mana Is the Magic Behind Selling Your Art — Art Biz Blog « Kat can Paint!

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