Deep Thought Thursday: Well . . .

Is the recession over?

Are your sales and opportunities picking up?

What's your litmus test for knowing that the recession is over for you?

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21 thoughts on “Deep Thought Thursday: Well . . .”

  1. I sell a lot of art. However, I also support my family of 5 (Me, my amazing life and 3 strapping lads!) by a full time job as a technical support rep for a software company. My current financials don’t look too stellar due to the cost of raising a family and my lay off 1.5 yrs ago. The Atlanta job market is dismal so I’m afraid the recession is on for me currently but if art sales continue in this fashion…..well….I see a light at the end of the tunnel.

  2. Opportunities are picking up. I have galleries asking for new work as well as themed shows to paint for. Sales are still slow so far, but the opportunities allow me to step up and make better art, take more time, dig deeper.
    The benchmark for the recession being over will be sales of course, but the silver lining will be improved technique, innovation, and heart in making art. It’s a growing time.

  3. The recession is still here. However, there are “pockets” of good business out there. Like everything in life, we just need to work hard to find them. We are selling at the same pace as we did last year. Not great but no bad either.

  4. It’s great to hear that others are selling and doing well. Our gallery was selling very well until last Sept. when the door slammed shut. We’ve struggled to just keep the doors open. The only uptick we’ve seen was July when the tourists came for their annual vacation…August has been the worst we’ve ever had. The quality of work is the same and our marketing efforts have increased dramatically; we keep up with the market and can’t understand why we’re not swinging back the other way. My personal art income is down by 2/3, but I keep painting so that when the economy does comes back (slowly I think), I’ll be prepared for the sales.

  5. Unfortunately my commission sales are way down this year…but August was a slow time for me last year. I think a lot of people are on vacations and getting ready for school. But this allows me the opportunity to work on my portfolio so I can get established in galleries.

  6. I happened to talk with people from three different art museums in the last couple of weeks and all three, to varying degrees, had tales of woe. That combined with my daughter’s involuntary unpaid furlough from her job make me think this recession will last much longer. My daughter called the temp agencies she used to pick up with through a few years back (they liked her a lot) and was told by the manager there she knew that they had absolutely no jobs to offer.

    My advice to fellow artists- work really hard, don’t get sick, and be really lucky.

  7. Things are actually a little better for me this year than last, but, I’ve stepped up my marketing efforts. And, on that note, thanks for your blog, your advice is extremely helpful and needed.

  8. Having read the comments both here and on your FB page it seems there’s a disconnect between what artists are reporting (rosiness) and what art related businesses, galleries, museums & such, are reporting (dire straits).

    Any ideas what the disconnect is about?

  9. Sales are up for me personally as an artist, and at my gallery sales of other artists is up. Of course, Albuquerque has supposedly been a recession proof place, but I have seen improvements in the past few months for sure!

  10. Signs that things are getting better…1)My starting bid at charity silent auction is 10 times what it was last year…2)The eco-dammar company I use, cold-called to offer me money(as opposed to asking for a freebie) to demo their product at a respected art supply store here…3)I am getting unsolicited discounts & freebies as a tiny show of support, where previously I just got compliments(from fans who can’t quite afford one yet)…

  11. For me sales can’t quite be a litmus test because it would mean that I’d been able to keep every thing else at the same level or greater than last year. But I haven’t been able to do as many shows or try some of the new things I’d planned (like entering competitions, writing more articles). Sales are down, but I’ve been painting a lot and am happy with the new things coming out. As someone above stated this has been a growing time.

    And Zachary – I liked the idea of listing your “life” as a family member that needs support! So maybe you’re a family of 6.

  12. Laura, you wonder about the disconnect between an artists optimism and galleries feeling that things are still in dire straits. Perhaps a portion of the difference lies in the nature and traits inherent in the artist type. Naturally all artists are different, but there are some common characteristics. I took some economics classes in college and something struck me that the professor stated. Most people’s ambition to work will decrease with a drop in pay. But entrepeneurs and artists are opposite. They pick up the pace and work harder when pay decreases. Gallery owners perhaps are more realistic about numbers and paying expensive rent. Artists can make do on less often times (not always). Just some thoughts. I’m sure there are many other factors included.

  13. It’s definitely an odd year….one large show I do that has always been good was dismal. Other shows ranging from large to little ‘art in the park’, have been way up.
    By creating my own market on the animal art that I’m doing, I’ve been able to raise prices twice this year and still selling well.
    It’s been an invaluable time to really learn what appeals to a wide audience and then go after the market.

  14. My sales have been way down for two years now, but I haven’t been doing much marketing and have pretty much just depended on my website for sales. Website sales have dropped off of a cliff, and sales at the gallery are also very few.

    The other day I checked my stats in Google Analytics and noticed that the two pages people left without going to other pages were “art for sale” and “prints for sale”. Ouch!! But, that gives me valuable information that what I currently have available for sale is just not of interest to those looking for something to buy. So, when I get back to painting, I’ll keep that in mind and gradually replace all that’s on my website with new, more exciting art. I plan to paint what I love and forget about painting for the market. Maybe then I’ll come up with art that has more appeal and heart.

    Right now other life obligations are preventing me from painting, but I don’t expect that to last much longer.

  15. Hmm.. I’m waiting for the recession to start to be honest. Not seen it yet. Not that there haven’t been big changes (I’m down to only one gallery) but sales are still on par at least and my average sales prices are actuall increasing (people are buying bigger paintings, the middle range doesn’t sell at all anymore, small stuff still ticks along).

    I had a few hard months but there were a lot of personal issues affecting my creating and marketing so I can’t attribute changes to any economic effects alone. So those months are just marked off as irrelevent.

    Apparently a London paper declared yesterday that the recession will be over in 40 days. A bit too precise and Biblical for my taste. 😉

  16. I am in the staffing business not art sales, but I can tell you there has been a slow but steady uptick in hiring on the contract staffing side of the business, hopefully this bodes well for the art business.

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Get a transcript of episode 182 of The Art Biz (Rethinking Mailing Lists for Artists) followed by a 3-page worksheet to evaluate the overall health and usage of the 3 types of artist lists.

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