Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sharing, selling your art? That's one tough gig

My brother is the salesman in the family. He could, as the saying goes, sell a ketchup popsicle to a woman in white gloves.

I am not a salesperson. At all. The books I've sold have been by luck, happenstance and word of mouth. And for every sale, I'm very grateful.

My teen-age daughter is an artist - she has been, ever since she could pick up a pencil. But she got a taste of sales this past weekend when she gathered up her entrepreneurial spirit along with
 a portfolio of art she'd created for the occasion, and headed off to a sales booth at her high school's annual anime convention.

It was a tough gig. I knew there would be other vendors there, but since it was just a small  high school convention, I assumed they'd be other students. A few were. But most weren't - they were grown-ups, selling wares from big companies, and this was their livelihood.

Tough competition. And selling to high-schoolers ... that's no easy feat, either.

Some were wonderful. Others were incredibly rude. And still others, apparently used to communicating only through text messages, were oddly anti-social - unable to make eye contact and mumbling so bad they were nearly incoherent.

My daughter simply gritted her teeth and persevered. She made a decent amount of sales, received some good feedback and learned a lot about marketing. (For instance, many people wanted business cards, or her website gallery address. She didn't have either - but she will soon).

I was incredibly proud of her. Putting your work out there for everyone to judge and criticize is tough - something any creative person will tell you. But sharing your work, in most cases, is the reason many of us create in the first place.

It's a tough tightrope to maneuver.

She did learn one thing - she enjoys creating far more than selling.

I can't disagree with her. Not one bit.

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