The Business of Being an Artist: Ann Fall on selling your work in teaching venues

Ann Fahl is a quilter I’ve admired from the very beginning of my art quilting days. In fact, I still vividly remember one of her quilts that was in the first large quilt show (Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival) that I ever went to.

Indiana Memories by Ann Fahl

Indiana Memories by Ann Fahl

If you are wanting to sell your work, I have had the best luck when I am teaching. I pin a small hanging price tag on each quilt, so people can check the price without asking. After a group has heard you talk about your work and taken a workshop, they become more interested in purchasing. 

 

It is a good idea to have a solo or small group exhibit from time to time. Over the years I’ve sold very few quilts at a museum.  I don’t even do very well in a gallery. For a time, there was a gallery owner that worked with commercial designers and sold a few pieces for me. 

 

Celebration of Life by Ann Fahl

Celebration of Life by Ann Fahl

 

Here are things that help to sell: 

 

1.       Offer a layaway plan, with no interest. Break up the price into 12 payments, when they finish, they get the quilt.

 

2.       Take PayPal online

 

3.       Talk to your bank and figure out a way to take Visa and Master Charge. This costs me every month, but it does increase the numbers of transactions and the dollar value of each sale.

 

4.       Make sure that your students know that you have various plans to pay for your quilts. I mention it in my brochure, that is always sitting in a small stack on the table, and on my quilt student tab, that each workshop attendee gets with the class handout.

 

5.       Have work at a variety of price points. Little pieces for $100-300 sell quite well. A quilter will just write you a check for that amount. I have work from $50-10,000.  You never know when somebody will give you thousands of dollars for a quilt to hang in their new home, or redecorated space.

 

Also, now might not be a good time to find buyers for your work. Make plenty of new work, so when the economy improves, you are ready to sell. As quilt artists we are at the end of the food chain, so to speak.  People need to buy their necessities, and maybe a few extras from time to time. They have to be in a strong financial position to buy a piece of art to hang on the wall.

 

Good luck!

 

 

Ann Fahl

 

Quilt Artist

 

Author of Coloring with Thread, DVD

 

Creating Beautiful Bias Binding

 

Dancing with Thread

 

www.annfahl.com

 

http://annfahl.blogspot.com

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