How Do I Convert Shoppers to Buyers at My Art Exhibits


One of the most important things you can do is to show up early, stay late, and use your time during the exhibit to locate and target potential buyers of your work. I know this sounds so basic, but you would be surprised to learn how many artists just believe the work sells itself when people see it and fall in love with it. Some even get bored with going to their own art openings and don't even bother showing up! So put your good clothes on and get out there. Now that you are out there, what comes next? I like to tell people it is 50% painting and 50% marketing to move what I painted out the door. You need to identify your prospects and categorize them. There are four basic personality profiles that you will find when examining your audience:

1) Analytical - These folks are predominantly less assertive than most, show high organization skills, typically don't like being in charge and are slow to make decisions. They are the ideal worker bees and are reliable people. These people can eventually become your clients, but probably not on the first or second exposure to your work. Definitely nudge them for a second appointment or invite them to your next event.

2) Pragmatic- These are the "take charge manager" types that are thrilled to make quick decisions. These can be your best buying targets with referral resources once they become your patrons. They can decide within 4 seconds that they must have that painting to hang over a particular wall to go with the light they bought last week. They are already seeing the art in their home before even writing you the check. It is up to you to grab their attention, (being certain that they notice your art in the first place) and thusly move them with your unique art as narrated by you when you artfully discuss the meaning of your work and ask if they will need the piece delivered to their home or office. Make sure to thank them for and congratulate them on their purchase. Throwing in an unexpected item like a pencil sketch that you have matted in a matching color will give you the "wow factor" enough to be spoken about when people see your art in this patron's home or office in the future.

3) Amiable- Although they can be fun and friendly, this group is suspicious of fast decision-making, they typically have unlisted numbers, (although that could apply to so many of us these days) they set up barriers to protect themselves and have low organizational skills, coupled with a tendency to be governed by their emotions. Learn how to tap into their emotional triggers though, and you may be on your way to a nice sale while making a friend at the same time.

4) Extrovert- Typically, the extrovert - governed by a short attention span, has business inefficiency down to a science, although surprisingly has a low organizational skill set and will lean toward emotion-based decision-making as well. You may find this one flitting all about acting like she is going to buy three different paintings, yet she is seen running off within minutes because she got a call during the exhibit from someone she was trying to reach for ages. Please don't take it personally, just chock it up to her short attention span. Make a point of talking quickly and getting to the matter at hand the next time you see her. If you can close your deal with her before the next surge of activity, you can convert this shopper to a buyer.

Clearly, if you are thinking of particular people you know and attempting to categorize them, you see there is room for overlap of a couple of categories at a time, and just a signature predominant side (like being right-handed) that sticks out more than the other. For example, you may have a pragmatic analyst type of person that is very organized but is frequently slow to make decisions and has been known to leave the final decision-making to others when the chips are down. These can easily be half the people that you know.

There is one thing that all of these people have in common though. They are in your audience, they have ways to become converted from shoppers to buyers and it is your job to apply your skill set to that mission and uncover their individual need sets to determine the best way to close a deal with them.

Let's assume for the moment that you have greeted a pragmatic analyst type we will call Lucy, and she knows that you are the artist that created the piece that she is standing in front of admiring at a local art opening. Ask Lucy a probative question to draw her out and get her to speak about herself. Everyone knows you are the artist and can create but right now we are interested in finding out what makes Lucy tick. You discover her mother left several estate pieces to her recently (an Asian collection of fantastic kimonos, swords, red satin embroidered pillows, pearl inlaid bureaus with ornate handles and trim and priceless porcelain vases). Lucy needs to redecorate immediately to find a way to incorporate her mother's belongings with her own. You offer to come to her home with fabric swatches, a portfolio of prints you have available for sale, a couple of the pieces she likes from this exhibit, and some good lights to see everything by the following week. Just reassure Lucy it is like trying the dress on before you buy it, and let her know how important it is that the art be exhibited in the right surroundings with the proper lighting and color accents.

Of course, now that you are the artist and expert, it is clear that you need to assist in the color integration of her belongings with your art, which relies strongly upon lighting. This light -both natural and artificial - which can only be observed if you go there and see for yourself and photograph it, is of great importance. How your work is illuminated is an important feature. Show her by turning the exhibit light off and on what a difference it makes in the colors and interpretation of the piece. You may need to have an assortment of light kits for her to choose from when you see her next time. Buy the lights using your own money or credit and give her the receipt or better yet offer to make her an invoice which includes the lighting as well as your art. Make sure to use LED bulbs so your lights are energy efficient and do not get hot or interfere with the longevity of the work from incorrect exposure. I am very lucky to have a brilliant friend who saw my need and developed a light set just for me and my art and now successfully provides the product on the internet for other artists to own as well. You can find that out by following the links on my page here or just email me and I will let you know how to get a multi-tasking LED light kit for your next exhibit or home.

Now you have gone from having a lookie-loo shopper to getting a great patron with potential for about 6 sales. You can sell her two pieces from the exhibit, three of the nine giclee prints you brought to Lucy's house to see how they look, and a light kit which you conveniently bring along to demonstrate the importance of using properly. It would be a wise idea to perhaps offer her a discount on the giclee prints for her volume purchase. Her rooms are decorated, she did not have to pay $8000 to a decorator, and with the money she saved, she bought more of your work and had enough to go on a ski trip with her boyfriend to Vermont. It is a win-win scenario for you both. Of course it took more time to close six sales than one, but it was worth it. Right? Please stay in touch with Lucy, make sure you invite her to all of your exhibits and ask her to bring her friends with her so you can do it all over again. Obviously, she is now on your email list as well. Are there any questions? Blog me.

Penfield Hondros


Penfield Hondros is an artist from the Tampa Bay area of Florida. She has extensive experience with solo and group exhibits, displaying, lighting and marketing art locally, regionally and internationally and she can probably help you figure out what you need to do next to stay on top of it all.

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Tile Fact


Everyone who has some major redesigning ideas for their kitchen or bath has a secret desire to know what OTHER people are doing.  Even if they do not have any intention of imitating or copying others' ideas, they still want to believe their ideas are not too far out.

The last couple years have been exciting for hand-painted tile.  The overwhelming trend for kitchen and bathroom tile murals has been tropical fish.  In multi-tile scenes with their natural environment of corals and rocks, and in single accent tiles to scatter around the room for effect, more people chose fish as their design theme than any other subject. 

One reason for the popularity of tropical fish as a design theme, I believe,  is because there is such a huge variety of colors that any preconceived color scheme can be accommodated with some or other species, no matter what.  Even if blue/green is the main color, the fish can float in their natural color background with no distracting rocks or brightly colored corals.

Another reason could be because the idea for hand-painted tiles to beautifully accent a room's decor often comes, in typical human fashion, AFTER the basic colors have already been chosen.  What theme has so many colors to match with as tropical fish?

  They are also great as an abstract theme as well.  They are as wonderful  in a whimsical, cartoonish style as they are in a realistic style.  Kids love the fun ones in their tub and shower walls.  Adults seem to like the more somber, darker colored abstracts, such as the copper-colored weather-vane look, with a greenish patina, an awesome mural in the kitchen!

Silhouettes are popular too.  Many fish species have a distinct profile that is easily recognizable in silhouette.  Use varying colors and the effect is marvelous!  Interspersed with silhouettes of other sea items like coral, shells, and other nautical items, and you have a one-of-a-kind art theme in your own special space.

Believe it or not, even dead fish, done in a realistic style, can be painted to look excellent, rather like the way they look laid out in a market bin.  It has a "French poster" look to it that goes very well in some country-style decors.  Of course, this style works best with food fish, as opposed to tropical fish species.

There really is no end to the marvelous themes and schemes that can be created using  fish as a basic motif, whether food, game or tropical fish are used.  Work with a tile artist who is open to all your ideas and she will create a magical space that will be tireless and timeless. 

I believe that with so many people catching on to the fish theme, this will be the hottest trend for years to come.  Especially within all-white tile walls, the bright colors set off anything and everything you wish to accesorize, and these things can be changed every year and your tile will always have a color within that matches.

Dy Witt

Websites for Artists

You can make Green art from recycled materials


I keep reading through these hub posts and see very little on current art forms and what people are making from already used things. I have a background as a ceramist and a painter, and as such, naturally, I lean toward textural work. Have you ever wondered what happens to all of that laundry lint you pull from your dryer every day? Hold on to your cape Batman! Well, you may just see some of it in and on one of my paintings. I’m serious.

A couple of years ago I went to a Green Homes exhibition and was inspired by someone who paints on hubcaps. Later, I joined a painting group (see Spin D’Arte on Face book) and began painting on pieces of metal that had been salvaged from old cars. Oh the smooth glistening textures are far and away different from painting on canvas. Once the piece is top-coated it can be left for eternity to decorate an outdoor patio. I’ll bet you can’t do that with your sissy oil painting! One of my favorite pieces is painted on a piece of red metal from the door of a ’69 Mustang. One of my recently sold pieces (“Brown Eyed Girl” see photo below) was painted on an 18 by 10 inch piece of a white car hood.

So, I really did use the dryer lint.

I added it to the pigment mixture on the piece entitled “Water Flower 27” (as shown above). What do you think? I put it into an antique frame with a matte of antique beige silk (both of which I bought at The Salvation Army for $2.99 when I gutted an old ugly framed and matted picture I bought). I am doing a series of pieces using recycled materials and plan to exhibit it all together in the future. I became so disgusted with the ugly tote bags that the grocery stores want $2 apiece for that I got a Zazzle store and put some of my art on some tote bags and sneakers to make a fashion statement out of being green. I ordered 5 of them and am giving them away as gifts to get folks to keep thinking “green.” You can find that on my blog page and get creative with your own images if you like.

Lately, I have become obsessed with cigar boxes. There are so many of these beautiful ornate boxes that the tobacco stores often throw away or give away – especially in Tampa. I began doing painting and decoupage on the more plain ones. I even made a couple of pretty neat purses for gifts. I also paint and decoupage nut tins and coffee tins. Why throw it away when you can fill it full of coffee, sugar and tea bags and it looks better than the day you bought it? The decoupage is a great way of recycling all of those old magazines I had trouble throwing out or getting to the recycling center with.


Penfield Hondros

Click here to see her artwork

How to Brighten Any Decor with Hand-Painted Ceramic Tile


At one time, ceramic art tile was only for the wealthy.  No more.  Today, for the same price as you will pay for manufactured cast resin, imitation marble or other polymer, you can have  one-of-a-kind hand painted ceramic art tiles, made by an American artist who is willing to work with your ideas and concepts.  

Suppose you love plants and flowers, but the wall over your sink in the kitchen has no window?  Tell the artist your favorites, she will paint your favorite ferns or perennials, in a basket or within its own little garden on art tile. 

What if you moved south and miss your paper birch trees so badly?  A mural over your bathroom sink of these gorgeous white and black trees, with or without surrounding fall foliage, will guarantee a lifetime of the perfect view.  

No wall space for a mural?  How about ceramic accent tiles placed every foot or so of your favorite cooking herbs in an 1800's style, right out of the Farmer's Almanac?  Or an easy-to-clean backsplash behind the kitchen sink of fruits connected by flowering vines all in a lively color scheme? 
The best part about tile is you only have to do it once.  You choose timeless and tireless motifs and place them where you need something durable.  Side-by-side with gold, ceramic is the most durable substance we know.  What else has told us the history of human culture as accurately?  Nothing the manufacturers have come up with can surpass ceramic tile for lasting beauty.  Nothing. 
Working with an artist as opposed to a factory has many benefits.  The artist has sentimental  memories too, and usually does the work she does for other reasons than moving out volumes of product for profit, so she is more than happy to fill your space with warm homey decoration.  



We all have a favorite old pattern or print, maybe Grandma's stitching or an old tapestry.  Everything eventually wears out and must be discarded.  Except ceramic.  Have it painted on tile and installed  for all time.        

Framed paintings do not do well in steamy bathrooms or near greasy cookstoves, gathering dust and needing cleaning way too often.  A tapestry or rug painted on tile will hang beautifully inlaid into any wall.  In the hall 
where people always bump paintings is a great idea.  Stair risers that always get scuffed up can be painted in a myriad of design motifs, like southwestern, Mayan or Aztec, any colorful design, and fill a dull stairway with brilliant color.  
Do you work too many hours to have pets?  A brilliant parrot on the wall in the corner of your livingroom, gleaming feathers shining, will welcome you home, making no noise and quietly demanding no food or attention!  No other art medium can imitate the iridescence and brilliance of bird feathers like ceramic glaze.  A skilled hand-painter can imitate textures and colored objects from all around the world.  Mayan stone carvings, Egyptian hieroglyphics, even cave art paintings all look so real in ceramic. Solid blocks of color in modern graphic shapes is the other end of the design spectrum.  Color makes a very powerful statement, as we all know.   
Please do not feel compelled to use what the remodelling stores offer, the dull and unimaginative and very plain tiles they sell in volume.  Email a hand-painter and she will help you come up with the only one in the 
world, a unique piece of fine art that is yours alone.  Timeless and elegant decor is only a few weeks away. 


Dy Witt


Dear readers of La Jolie Vie!


Originally I'm a published writer located in Southern Germany, specializing in science fiction, essay ism, radio plays, poetry and young adult fiction. Around the same time I foraged into journalism (anything really, apart from sports), I discovered digital photography. From 2003 on, photography became ever more important to me - and finally I've mustered the courage to try and sell my photos online. Being new to Fine Art America, I'd like to introduce readers of La Jolie Vie to three of my finest shots.

The clock of my dreams running backwards:

The museum of garmentology II:

Proceed immediately to ypur departure gate 2.5:

The whole of my FAA-portfolio can be found under

And my largest online protfolio can be checked out at JPGmag:

See you!

Marcus Hammerschmitt

Click here to see his artwork

It's Time to Play

 Do you keep a sketchbook? Not the serious one that sits over in the corner of your studio under a pile of papers. I mean a sketchbook separate and away from that one. One that is a source of fun and play, an escape from your serious work. A sketchbook which says, "draw whatever you want", "take the opportunity to be lighthearted and explore".

I believe a sketchbook should be all these things and more! Just holding my sketchbook brings a sense of excitement and anticipation, because I don't take it too seriously; it's an open invitation to play. In my sketchbook I can be silly, nonsensical, goofy and stupid. I can experiment with line and distortion. I can draw monsters and aliens, cars and airplanes, people and animals, spaceships and robots—all in a way that suites me. I can draw big heads with small bodies, big bodies with small heads. I can make things fly or float. I can amuse myself with whimsical words and phrases while at the same time playing with typography with its unlimited styles and possibilities.

My sketchbooks are a record of amusement, of time and feelings. I get great satisfaction in thumbing through the pages of my old sketchbooks. It's like an old friend returning with a warm heart. They give me new ideas and inspiration. I try to carry my sketchbook with me wherever I go and when there's an opportunity to draw, I draw. If I forget and leave it at home I'll find whatever paper is available to me at the time and glue these doodles into my sketchbook later on.

I love the word "doodle". It literally means, "to scribble absentmindedly, engage in idle activity or dawdle". (Sounds like mindless fun to me.) So I doodle! Through this play I discover new avenues to explore, new ways to see the world.

I started keeping a sketchbook on a regular basis two years ago when by happenstance I stumbled upon the book, "An Illustrated Life," by Danny Gregory. The book is about "drawing inspiration from the private sketchbooks of artists, illustrators and designers". This book gave me a whole new window in which to look through as an approach to sketchbooks. Since then I've filled 4 and a half books. Sometimes I draw every day, sometimes I'll go for days without drawing. It's about fun, so I don't try to force it. I like the spiral bound sketchbooks because the pages lay flat and are easier to turn. I dislike the gutter of the hard bound sketchbooks, but each artist has his or her own preference; whether it's moleskin, spiral bound or hard bound, is not important. It's about having a book of fun!!

NOW GO DOODLE!! And you better have fun!!

Rob Colvin

Click here to see Rob's Artwork

                      Print on Canvas - The worth of your Investment                    

A print on canvas product is mainly better than a common picture printed on the ordinary photo paper. For further information, a print on canvas print is considered to be the most durable kind of artwork that could be a memory for a long period of time. With the aid of the latest technology, the end product of the canvas is more likely similar to the original image and will look natural with the presence of a high quality ink. One more advantage of the canvas is its size. The ordinary photograph has limitations in the range of sizes and they're just worthy to be put in the album. The size of the canvas is obviously bigger and it could range from two to three square meters or more. There are some clients who used to instruct the artist to make a personalized huge canvas to cover up the entire area of the wall in their private room.

The life of of the print on canvas art is also longer . Some ordinary photograph, with the aid of high quality ink , will likely live for ten years. On the other hand, print on canvas art could last for one hundred years with a condition of proper care and thorough maintenance. Thus, this print on canvas art is a good investment that will be kept for a lifetime.

Print On Canvas Art Is An Ideal Gift For Any Occasion 

Agree or not, we are also worried about the type of gift we'll give to our special someone. We may be thinking of the expensive jewelries and luxury items just to please the recipient or the receiver. But, if you really want something unique and special, why not ask for his photo and bring it to a digital print on canvas company to get a very elegant canvas? Surely, he will appreciate your creativity and effort for giving a personalized item that is worthy to be treasured.


Your Business Partner

If you are engaged to a personal business like you own a certain snack house, a photo canvas will be your great partner. Obviously, the subject of your canvas will be the goods and products you're offering. This may sound unusual but at least you able to show to everyone that you are proudly advertising your business through a canvas print.

Interior Decoration

Some homes have an original painting in the living room that may cost a higher price. This print on canvas art is an alternative for the interior decoration. It is more personalized and is very suitable for any wall. Your wedding canvas is most appropriate in your bedroom. The family portrait is best located in the living room wherein the visitors could able to determine the complete family members.

Have Your Own Gallery

Since that this print on canvas art is cheaper compared to the traditional painting, you can surely collect a lot of this kind of art in the matter of years. You can have your own art galleries composed of personalized photo canvas. These will be your treasures worthy to be kept forever.

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