The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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January 30, 2013

Want to sell your own art or merchandise? Here's how

As many successful artists and business people will tell you, waiting around for your big break is the last thing you want to do, because it might never happen. With technology being what it is today, there’s really no reason that you can’t put on an art exhibit if you’re an artist, put together and market an album if you’re a musician or promote and sell your homemade products to those interested in what you’re doing.

So to help those who are in the position of wanting to monetize their creativity or at least get their creations exposed to the public, we put together some fairly simple ideas to get you started, starting with how to successfully put on your own art show if you’re an artist, painter, photographer, etc.

To get some firsthand advice we contacted Florida-based artist, illustrator and art teacher Lars-Erik Robinson, about how independent artists can get their creations out to the buying public and how they can put on their own art exhibition.

Robinson says that securing a venue to show your art is the way to go, as opposed to holding an event at your house, but first artists should sit down with the venue owner and iron out all of the details, especially as it pertains to the door percentages.

“The most important thing to remember is if you are having your work in a certain gallery and you want a certain percentage, you’ve got to think about everything [like] how long it took you to do your piece and if the percentage they’re offering is fair, that’s one of the things you want to deal with," said Robinson in an interview with ConsumerAffairs.

“You also have to have an interview with the person to see if you trust them, and see if you’re willing to work with that gallery or outlet, and if you do set out on your own, you have to figure all of the materials and all of the labor. It’s up to you to finish that piece and figure out the prices. That’s a whole other issue,” he says.

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