How to Make the Most Out of Studio Visits

Artwork Archive | October 3, 2016 (Updated April 12, 2021)

A collector just asked to visit your art studio, and you are ecstatic! This could mean great new things for your art career … but then the pressure sets in. What do I say? What should I show?

With a little preparation, your fears will float away. To help you nail your studio visit, we’ve answered these questions and more with our ten best tips to impress potential buyers:

1. Do Your Homework

The best way to make a sale is to know your audience. Before the studio visit, take time to research as much as possible about the gallery or collector—their history, what they look for in a piece of art, etc.—then use those details to get an edge up in the conversation about your work.

Don’t just stop there. Feel free to contact your visitors to get an understanding of what they are coming to see. Is it your most recent work? A certain collection? Being prepared will help your studio visit go more smoothly for both parties.

2. Professionalism Goes a Long Way

Remember, this is a business meeting and you are trying to woo your customer. Start the meeting off on a professional note by offering water or other beverages to your visitors. Our next tip: be yourself.  Even if you are not the most confident and outspoken salesperson, being professional, genuine, and cooperative goes a long way in a collector wanting to work with you.

3. Keep Your Intro Brief

Odds are the potential buyers have also done their research on you if they are interested in your work enough to do a studio visit. So, be ready to talk about your history, but in the form of a brief elevator pitch and anticipate questions they might ask. Narrow down ahead of time the most important details you want to get across, and then get to the art.

4. Don’t Overwhelm Your Audience

Having piece after piece lining the walls can overwhelm your visitors. They may feel rushed to see it all instead of taking the time to observe an interesting piece in detail. Depending on how many collectors come at once, and your studio layout, consider showing a few pieces at a time. Hiring an assistant to rotate through pieces makes you seem more professional and allows you to stay by the collector’s side in case of any questions.

5. Have A Portfolio Ready

While you may have a plan for your presentation, some potential buyers might want to wander around your studio instead. Be prepared for whatever comes your way by having a polished portfolio ready for buyers to look through or easily reference a work’s details from, like your Artwork Archive Public Profile Page.

6. Let the Collector Steer the Conversation

Some collectors wish to take in artwork at their own pace, and they may not enjoy being distracted by a chatty artist or the pressure to make conversation. So, try to gauge your visitor’s communication preferences, and when in doubt, follow the collector’s lead.

7. Know Your Art’s Story

If your studio visitors do wish to converse, be prepared. Collectors want to hear the passion in your voice and the conviction in your art’s story. This will help them build an opinion of you and your artwork. Because if an artist can’t communicate about his or her own work, how can a gallery?

8. Don’t Show Sold Work

Collectors might feel like their time is being wasted if they can’t actually have any of the pieces sitting in front of them, even if it’s your best piece. Some buyers might be curious about your creative process, so it’s ok to delight them with works in progress and the happenings of your studio if they ask.

9. Have Price Nailed Down

Pricing your work ahead of time keeps you from panicking in the moment and low-balling yourself during the studio visit. An easy way to record the price of each artwork is through Artwork Archive. If a collector asks, there’s no need to think of a figure off the top of your head. Simply pull up the piece online and you have a fair price already listed.

10. Accept Constructive Criticism

We all know that criticism can be hard to stomach. But, even if things don’t go your way on one of these studio visits, stay positive! Sometimes being open to feedback and making changes in your art can open the door for more opportunities down the line.

The best thing to do is never take criticism personally or voice your frustrations about certain collectors to the art community. Word may spread, and other potential buyers might not want to work with you.

Now you can nail that studio visit.

There’s a lot of pressure when collectors and gallerists visit your studio. But, being prepared, catering to your audience, and being genuine can go a long way in helping potential buyers feel more comfortable about you and your art.

Want more people to witness the studio magic? Check out these tips in “How to Bring the Public to Your Art Studio.”

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