Most artists experience fewer marketplace opportunities than they want or need. When one of those precious few opportunities nets little or nothing, the pain is tremendous. How can you deal with the reality that even marketed, promoted, and hyped events may produce meager results? How can you heal from the pain of dashed hopes?

Let’s say that you’ve been in contact with someone who’s expressed an interest in coming to your studio to look at your current work. You’ve been in email conversation with this prospective collector for many months. Each time the two of you schedule a time for him to visit, he texts you at the last minute to cancel. His excuses are plausible enough and you want to give him the benefit of the doubt, since you can’t see how getting angry with him or writing him off serves you. So, you bite your tongue, send along a friendly “No problem!”, and reschedule. But deep down you’re feeling really disappointed.

Why so disappointed? Primarily because, since you experience so few of these studio visits, the magnitude of each one is dramatically heightened in importance. Imagine if you had studio visits every day on the hour. Over time, wouldn’t you actually be thrilled if some of those prospective buyers cancelled? On a given day, wouldn’t you be thrilled if all of them cancelled, giving you an uninterrupted day to paint? If your paintings were selling like hotcakes, you’d hardly notice a cancellation here or there. But if you aren’t selling much at all, then each visit feels momentous and each cancellation comes as a real blow.

More on this important, difficult subject next week!

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