Online Galleries and Singulart
... by Bill Hudson
The past year of the pandemic has permanently altered the practices of both suppliers and consumers. Many, possibly most, consumers have adapted to online shopping and home delivery to avoid the risk of crowds.
Like many artists during the last 12 months, I withdrew from brick-and-mortar galleries—one in Scottsdale and one in Laguna Beach. Foot traffic had approached zero, galleries shut down, and many perished. During that time, I sold only one original to a gallery patron. But I realized advantages to ending my affiliation with galleries. I had no more obligations. I didn’t have to work a shift in a gallery, or show up for the monthly “Art Walk,” or rotate my art with other artists on the gallery walls. Of course, I had the obvious disadvantage—no chance of selling.
But a strange thing happened. My website sales increased during this same period of time. I sold five originals and a couple of commissions for a total of seven originals.
I came to a conclusion: Art is still in demand but sales are shifting from brick-n-mortar to online galleries. Patrons are buying, but they’re shopping the internet. I did some research and joined two recommended galleries…Saatchi Art (based in Santa Monica) and Singulart (based in Paris, France). For me, there is no comparison. I have nothing good to report from Saatchi Art. I’ve had zero sales, few views, and near-zero support when I’ve requested it.
Singulart proved to be smart choice that I would recommend to any serious artist. The website and staff are professional in every way. In the past six months I’ve sold three originals in Germany and Taiwan. I pay a standard 50% commission, but I do nothing except package the painting for shipping. For each sale, Singulart pays all shipping and customs costs. They provide shipping labels, a Certificate of Authenticity that I sign and date, and arrange for convenient pickup at my house.
Artists are selected/juried for acceptance. Once accepted, each artist is assigned an “Artist Liaison,” who provides valuable portfolio suggestions to improve sales, and a "Logistics Manager" to facilitate shipping. Also, each artist portfolio is translated into eight languages for a strong international presence. The number of views for the past 30 days are updated daily for each artist. For me, my 30-day views have ranged from 200 to a high of 3000 (or 100 per day). Singulart.com attracts 2M visitors per month and completes 1,500 sales per month.
Now, I regard myself as strictly a hobby artist. Fortunately, I’m just an old, retired engineer who loves painting but am not dependent on the sale of my art. Therefore, I enjoy complete freedom and only complete 12 to 20 paintings each year. It’s always a compliment when someone wants to own a piece. And it now appears that online sales from my website, commissions, and Singulart may keep up with my output.
Although I do one or two commissions each year, I’m selective. I want to enjoy the painting process and am extremely partial to maritime scenes. Several years back, I received a near-perfect request. The gentleman, who has since become a friend, asked me to paint his boat, ACE, which has historic significance. See below. ACE recently went on the market. For an interesting tour, click the link below.