(with audio) Selling your art in a cafe may not be what you would consider your first port of call. Most people think of an art exhibition. If your art would look good in someones loungeroom or kitchen I say go for it! Be wise though it has it’s successes and warnings.
This is what you need to do.
- Print off a variety of your artwork and put them into a brag book. I had a small standard size photo book.
- Find a cafe district and start scoping out which cafes might have the space for your artwork to hang.
- Support their business. Have a meal and a coffee there to get a feel of the staff and patrons.
- After a couple of visits if you think it might be a good fit ask if they would be interested in having artwork for sale on their walls.
- Look for visual cues. They might not really like your work.
- Offer a 10% commission for anything that sells. Some will want 15%.
So you got the thumbs up. Good for you! What’s next?
Know your audience
You need to know your audience. It is a cafe. Cater for a cafe crowd. If it is under $100 it is easier to sell than when it is over. Think about where you fit in the scheme of things. If you have won awards then maybe the cafe crowd is not for you. No awards then you can’t afford to be precious about your work. For a pricing guide go to cafes where work is selling and note their prices.
To frame or not to frame
Either frame them generically using a department store frame or stick to stretched canvas and don’t frame them at all. I went for thin sided stretched canvas unless decidedly small. In Australia you need approval from your Real Estate before putting hooks in walls so take that on board. Many of your clients may be renting and relying on using removable hooks for their walls.
Keep it fresh
Don’t leave them on the wall for more than a month. Keep it as a moving feast. When local cafe goers see the work moving they will be keeping an eye out for what is coming next.
Accept that people might steal your work
Always have your work documented. If you have more than a few on display have a printout for the staff with what they look like and how much they are. Over the years I have only had 3 artworks stolen. Most people are delightful.
I found displaying artworks in restaurants and cafes very gratifying. These are people that don’t know you from a bar of soap. It means they like your work. There not just being nice.
Wishing you all the best on your cafe artwork journey.
DEE GRANT – 2021