Even though I have spent a great deal of time building a strong social media presence, I never thought I would buy art in Facebook. But now, I have and I enjoyed the experience. I still believe there is no replacement to physically seeing a work of art in person. However, there are another set of rules when looking at work in social media. First, the work is right there, digitally represented in my everyday mobile interconnected life. Second, commenting and instantly interacting with an artist is just a few buttons away. Third, for the first time, we have instant access to the artist creative space. It is like having a spying Predator drone flying around the artist studio. Except, that this intrusion is voluntary on behalf of the artist. More often, artists give us access to their creative spaces via social media. I do it too. Why not? It builds interest in the creative process.
Increasingly, I hear of sales being made because the artist posted a photo of a new work on Facebook. I know of a couple collectors who are very active in social media looking out for what is being done. Most of the times, these sales are from collectors who already know the artist. However, others find interest in new artists who share their work. If the price for a small drawing is affordable, almost everyone has the potential to be a collector! So here are a few instances of artists using Facebook as a marketplace platform.
A month or so ago, I purchased a couple drawings by Liz Mares (http://www.facebook.com/LizMares). Liz posts a drawing once every few days and it goes up for sale for about $25+shipping anywhere int he world. The first person to offer to buy it, gets it. The drawings are beautiful, delicate and interesting. The first time I saw them, I was too late and could not get them. One day, I logged in FB and there it was. Liz’s newest drawing. I just had to get it. So I did.
Chicago artist Pancho Panoptes (http://www.facebook.com/pancho.panoptes) does a similar thing. He posts an original work on paper he calls a Love Letter and then it goes on auction for 24 hours. I tried several times to get one of his small collages but I was always late until two days ago. I got lucky. I saw the post and made the first offer. Twenty four hours later, I made my second offer and I won by one dollar over the last person to bid. Hahaha!!! Pancho is now residing in Germany working on an interesting art project which I will write about in an upcoming In-Sync post.
My good friend Saul Aguirre (http://www.facebook.com/saul.aguirre) is conducting a Raffle for one of his beautiful paintings via Facebook. I purchased a ticket too but the raffle has not taken place. He needs to sell 100 tickets before the raffle takes place. Saul has a strong following on social media and is very creative in the way he runs his career. If you want to purchase a raffle ticket for only $25, contact him at email@example.com. I look forward to see what else he comes up with in social media.
I had my personal share of the social media adventure last December when I showed my series of 41 Winters at 33 Contemporary Gallery. I did not spent a cent in advertising, printing or marketing. It was strictly social media driven type of marketing. I posted many works via FB and was able to sell many of them directly from my posts. Not only that, the show was featured in Chicago Public Radio. Proven once again that social media cannot be ignored.
Anyway, there is much more to share on this later. For now, check out the artists listed above and support the work they do. It is a fresh and enjoyable buying experience! That is, if you are lucky enough to get one of their pieces before they are gone.