As I've worked on the Dominion Graphic Arts blogs over the last year or so, I've had quite a few customers ask me why a certain image they see on a blog entry isn't available as a print. In this blog entry, I thought I would address this question, as it tends to come up relatively often.
There are, as it turns out, a few reasons why I might comment on an image on my blogs, or share it on my social media, without necessarily making it available for purchase.
Here's the full explanation:
1.) I don't want to make everything a sales pitch: There's a saying that "everyone loves to buy, but nobody likes to be sold to." I've learned this the hard way over the years, and I find that it especially rings true in the art industry. The truth is, people like to look at art because it's beautiful, but not everyone will buy it. At least not the first time they see it. And this is why I want to give you a reason to like the website that goes beyond whether or not you will buy anything. Sure, I expect that some of you will, but even if you don't, it's about inspiring you so that, if at some point you feel ready, you might. And even if you never do, it's okay. I'd rather build a reputation as someone who appreciates art and wants to share it rather than as that obnoxious salesman who only cares about making a quick and easy buck.
2.) I want to inspire and educate: As I see it, it's not enough to just sell art without there being some understanding of what makes it significant. In other words, why should you care? For instance, a sheet music cover might not mean very much in and of itself, but when you've read some of the history behind it, and learned about its artist, its publisher, and maybe even the music itself, you'll appreciate it a bit more. And it takes looking at a variety of other pieces that are not for sale to gain the knowledge and inspiration to appreciate what is for sale. That's the whole point. And again, it all comes down to whether I want to be known as someone who genuinely appreciates this type of art and not as someone who only cares about how much money it will make him.
3.) It's all about the relationship: I can't stress this enough -- you are not here because I'm trying to push a product on you, but because I care about you as a person. I may not always sell to everyone, but even those I have successfully sold to have been here before and have supported this endeavor in their own way. Whether it's an encouraging or insightful comment, a "like" on social media, or a heartfelt email exchange, I find that my interactions with you are what keep me going even when the going gets tough.
4.) "But what if I want to buy it and it's not for sale?": I always value honest feedback, and the most valuable feedback of all is a simple request. Just because I'm commenting on an image without selling it doesn't mean I'll never make it available. And if you see something you like, don't be afraid to ask me for it. I'll try to find it, scan it, restore it, and offer it in the catalog just as I do with all my product offerings, but please speak up. Everybody likes being listened to, but only those who speak up will ever be heard.
And that's it for this entry, except to say that if you'd like to explore the images that actually are available for purchase, you can find them all in our catalog. And, of course, if you have any other thoughts on the subject, I'd love to hear from you. Please leave a comment and we can have a nice chat.
Till next time!