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Author Topic: What percent of the population buys art  (Read 6905 times)
tandlh
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« on: November 12, 2007, 06:44:24 PM »
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Hi All,
    After a great show and then two not very good shows I had plenty of time to wonder about our business area.  For example, most of the personal friends I have probably never consider buying art.  So, I got to wondering what percentage of the population actually seeks out art to buy, and then what percentage considers photo art for purchase.  Then to get really tough, I tried to figure out the demographics of those who do buy.  I gave up on that based on my own experience.  My last best buyer worked at Walmart, yet purchased nearly $1,000 worth of photos from me.  
    I tried a google search on this and came up empty, except for one site that had a story on a gallery that did a background check on buyers and wouldn't sell to anyone who was 'rich'.  The owner claimed that only the top 2% of the population buys art, whatever the "top" means in that context.  I'm not sure that 2% is far off though.
    Any thoughts or evidence out there?

Ted
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sojournerphoto
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« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2007, 06:55:19 PM »
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Hi All,
    After a great show and then two not very good shows I had plenty of time to wonder about our business area.  For example, most of the personal friends I have probably never consider buying art.  So, I got to wondering what percentage of the population actually seeks out art to buy, and then what percentage considers photo art for purchase.      Any thoughts or evidence out there?

Ted
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=152261\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I think not enough is probably the answer... but it might just be my work!!
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sojournerphoto
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« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2007, 07:14:00 PM »
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I think not enough is probably the answer... but it might just be my work!!
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Ah, thank goodness it's not:)

[a href=\"http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2007/11/stifling-your-i.html]http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/t...ing-your-i.html[/url]



they just don't understand
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2007, 12:32:01 AM »
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Ted:  You may wish to check out Alain Briot's website: http://www.beautiful-landscape.com

Especially:
http://www.beautiful-landscape.com/Article...Publishing.html

Mike.
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If your mind is attuned to beauty, you find beauty in everything.
~ Jean Cooke ~


My Flickr site / Random Thoughts and Other Meanderings at M&M's Musings
dkeyes
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« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2007, 01:40:05 AM »
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I think, based on the people I've met who buy my art and others, passion for art is the formost requirement to purchase it. The people I know that collect art run the gamut from fairly wealthy (don't need to work but do), to artists just making a living day to day. Not surprisingly, I believe artists make up a significant portion of the collector market. My guess would be 10-20%. They will make a point to buy at least one or two pieces a year. I'm talking about art in the $1000 and up range, not $100 prints. Galleries dealers buy art as well and many of them aren't exactly rich. Again, they are passionate about art, that is why they are in the business of selling it.

Most of my friends don't buy art or have bought very little. They don't think they can afford it. It's a perception thing of course, because you can often pay a gallery or artist in installments. I like to ask my artist friends if they collect art and if not, why not. I often tell them that if they aren't willing to purchase art, how can they expect someone else to purchase their art.

Of course all my info is not from a big enough sample to be accurate. Would be interesting to see some hard data about who buys art.
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Bruce Watson
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« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2007, 03:37:50 PM »
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Most of my friends don't buy art or have bought very little. They don't think they can afford it.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=152323\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I run into this too. Total up their monthly alcohol consumption for them. Their car payments. Meals out. Cable bill. Health club membership. Etc.

It's not that they can't afford it. It's that they don't want it enough to give up anything else to have it. That is, they don't want it enough to buy it.

Welcome to America.
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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2007, 05:49:08 PM »
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Depends on what you mean by "art". Plenty of people will buy a Thomas Kinkaid calendar.

Okay, just joking. In my tiny rural town, I can sell as many photo note cards at $4.50 each as I care to print. Likewise for $12 calendars. Move up to small framed $60 prints and the numbers drop off quite a bit. Move up a few more notches to 24x70" panoramics, and I'm limited to selling a few at cost to friends, unless I want to quit my day job to sell them in a bigger market.

I do know of one fine art photographer who earns a decent living in an upscale suburb. He sells at every local summer art fair, markets consistently to past purchasers with reminder cards and opening notices, sells through an upscale cafe with his photos on its walls, and has a very professional website. He's successful, but only because he has devoted his total effort to the project. I admire his business skills, but to my eye such grueling work would stomp the joy right out of photography.
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tandlh
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« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2007, 07:42:38 PM »
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I finally found a google search combination that gave me some hints.  I found a book titled "Why people buy things they don't need" by Pamela Danziger.   Chapter 7 was included in the on-line review and included a small discussion on Art purchases.  Among other data points, it has a chart that claims that in 2003 42 of households purchased art, prints or pictures in the 12 months prior to the survey.  2001 the figure was 27 percent and 2000 was 21 percent.  Another chart indicates the order of purchases (by dollar amount anyway) was:  Original Art, Framed Prints, Customed Framed work, and then unframed prints.

I'm not sure it helps but it's the first statistical data I've seen.  So it's a start.

Also, here's a link to SouthwestArt readership demographics.  SouthwestArt highlights original traditional Art so it's readership reflects that, but again, it's interesting to see some real data on this subject.  

A "Unity Marketing" web page claims to have all the answers to these questions in their report, for a mere $2,500.

BTW, I asked this question in the Print Forum because I believe that taking pictures is only half the battle, the other half is trying to print our work in a way that reflects the original photo we captured and then worked so hard on.  I assume that the ultimate goal of many of us in this forum is to sell our work, so that's why I posted it here.  

Ted
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tandlh
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« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2007, 07:44:53 PM »
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I forgot to include the link to Southwest Art, here it is:

http://search.rja-ads.com/pdfs/demographic...emographics.pdf
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