Alan Potter | Episode 850
Alan Potter lives in Southeast Arizona where he works in his home studio creating raku-fired sculptural animals. Alan received a BA from Trinity College of Vermont in 1999. Alan’s work is represented by galleries, nationally.
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Do you sell most of your work through galleries?
No, not any more because I am doing more shows now, that’s definitely a bigger money maker than galleries. I have a couple of galleries that do really well. wholesale galleries that call me once a month probably for a restock. Yeah, the shows are definitely a bigger money maker at this point.
Do you know who your ideal customer is?
No. I have price points that go from eighteen dollars to five hundred dollars, plus or minus, so I get the whole range of customers from little kids to older people with second homes. It pretty much runs the gamut.
Do you know who your ideal gallery is? Like, is there a specific type of gallery that your work displays best in?
Yeah, they are definitely not the high end galleries. For example we go to Santa Fe to look for a gallery, in Santa Fe there are galleries where they are selling ten and twenty thousand dollar bronze statues and room size paintings but the also have the kitschy trinkets and the native American art and more touristy stuff. My stuff kind of falls in between those two. A kind of fine craft gallery is where I head. They seem to do the best.
Why do you think a boutique is performing better in terms of sales for you than the gallery?
I don’t know. I think it’s a very busy boutique, they stage the pieces. They will take my raven with the feet and drape a piece of jewelry over it’s neck or wrap a scarf around it’s neck. I think probably the biggest thing is they all like my work and they get to know me and that is always the better gallery when they like the work and they know me. And they can sell me as well as the art.
Does that make you think that boutiques might be a better way to go than an art gallery?
I’ve thought about that. And I’ve never really pursued going into other towns and going into the boutiques and approaching the owners. I don’t know why. I probably should. But galleries are definitely more receptive, regular straight forward galleries, and it’s easier to approach them because that’s what they do.
Do you see your relationship with the boutique and galleries as a partnership?
Oh, absolutely. Yeah, I am emailing them all the time or calling them an asking them what they need or what they’ve sold. Unfortunately my inventory is not what it should be. So I have to call them a lot of times and ask them to take pictures of what they have so I can restock what they need. But absolutely, it’s a relationship. That being said the ones that do really well and like my work it’s a lot easier to have that relationship. So me of them really aren’t interested as much in having that relationship. I try.
What is one thing you think galleries could do better?
I think a lot of them don’t have much a social media presence. I think these days that’s definitely a plus. I think some of them try, you know, they will be on Facebook but I think Instagram is really important at this point. But I think the biggest thing is, like you were saying, having a relationship. They have turn over and hire someone new, and they don’t really know the artists and they have no interest in getting to know the artist, and not just me but all the artists or maybe they don’t even like art, they are just looking for a summer job. They think it’s going to be easy or fun but yeah, that relationship I think is the most important.