The first sale of an artist in most cases career defining – all the hard work, frustration, and sleepless nights finally paying off, when an artist finally makes the first sale, it truly feels amazing. It is a process everyone goes through, and even the artists who are now world famous have gone through this process.
It does not take long for those who are lucky to get their first sale, however, at the same time, there are other artists who have to go through a meandering route. Sometimes the first customer ends up becoming a patron and you finally get to start a long journey together.
We decided to talk to some of the now successful artists, and ask them how their first sale was.
Devin Troy Strother
The first gallery transaction for Strother happened at the age of 23, couple of months after he completed his undergraduate degree from Pasadena’s ArtCenter College of Design. Even though he made some extra money by being an assistant teacher in a print making class, he also spread out his work online, and the same postings managed to pique the interest of Richard Heller Gallery.
The dealer then got in touch with Strother, and Strother gave him 3 or 4 of his paintings, and managed to sell them for $2,000 – 3,000 each. According to Strother, he doesn’t remember how he felt, but he was certainly excited about that.
Although he was already prominent, Seth Price sold his 1st artwork in 2004. The artwork was simply named “Untitled”, and it was a scripture comprising of a photograph of a marbleized surface. The surface was attached to a glass, and was supported by two stacks of CDS. Despite being one of the most expensive, and challenging artworks, it sold between $3,000 to $4,000.
AA Bronson’s made his 1st art sale with the help of his friends back in 1969. Along with artists Jorge Zontal, as well as Felix Partz == Bronson started General Idea – it was an art collective that became popular for displaying some of the provocative works. However, their first sale was not as provocative, it was more like an installation that consisted small light boxes that were stacked in such a way that would make it look like a ziggurat.
Even though Louisa Gagliardi did not study art as the main subject, she still enjoyed relative amount of success thanks to her painting called Jo. It was a large painting that had a ruddy complexion, and was holding onto its own hand.
Helen Johnson already had some knowledge about solo exhibitions, however, her first sale did not happen until 2006. In 2006, Helen sold her first work; a series of paintings painted using acrylic paint directly on paper, and adhered directly to the wall, that was framed within a larger wall painting.
The idea was one of the most unique ones, and pushed Helen into the more creative fields and prospered her career.