Wednesday, April 8, 2009
LEASING MY PAINTINGS
A NEW LEARNING
I am considering leasing my paintings. The practice is not new in the art community. I have hung paintings in public locations thereby providing a decorative service to the location as well as exposure to my work. Having examined the practice of some galleries to rent paintings to clients I have been struck with the potential this option may provide to me. Granted it’s an arrogant assumption that someone will want to rent or lease my paintings to decorate their home or office suite, but such vanity is characteristic of any aspiring artist or he/she would never venture to offer the work for sale in the first place.
There are many reasons why leasing might work for me. Sometimes a prospective buyer is uncertain that a piece will fit in the home or office area for which they are seeking an art piece. Sometimes buyers are cautious because of the price. Providing an option whereby the client may hang the work for a period of time to determine its suitability may be of interest when the cost is reasonable. My paintings are relatively low priced because I am still emerging as an artist and even though I may do some good work I have an undeveloped reputation. When an artist’s reputation garners higher prices, from $3,000 - $8000 a potential buyer may be reluctant to purchase but may be interested in renting the piece for $100 per month. An artist must sort our personal feelings about this practice. As I consider it now, if I were to have ten paintings leased to clients, each garnering $25 per month for a three month contract, it would have some appeal to me. I just had eight paintings hanging in a member of parliament’s constituency offices for free.
Galleries and artists who lease paintings customarily use three month rental contracts. Some offer year long contracts with new pieces being offered every quarter. Some Galleries allow people to borrow artwork for a dinner party. Making it possible for lessees to lease-to-own may result in some art sales eventually and typically the option puts 50% to 60% of the rental fee toward the purchase.