January 29, 2009

A Fine Example of Misjudging...


Archives - 1981 - Another Wrinkle - 30x40


How apropos! My last post is about mixups in the written word vs face to face conversations... and this happens:

First this email:
Dear Karen,
I am interested in three of your abstract paintings. Could you give me the prices on the paintings listed below? Are they available to purchase at this time?.


(three paintings listed, I didn't notice that she had also included her cell phone number.)

Suspecting this this could be spam (I get 2 or 3 a month) and a new head cold taking over the thinking part of my brain... instead of deleting, I answer:

Cxxx, only Ballast is still available. It's located at my gallery in Atlanta. Please refer to the info on the front page of my website and check with the gallery as to it's availability. I must add that due to the unfortunate status of many internet transactions, I suspect that you are not, in truth, really interested in my work. If I'm wrong, forgive me. If I'm right, please consider another line of work.
KJ

"I must add that the unfortunate status of many internet transactions" How dumb of me! Non artists don't know about all the phony offers we get from Nigeria, Scotland, etc. Or the pay-to-play art sites that are, supposedly, going to give us our big breaks. Unnecessary to add that part... should have hit 'send' instead.

So... as my head cold begins to clear I find this:
Dear Karen,
I am sorry if you have not had any favorable responses in the past with purchases on the internet maybe you should consider another alternative. I was truly interested in you work and have been looking for a piece of abstract art for about a year. I really liked your work and money is not an option for me. It is truly sad that you treat your clients in the way that I have been treated.

Yeah... so right! I should never be in the business of selling my own work. In fact I learned that very early in my career and made it my goal to be a gallery artist so I wouldn't have to risk saying the wrong thing.

So... I humbly answer:
Well, no need to copy that here... haven't sorted out just the right words to convey the right thoughts... I really did think I was talking to a machine... should have noticed her cell phone no, that would have been a clue... my bad...

9 comments:

Annette Bush said...

Oh, Karen
What a tough situation. too bad that the very thing we all hope will bring us recognition or connections winds up brining the hoaxes as well. I suspect I would have answered in a similar manner as you did! I hope you can think of an appropriate response which will turn this around.
A

Karen Jacobs said...

I'm not going to let it bother me... if she was truly interested, she would contact the gallery as I suggested. I did apologize but decided not to call her because I didn't have anything more to say... plus my cold has settled in my vocal cords and I'm pretty rumbly. Hope you guys didn't get it... I think Joel's the germy culprit.

Joanie San Chirico said...

Hmmm,, I still have doubts about whether that was a real bite.

Karen Jacobs said...

I lean the same way, Joanie, but no excuse for my being rude... I could have kicked the cat or something. 'Cept I don't have a cat.

Walker said...

Ouch!

Anonymous said...

I'm not so sure it's a hoax. I have often had clients in my gallery choose to contact the artist directly about pieces. Some like the feeling they get from meeting the artist personally. I don't discourage it either, which may be a rare trait for a gallerist.

Karen Jacobs said...

Lesson learned... one should keep negative thoughts to oneself, even when a cold is looming and it feels so good to send out a verbal blast...

bob cornelis said...

Ouch!

Actually my wife (also an artist) was almost really scammed in the internet with a very complex plot launched from Europe. We actually did talk to the person directly on the phone and were only able to catch it at the last moment.

It really is hard to sort some of these situations out. Artists these days I think are particularly vulnerable because so many are desperate for sales.

Natasha Sazonova said...

I'm also an artist and a while back I was in a similar situation. Somebody emailed me wanting to purchase two of my paintings. There was a phone # as well. I emailed the person back, I was very polite, but it did turn out to be a scam, which I managed to catch in time. So don't feel bad! Maybe she WAS a scammer....