Saatchi Art's mission is to support emerging artists, and we allow artists to show their work freely in order to drive more sales. In this century, with virtually limitless connectivity, we strongly encourage artists to think carefully before seeking or agreeing to exclusive representation from a single online gallery. Those who keep their options open and consider all possibilities to sell their work have a better chance to reach a large, highly-engaged audience and to make a living selling art.
Agreeing to exclusive representation from a single online gallery can have significant drawbacks, and while it's not a universally negative experience, it's important for artists to consider potential downsides. Here are some reasons why exclusive representation with one online gallery may not be favorable for emerging artists:
- Limited Exposure: By aligning with a single online gallery, you restrict your reach and potential exposure to a wider audience. Other galleries, museums, fairs, or art events might be interested in featuring your work, but exclusivity prevents you from exploring those new and exciting opportunities. This limitation can hinder your career growth and limit your ability to connect with diverse, global audiences.
- Loss of SEO Traffic: Many artists want their freedom back from exclusive contracts, but in many cases have had to delete their online accounts with Saatchi Art and/or other selling platforms. When you remove your artworks and pages, they will not show up in Google searches, and it can take years to rebuild your SEO and Google index. Saatchi Art has spent years building our SEO domain authority through large marketing investments and a dedicated team of curators who present your work to important collectors. Having your work up on the site is both a short-term and long-term investment.
- Dependence on a Single Entity: Relying on a single gallery for representation means that your success becomes highly dependent on its performance, reputation, and sales. If the gallery fails to meet expectations, struggles financially, or closes its doors, your career may suffer as a result. Diversifying representation across multiple galleries and/or selling platforms can mitigate this risk and ensure your long-term success.
- Restrictive Terms and Conditions: Exclusive representation agreements often come with specific terms and conditions that artists must adhere to. These terms may include specific commission rates, control over pricing, exclusivity periods, and limitations on marketing and self-promotion, among other restrictions. You should review and negotiate these terms to ensure they align with your artistic vision and personal interests.
- Lack of Flexibility: Exclusive representation typically involves long-term contracts, which may limit your ability to adapt to changing circumstances or to take advantage of new opportunities that arise. For example, if your style or artistic vision evolves significantly, you may want to explore different avenues or work with other galleries that specialize in your new approach. An exclusive agreement with a single gallery could limit your ability to do so.
Options when approached for exclusivity:
If your art practice includes making various types of works (ie: painting, drawing, sculpture), you could consider offering a specific series of works for exclusivity. This allows you to see how well the gallery is able to generate clients interested in your work, while still maintaining your presence selling online. When thinking about selling a specific series of your work, keep in mind that it is encouraged to keep that contract limited to a certain time frame.
If you would still like to accept an exclusivity contract elsewhere, and need assistance with your Saatchi Art account you can inform our curation team here. In the last field, please let us know any relevant details of the exclusivity contract and any action you need taken on your account. You’ll hear back from our curation team in a few days. We’d love to find a way to help you exceed as a professional artist!
When working with other galleries, it is important that you, as an artist, retain the full copyright of your work. If you are approached with a contract, we encourage you to seek legal advice before signing to ensure that you retain your freedom and that your work is protected.