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Vancouver landscape and abstract painter Sam Siegel, of Sam’s Original Art, has achieved incredible success in a short amount of time. Siegel only started selling his oil on canvas paintings and limited-edition prints in 2016 and last year made 1.1 million in revenue from sales.
Siegel credits his success to being in the right place, at the right time, with the right art and business model. His father’s support allowed Sam to use his office space on Burrard and 2nd Ave, in Vancouver’s Armoury District, as a gallery, making no money for three years.
“We thought people would just start coming in and buying art, but it wasn’t the case at all. No one knew we existed, so no one came,” he says.
When the pandemic hit, Siegel started honing his artistic skills and figuring out how to sell his paintings online.
“I started researching how to get people to my website, search engine optimization, Instagram, marketing and how to run Facebook ads,” he says.
Siegel took out an ad in the local paper, and quite a few people came to the gallery because of it, he says. In 2020, he sold his paintings worldwide, including Hong Kong, Australia, and the US.
Most of his sales are in Canada because the B.C. landscape scenes depicted, like Jericho beach and Howe Sound, really appeal to locals, says Siegel.
Something that’s worked well with his customers is to superimpose different paintings on a digital photo of the wall in their home that they’re hoping to fill, he says.
“I show them different sizes and ideas. Sometimes they know what painting they like. Sometimes they need a bit of help deciding.”
These days people are visiting the gallery, but most sales are online, through his website, says Siegel.
He’s learned how to sell online through Google searches and YouTube tutorials.
“I owe a lot of my success to just dedicating the time to learn, implementing the steps and creating a road map,” he says.
Siegel paints around two or three paintings a month. The canvas prints of his originals start at around $325 and go up to about $2,000 for the larger sizes.
When asked what’s next, Siegel says he’d like to establish manufacturing centres for his artwork throughout the US:
“One of the challenges we’re facing is shipping from Canada to the US.”
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