We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Sonya Sparks. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Sonya below.
Sonya, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today Risk taking is something we’re really interested in and we’d love to hear the story of a risk you’ve taken.
Starting an art gallery from the ground up was certainly a risk… finding clients, the right team, and experience just came with time, after the initial leap I took to open up my gallery. There are a lot of criticisms of art, artists, and gallerists in the community that I am not sure that are shared with other industries, and it takes thick skin to move past the critiques and forward doing what you love because you want to, and not because you are following someone else’s path. The risk was opening up to the public viewing of all that is being shared, which can be a direct reflection of yourself as a business owner, and hoping that you are well-received.
Sonya, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
Sparks Gallery matches clients to their perfect piece of art… one that compliments their aesthetics, or speaks to their hearts. We showcase artwork in the gallery that is made primarily by living, Southern California artists who innovate and provide excellent craftsmanship in a multitude of mediums. Our artists are also available to create custom work for each client. We showcase collaborative exhibitions, curated exhibitions, and solo exhibitions. With a focus on surreal and impressionistic artwork, the gallery curates towards emotive works in themes ranging from portraiture and figurative to landscape and conceptual. Sparks Gallery champions artistic talent in the region and serves as a nexus for creative conversations to elevate the local artistic community.
What do you think helped you build your reputation within your market?
Reputation in the art world is all about being present in industry functions, networking and staying in touch with other members of the community, as well as being consistently knowledgable about current trends, whether we embrace them or not. Bringing new work often to our clientele has been successful for us. We have built up our reputation by doing our best to follow our Road Map each year to reach out goals and strive to build onto the year prior. While offering new ways to connect to us virtually and purchase online, as well as maintaining a selection of consistent quality artwork from our featured artists, we are able to show clients that we stand behind these artists and support quality and longevity in a collection.
We’d love to hear your thoughts about selling platforms like Amazon/Etsy vs selling on your own site.
We developed a website (sparksgallery.com) which allows our clients to purchase online, or view the artworks in our regular rotation. We designed an additional platform here to host art auctions, so clients can bid on the work for a discount for a limited time before the auction closes. We are also implementing a Secondary Market platform to allow works which have been purchased to be re-sold and find a new home, as we found this to be a need in our community. We find that the majority of our sales are supported though our website, but we do sell occasionally on 1stDibs and Chairish where we feature work primarily for interior designers. These are great supplemental sites for helping promote the work to this particular target audience for niche items that fit well here.
- Website: https://sparksgallery.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sparksgallery/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sparksgallery
- Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/sonyasparks
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/sparks-gallery-san-diego