Thursday, February 28, 2013

Who Loves to Market Themselves?

Nearly every artist I've talked to complains about how they hate to do their own marketing. If they could have someone else do it, that would be better (but most of us don't have that kind of budget!).

So, you want your work to sell. But, you hate marketing your art. Sounds like a pretty big conflict, doesn't it? It's as though 'sales' and marketing' are dirty words (or, a dirty job).

ArtBiz coach, Alyson Stanfield sums it up beautifully and calls a spade a spade, methinks-in her article titled,

"So You Don't Feel Like Marketing"
(by Alyson Stanfield)

Remember when you were a kid and your mom asked you to clean your room or to pick up your toys?
Remember the wrath that was imposed upon you when you replied to her request with a whiny “But I don’t feel like it, Mom”?
Pouting Boy
It’s time to ask yourself if you’re being your same childlike stubborn self when it comes to marketing your art. Are you avoiding too many marketing tasks because you “don’t feel like it?”
If you are trying to make money from your art, you are responsible for certain tasks that you may not feel like doing.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Why Didn't I Think Of This?

Sometimes, when you see someone's simple solution to a problem that has plagued you nearly all of your life, you think to yourself, "why didn't I think of that?". Because the solution was so simple and under your nose, so to speak.
Barbara Delaney who writes for "Cloth, Paper, Scissors" magazine shares some of these dirt simple solutions she learned from other artists:

"Thoughts for Thursday: smart tips from clever artists (written by Barbara Delaney):

I am lucky to be able to work with all of the talented contributing artists for Cloth Paper Scissors. Not only do I get to see their art, up close and personal, and learn new techniques, I also pick up some great little tricks along the way.
I decided to share a few of these tips with you.

I learned this  helpful tip from Kari McKnight Holbrook. SO simple . . . and SO smart!
You know those little plastic clips that hold bread bags and the like closed? Kari uses one to keep the end of a roll of tape accessible.
No more searching for the end of any tape roll for me!
I picked up this little tidbit (and lots more!) on Kari's Cloth Paper Scissors Workshop DVD (Backgrounds to Bindings).
Coming soon!

You can read the rest of the article here...

Solutions that are so simple and brilliant. Why didn't I think of that?

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Or How to get started as an artist

I've been a graphic designer, website designer and photographer for more than a decade. But I have not attempted to make a living from my photography until this past year. The thought of beginning a career in art is absolutely daunting!

There is a very helpful series of articles on Art Biz Blog about the initial steps to getting started. It is a great read and I'd highly recommend looking for more articles similar to it.

The steps the blog outlines include seriously setting aside time to create and WORK on your art. It is a lot of work to be an artist. Not only do we need to create the actual piece of art, capture the perfect photograph, sculpt the incredible statue, but we also have to do the business side of pricing the art, marketing ourselves and maintaining finances. Discipline is key.

You've heard the adage 'it's not what you know, it's who you know'? Well use your network to begin building your contact list now. This list should have names, mailing addresses and email addresses of past buyers, galleries, fellow artists of differing genres, friends and family and business people - anyone who can assist you going forward with your business as an artist.

Seek out fellow artists and groups of artists, like Rio Rancho Art Association, to commune with. These people should be a mix of genres of art, stages of careers as artists, etc. This helps with the 'been there, done that, wouldn't do it that way again' advice we seek when starting something new. That's part of why I joined Rio Rancho Art Association; to garner the expertise of other artists and get to know the art scene in NM through those who have been part of it for awhile.

Promoting your art without the use of words is futile. Thus we need to begin our art careers, and continue them, by writing. We have to write the artist biography, write the descriptions of the artwork, write the thoughts that are in our heads down on paper or speak them to a voice recorder. If you have no idea what to write, as the Art Biz Blog suggests,  write about others' artwork. Go to a museum or pick one of your favorite artists and write about their work.

I'll be on this journey with the rest of you new career artists (and those of you who need a revamping of your current career). We'll be disciplined, contact-gathering, interactive, literary self-employed artists together! Best of luck.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Your website - a living, evolving thing

    An artist updates their body of artwork as often as able, adding new works, revamping and recreating past projects. Artists are always evolving and moving forward.

A website used to showcase a portfolio should be evolving and moving forward too.

    Many of us (myself included) are so focused on creating art that we forget or neglect our websites. The thought of maintaining them with the latest creations and completed or in-progress works of art is just one more thing to add to the mix of the daily tasks. But it is a necessary task to add if an artist is interested in garnering more new and repeat buyers.

So how often should a website be updated?

    Well, ideally as often as there are new works to be shared, or when a piece is sold. It is certainly a best practice to mark a piece as sold on your website so other interested buyers continue to peruse your other works of art.

    If you are unable to update your website with an image and a copyright caption each time a new work is completed, consider setting a timeline and making a date to maintain your site. Every four to six weeks at the most, log in to your site, upload some new images of your latest completed art or work in-progress or simply update your blog or artist statement if it has evolved.

    The web is a living, growing entity and content that is updated more often attracts more repeat users which could lead to more sales and exposure.