By Cassandra Rosas, Guest Blogger - The British writer Graham Greene once wrote, “Sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.” For many, art is a form of therapy, but it can also be a source of income or simply an enjoyable hobby. Having a place of one’s own to create art is a convenience that can enhance the creation process. By setting up a home art studio or art room, you can carve out space for working on your art projects and for safely storing your art supplies while ensuring they’re accessible when you need them. Here, we’ll explore how to create an art room at home so you can more easily channel your creativity into completed art projects.

How to Set Up an Art Room at Home

Depending on the size of your home, you may or may not find it challenging to assign space for your home art room. In fact, you may not have a spare room you’re able to devote to the creation of your art studio. That’s okay, as many artists have improvised and created unique art studios in even relatively small spaces by sectioning off part of a room or transforming a niche into a place for making art. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind as you plan your art studios and avoid design mistakes:

Budget

How much are you willing to spend to create your home art room? Establishing a budget will enable you to make a working plan for building your home art studio. Designing a functional space for your work may require some investment. Consider your studio’s needs and whether or not you can fulfill them with existing or new resources. Typically, your studio will need:

  • Good lighting
  • Ventilation
  • Sink
  • Cabinets or shelves for supplies
  • Workspace
  • Floor protection

You may already have some of these elements on hand or can repurpose items inexpensively to suit your project. However, creating a budget will help you plan for each aspect of your studio and its needs.

Lighting

Good lighting is typically a critical element of any art studio. Whether you work with oil paint, watercolors, clay, or some other medium, you need to have the best lighting possible to see what you’re doing. If you can site your studio near a sunny window that will allow for good natural light during the day, but your space may not have window access. According to the Artists Network, art studio lighting should have a balance of cool and warm light. Try to install bulbs that have a color-rendering index (CRI) of 80-100, as these bulbs will provide vibrant lighting that is ideal for mimicking natural light.

Additionally, you may also require spotlights for working in detail. Overhead lighting and table-top fixtures will allow you to light up your art room brightly. You may also want to invest in good photography lighting if you want to photograph your work to showcase or sell online.

Ventilation

If you work with paints and associated art supplies like paint thinners and cleaners, you’ll need to be mindful of ventilation. If you wood carve or grind materials, you should also keep your space well ventilated. Depending on the chemicals and materials you are involved with, a ceiling fan and open window may simply not be enough to create a healthy environment for creating art.

One method that artists often use at home is to purchase an industrial fan from a home improvement center. According to Professional Artist Magazine, “the fan pumping in fresh air will be behind the artist, blowing fumes away from the artist’s face and toward the fan exhausting the air outside in order to create a continuous stream of clean air for the artist to breathe in.”

Another ventilation method is to invest in installing local exhaust ventilation, which is a superior option, particularly for controlling semi-toxic or highly toxic fumes. This type of exhaust system, placed above your workspace, will remove fumes and tiny particles through ducts, blowing it through filters before it’s released outdoors.

If you grind materials or work with dust-producing mediums, an exhaust system is more conducive to health safety. A professional exhaust ventilation system is recommended for many types of art, including photograph development, woodworking, silkscreen painting, welding, spray painting, and acid etching.

Sink and Water

Although you can transport your paintbrushes or other supplies to a utility sink in your home, having a sink and faucet in your art studio is a decided convenience. You might even consider siting your art studio near a utility sink that you share with your laundry space. If you’re designing your art space outside of your home in your garage or shed, you can purchase a portable sink that you can attach to an outdoor spigot.

Privacy

Privacy may or may not be a priority for you as you design your home art studio. However, you should consider some type of barrier simply to protect your projects in the event you have company. If your studio is in an open space rather than enclosed by its own four walls and door, you can create privacy by installing draperies, floor-to-ceiling shelving units, or half walls to protect your workspace.

Floor Protection

Regardless of the medium you use, you are likely to need floor protection. If you work with paint, you might choose inexpensive paint tarps. On the other hand, you can also protect your permanent flooring by installing vinyl sheets (without adhesive) atop your existing floor. Vinyl is easy to clean, and because it’s relatively cheap ($25 for a roll of 9’ x 15’ vinyl flooring), you can replace it easily every few years if you choose to.

Work Space

Designing your workspace is of paramount importance. Consider the type of workbench or other apparatus you’ll need to do your creating. If you paint and work on an easel, you’ll probably want to have a cart or table nearby to accommodate your supplies. Your space should be comfortable, well-lit, and stable to reduce the risk for spills.

Where to Set Up Your Home Art Studio

As you view your home, you may have more than one option for creating your art studio. Which is best? Keep in mind some of the considerations we discussed above, such as lighting, ventilation, and access to a sink. These may help you choose the ideal site for your art space. Some spaces you can consider for installing your home art studio include:

 

  • Spare room
  • Corner of a room (i.e., corner of the family room or laundry room)
  • Shed
  • Space under stairs
  • Garage
  • Patio
  • Sunroom
  • Attic
  • Basement
  • Screened porch

Required Art Materials

If you paint or draw, you’ll need a wide range of materials for creating art along with appropriate space to store them. Oil painting at home or sculpting at home involves many types of supplies. If you make art using different mediums, be sure to consider how to best store your supplies, so they’re well protected. Generally, if you paint or draw, you should plan to supply your studio with:

  • Canvases of various sizes
  • Oil paint
  • Watercolor paints
  • Various types of paper
  • Graphite pencils
  • Artist pallet
  • Primer
  • Assorted jars/containers
  • Paintbrushes (various types)
  • Paint extender
  • Exacto knives
  • Drying racks

Depending on the type of art you create, you may need many items to supply your studio. If your studio is a family space for art, you can use this link to help you supply it. It includes the most commonly needed supplies for elementary students, middle school students, high school students, and adults.

Maintaining Your Home Art Room

Keeping your art room tidy requires some specialized knowledge about how to clean paintbrushes or other items that you work with. Having access to a sink and faucet will help. You may need to handle many of your supplies with special care to clean up after projects. Be sure that you know which items require specialized discarding. You may, for instance, have to drop off old paint somewhere in town or your city to dispose of it properly, and check if any of the disposed materials can be recycled, if that is the case, take them to your nearest recycling center, this will help reduce your carbon footprint. Try to set aside an area of your studio where you can stow your cleaning supplies and materials to be discarded.

A home art studio can afford you the ideal space for painting, drawing, sculpting, or creating other art types. Creating art or crafting is a great way to de-stress, so you don’t have to be a professional artist to design a home art room—you just have to enjoy making art. Use these tips to create a home art studio that’s ideal for you.

Cassandra Rosas is a content writer at Porch.com. She is passionate about art, painting, sculpting, health and wellbeing, reading, writing, and music. 

 

By Rodney Laws, Guest Blogger - Every industry was affected heavily by the outbreak of COVID-19, and art is certainly no exception. So much of the art world has typically revolved around in-person demonstrations and sales. Museums and galleries have always worked through bringing in foot traffic, with money made through selling entrance tickets, refreshments, and gift-shop items. Then there are street performers (caricaturists, for instance) who have always made money through tips.

At the moment, the continued need for social distancing (along with the lingering fears concerning travel) means that even those places that can afford to open are finding it hard to attract interest. The artists, though, do have options, and they have drawn upon them (no pun intended) to keep afloat during the past year. By operating online, they can still make money doing what they love.

Trying to succeed exclusively online as an artist presents a very different challenge, though. The tactics required for reaching the right people (and ultimately prospective clients) are largely distinct. In this post, we’re going to look at four solid strategies an artist can use to grow their brand and attract some interest online. Let’s get started.

Use a combination portfolio and store

Taking client work is often the typical way of making a living as an artist, since you have clear creative direction and set terms. It is simply a matter of receiving and fulfilling a brief: you don’t need to worry about the commercial viability of what you are producing. But that doesn’t mean that should be the only way in which you make money. The more routes you have to profit, the more stable your financial situation can become.

Due to this, it is a great idea to build an ecommerce store that’s also your portfolio. You don’t even need web-design skills to create such a store these days. If you already have an art blog in WordPress (the platform that dominates blogging), you can install a free plugin called WooCommerce (take a look at this WooCommerce review) and start selling products.

Whenever you make a sale, promote it through the blog side of the store: this will reinforce your value as an artist in the eyes of prospective clients. In addition, whenever you pick up a notable client, add their testimonial to your store homepage: this will reassure potential buyers that you’re truly as good as they think you are. It’s a win-win situation.

Get into the habit of asking for referrals

You can’t add testimonials to your store if you don’t have any testimonials, and they don’t tend to appear spontaneously. If you don’t ask for them, you won’t get them — so get into the habit of asking for them. Do this carefully, of course: don’t bug people, come across as desperate, or push them to shower you with more praise than they think you deserve. Just ask politely.

It is a good idea to fold the feedback-collection process into your general client-handling sequence. When you’re wrapping up a project and ensuring that all the details have been handled, you can have an automated email go out to provide a survey (HubSpot has some good tips on this process). You can even throw in some kind of basic incentive to prompt a reply: 10% off their next commission and/or purchase, for instance.

Share your process on social media

People who don’t understand what goes into art can easily end up undervaluing it. You are likely familiar with the common effort to “pay” artists in “exposure”. It is commonplace to joke about at times, but it is a sad indication of how little people understand the difficulty of producing high-quality art. They assume (for some reason) that most artists live frivolous lives of luxury — and those who don’t, well, they should just be grateful to get some attention, right?

To help people accept the complexities of what you do, and show just how good you are, you should combine your blogging efforts with social media comments concerning your process. You don’t need to engage with social media in general, just offer some commentary on how long certain pieces of art take you, sharing progress on art you are currently working on, the decisions you need to make along the way, the obstacles you need to overcome, etc.

In addition, when you have a piece you are particularly proud of, you should enter it into some online competitions, both through social media and other sites. It won’t cost much, and the risk is minimal: if you don’t win, it won’t matter, but it will give you something you can talk about it through social media and get even more attention.

Join a forum of like-minded artists

The best artists tend to support one another because they know that great art should be appreciated and supported and the internet is full of fantastic communities that can help you promote your services. This is something that can go unnoticed due to the assumption that artists will all be hyper-competitive, eager to undermine one another. Not so.

In truth, there is plenty of demand for art, and those who produce it often end up spending some of their money on commissioning it as well. Artists can collaborate on pieces through which they can all profit, and expand their audiences through building professional associations. You also need to remember that great artists never stop learning. However much you’ll learn from your new community, the existing members will learn just as much from you.

And when someone out there expresses interest for art in the exact style that you’ve mastered, you’ll find that other artists will often point them in the right direction, knowing that you’ll do the same for them in return. Put your trust in community spirit. You won’t regret it.

Rodney Laws is an ecommerce expert with over a decade of experience in building online businesses. Check out his reviews on EcommercePlatforms.io and you’ll find practical tips that you can use to build the best online store for your business. Connect with him on Twitter @EcomPlatformsio.

by Frank Hamilton, Guest Blogger - Over the years, the popularity of social media has skyrocketed, and the influence it has on shaping perceptions and habits can no longer be denied.

Social media marketing for artists has become an essential aspect of their online marketing strategy, which they use to reach a wider audience and generate more sales.

In this article, we will be showing you how to write social media posts that will help sell your art.

 

 

1. Use The 3 W’s In Drafting Your Post

You have probably heard that content is king, but content without a substantial purpose is just a waste of time. To create excellent content, you must first ask the following questions:

    1. Why am I creating this content?
    2. What problem will it solve?
    3. Who will it be useful to?

These questions are called the three W’s. Your social posts should have a clear objective, and that objective should be clearly stated. This is because when your intended audience sees the content, it has to be something they will find beneficial.

2. Apply the KISS Principle

Another tip on how to use social media to sell art is to use the KISS principle. KISS stands for Keep It Simple Stupid. Keeping it simple is not all about the post being short. While you may hear people say that the shorter the content, the better, a recent BBC Study debunked this claim as a myth. Instead, we advise that you keep your social post simple to understand.

3. Tell A Story With Your Post

Storytelling is a very effective social media marketing tool for promoting artists and their work. Creating social posts that tell stories is a fun and engaging way to sell artwork. Studies show that storytelling as a marketing tool can boost your post-conversion rate.

Here are some tips in using storytelling in social media marketing for artists:

    1. Tell your target audience the artist’s inspiration behind the artwork.
    2. Describe the theme behind the artwork, what the artist experienced while creating it, and the emotions driving the artwork.
    3. Make use of social constructs, or things your audience are currently talking about and use them to weave a story around your artwork.

4. Use Words that Evoke Emotions in Your Potential Buyers

The best salesmen know that making sales is not only about selling a product; it is about selling a feeling/emotion. This knowledge is even more critical in sales of art. Therefore, when creating social posts to sell your art, infuse strong emotional words in your copy that will resonate with your target buyer.

5. Understand The Difference Between "Active" and "Passive" Voice

In thinking of how to use social media to sell art, you need to think of engagement and nothing is more engaging than using active voice in your social posts. For example, use “Tom painted the entire portrait …” as opposed to “The entire portrait was painted by Tom”.

There are several advantages of using an active voice over a passive voice, and they include:

    1. The ability to use fewer words to convey a message
    2. Makes the text more understandable for people
    3. The sentences become less confusing for audiences who are not native English speakers/readers
    4. Produces a stronger connection to an audience

6. Always Use CTA

If you are new to social media marketing, CTA, which stands for Call To Action is an action trigger that you infuse into your post, which will ask, tell, and remind your readers to take a specific action. For example, for a post with the main focus of selling one of your artworks, your CTA could be “click the link in our bio to purchase this piece.’

7. Make Use Of Hashtags

Using hashtags ensures that your post gets a broader reach. This is vital because when you spend a lot of time creating a post, you want to ensure it reaches a broader audience. Therefore, using hashtags will help give you this result. Think of hashtags as keywords for social media. They help people searching for what you are offering to find you easily.

A few tips on using hashtags:

    1. Use brand hashtags to increase your brand recognition and visibility
    2. Make use of hashtags that are relevant to your artwork, brand, and the story behind the artwork
    3. If you are just starting on a social media platform, choose hashtags with profile use from 15k - 50k; this will give you wider visibility as opposed to using hashtags with 3 million profile uses.

Conclusion

Implementing these few tips in your next social post should give you your desired result of reach, engagement, and sales conversion on your artwork. However, if you need assistance there are several websites such as Online Writers Rating, which provide custom writing services. These types of sites are perfect for finding professionals who have experience in writing social media posts that sell.

Frank Hamilton is a blogger and translator from Manchester. He is a professional writing expert in such topics as blogging, digital marketing and self-education. He also loves traveling and speaks Spanish, French, German and English.

by Rodney Laws, Guest Blogger - Global e-retail sales totalled $2.8 trillion in 2018, with most of that money spent via online stores. The economics behind online selling is so powerful that even industries that have traditionally made most of their sales face-to-face via physical stores cannot afford to ignore the appeal.

Although many artists make a living from selling their work in galleries, there are so many benefits to selling art online that make opening an online store a serious consideration.

From being less expensive than selling your artwork in a gallery to providing a place for you to exhibit every piece of art you make, read on for three powerful reasons why you should sell your art online.

1. It is less expensive to sell your art online than in a gallery

It is really simple – the purpose of an online store is to sell things (the hint is in the name), so the most obvious way artists can benefit from opening one is to sell their art. But it is not just that an online store makes it easier to sell, it is also less expensive than selling your artwork in a gallery.

Although “bricks and mortar” galleries always have and will serve an important purpose in the art market, they charge a commission for letting you sell your art in their premises. This is even true of places like cafes, restaurants, bars, and pubs. You may also need to pay a rental fee to secure a residency. This is not the case for artists who well their work via their online stores.

The only fee you need to sell your art on an online store is a monthly subscription fee. WooCommerce, Magento, Shopify are all popular store builders and how much you pay depends on which provider you choose. For instance, if you create an online store with Shopify, you will pay a flat monthly fee of $29. This means that instead of paying a commission to a gallery, you can make one payment a month and keep all the proceeds from your sales.

2. It is easier for people to find & buy your artwork when it is online

One of the major upsides of selling your art in a gallery is that you can lean on its reputation and location to increase the chances of people buying it. But the downside of using a gallery is that people have to travel to it to buy your artwork. Selling your artwork online makes it easier for people, worldwide, to find it and buy it.

Online stores are designed to make it simple for people to find them. How? By being made with an eye on keeping Google and the other search engines happy.

Online stores do this by coming with their own hosting services, ensuring the site runs faster and increasing the chances of it ranking well on Google.

They also come with built-in SEO optimization features. What does this mean? That your online store will give you a preview of how all the pages for selling your artwork appear in search results. This allows you to make sure that all the information is correctly displayed, making it easier for Google to put your artwork in the correct search results and simpler for your customers to find it.

You can take this a step further by adding an SEO plugin or app to your online store. One of the best you can opt for is Yoast. This is perfect for artists because it gives you the ability to optimize your images (among many other facets of your online store). This will improve the chances of your art ranking well in search engines and being found by potential customers.

3. You can exhibit & market every single piece of art you make

While the main reason for you to open an online store is to sell your artwork, that’s far from the only benefit you get. By launching an online store you are able to exhibit and market every piece of art that you make.

One of the brilliant features of an online store is that they often come with in-built marketing facilities. Once you have added pages to exhibit each of your art pieces, you can create a marketing campaign to let people know about them. Some of the built-in marketing features you can expect from your online store include:

 

  • Facebook ads to build your audience
  • Facebook ads to retarget your existing customers
  • Email marketing
  • SMS marketing
  • Snapchat story ads
  • Google Smart Shopping campaigns
  • Microsoft Shopping campaigns

While the use of these features is free, you will need to pay for your ad campaigns. However, you can often increase your budget gradually so you do not need to pay more than you can afford.

Your online store will also come with a range of free apps or plugins that you can download. These give you an even greater range of marketing options, allowing you to reach more people and to do so in the ways that are most likely to catch their attention.

One great example of a plugin you can add to your online store to help your marketing efforts is Mailchimp. It is renowned as the finest email-marketing tool on the market and the free version comes with a huge range of features you can experiment using without any investment.

While I have picked three of the most powerful benefits that artists can get from opening an online store, they are far from the only ones.

There is also the fact you can use customer data to create more engaging artwork, and that they are more environmentally friendly than a “bricks and mortar” gallery.

However, that does not mean you should take everything to do with your art online. You can connect with fans of your work by using in-person experiences, such as participating in art competitions and exhibitions (both online and offline), placing an advert at an art market and opening-up your studio to the public.

Recommended reading: 10 of the Best Sales Tips for Successful Artists

Also, check out this great YouTube video for some tips on how you can build an online store and then start to reap the benefits of selling on yours.

Rodney Laws is an ecommerce expert with over a decade of experience in building online businesses. Check out his reviews on EcommercePlatforms.io and you’ll find practical tips that you can use to build the best online store for your business. Connect with him on Twitter @EcomPlatformsio.

By Diana Nadim, Guest Blogger - A blog is a great way for all you creatives out there to show your talent to the world. You have an opportunity to show off your artwork, make your art available to a wider audience, share interesting information, and engage with your readers.

With these tips, you can approach the blogging process like a real pro. So, let’s get started!

Keep the topics relevant

The reader who comes across an art blog will expect exactly that – topics about art. Make the topics enjoyable by choosing different topics that revolve around the world of art. Giving readers different insights and keeping the topics relevant is what you should aim for.

Think about writing about your art, explaining your techniques, informing readers of important news in the world of art. Don’t forget to mention credible resources where you found all the info.

Use eye-catching titles

Blog titles are the ones that need to attract the readers and present your blog as worthy of their time. The best titles are relevant to the content and evoke curiosity. Just think about what you would click on if you were browsing for some interesting blog posts.

You can use headline generators by Sumo or Hubspot if you can't think of anything catchy. By providing you some choices, headline generators will help you get inspired. 

Be consistent

Consistency is the key to success! That is applicable for any type of project and your art blog is no exception.

Publish your posts regularly. You don’t want your readers to forget about you after one post.

“Regular posts keep the flow of your blog. It shows passion, dedication, and true interest in what you are doing. It’s as simple as that,” says Marie Fincher, the head of the content department at Trust My Paper.

Add some depth

Plain and generic content won't be entertaining for the mass audience. You need to give life to your writing. The key is to provide some variety and be as authentic as you can be. 

What you can do is to include some examples whenever they can help readers to understand what you are trying to explain.  You can also engage in some storytelling and include fun and interesting personal stories in your journey as a writer. Let’s say that one of your pieces was inspired by your trip to Cuba; share that story with your readers! 

Adding a personal story from time to time can add that special spark your content. 

What to do when writing is not your strongest side?

Even though the focus of your blog and posts will be about the artwork, how you write about it is very important. The way you describe your art can either draw readers in or push them away.

When you focus on composing high-quality content, you will present yourself as a true expert.

It is understandable if writing may not be one of your talents. In that case, you can turn to these writing and editing tools to perfect your posts.

    1. PeoplePerHour and UpWork– Both of these services can connect you with excellent writers who will help you with creating the content that you want.
    2. ProWritingAid– Use to check how readable, grammatically correct and non-spammy your content is. But don’t take everything for granted. The app is not friendly with complex phrases and expressions. Sometimes, it might suggest over-simplifying your content, which is not always beneficial.
    3. Grammarly and Hemingway Editor – For a quick fix and final check before you publish, use these online proofreading tools. Besides marking all your errors and giving suggestions on how to change them, it will also check your content’s readability. 

Promote your blog

What is the point of investing your time and effort into creating something beautiful if no one can find it? If you don’t actively promote your blog and invite readers to join your community. The easiest way is to use social media accounts. Share the word about your blog and let others share your blog. 

Get to work!

Reading about useful tips for your art blog isn’t enough. You need to put these tips to work as soon as possible if you want to see results. Besides everything that we mentioned, keep in mind that a blog is your place to express yourself and build a relationship with your readers. 

 

Diana Nadim is a writer and editor who has a Master’s degree in Marketing. She combines her passion for writing with her interest in research and creates thought-provoking content in various fields.  In addition to running her own 3to5Marketing blog, Diana works as a contributor writer for IsAccurate and provides editing services for BestEssayEducation and WoWGrade. What inspires her the most in her writing is traveling and meeting new people. Follow her on Twitter.  

By Aletta de Wal, Guest Blogger - “Can’t I just hire an agent who will sell whatever I paint and handle the negotiations, details, and paperwork?”  In a word, no.

You are always in charge of your art business so you can hire anyone you want to but you, not they, are ultimately responsible for your art sales results.

There are people who can provide help for artists who want to sell their work and collectors who want to buy art, but they do not “take over,” nor should you want them to do so. Some of their services overlap but most have special talents and distinct specialties. Do your research on the person before you make the first contact to find out if they would be a good fit for you.

To assemble your dream sales team, begin by building a stellar career that indicates that you and your work are worth promoting. You cannot usually “hire” arts professionals; if they notice you enough, they make “take you on.” After all, they only make money if you have saleable art that people want to buy.

Titles can be confusing so here is a brief description of several different types of art sales professionals, as well as explanations of how they typically work and for whom.

Art Advisors

Art advisors, also known as art consultants or art appraisers have in-depth knowledge of art, art history, and the art world.

Corporate Art Consultants

Some art consultants purchase or lease art for government departments, financial institutions, healthcare facilities and other business organizations in the public and private sectors. 

Art Curators

Art curators advise private collectors, museums and sometimes galleries on acquisitions and loans of art. Art curators are similar to art advisors, but (like art appraisers) tend to have formal training and longer résumés.

NoteArt Advisors, Corporate Art Consultants, and Art Curators perform services for art collectors, corporate client, collectors, dealers and museum clients, not for artists, but they are always looking for artists and art that might fit their client base.

Art Licensing Agents

Art licensing agents represent artists whose work is leased by manufacturers for use on products. Art licensing agents may do some or all of the following tasks:

Select work that is appropriate for licensing.

Identify the appropriate retail channels.

Create a sales and marketing plan to promote the artwork.

Promote the art of their contacts in the market.

Negotiate licensing contracts and royalty payments.

Administer contracts for licenses.

Keep up to date on current licensing trends and themes.

Artist Representatives

Artist representatives are private dealers who represent artists (similar to how a music agent would represent a popular singer) by creating opportunities to sell artwork in exchange for a commission from the artist for each sale.

Artist representatives provide the following services for their artist clients and collector base:

Promote the artist to individual collectors and set up meetings where the artist can meet their collectors.

Advise collectors on the suitability of the artist’s work for their collection and on the value (and potential value) of the artist’s work.

Arrange and produce exhibits for the artist.

Work with the artist to place their art in galleries and museums.

Develop relationships with other art professionals, gallery managers, and owners, and use these relationships to promote the artist.

Work with big names in the art industry to sponsor and hold significant events.

Advise the artist on public relations, coordinate public relations for events and ensure that the artist participates in public relations as part of their marketing strategy.

Provide marketing services for the artist, issuing press releases or writing about the artist and their work.

Arrange promotional support and put together promotional materials that feature the artist and their work.

Gallery Dealers

Gallery dealers are retailers who present quality works of art while guaranteeing its authenticity and archival quality. Dealers cultivate collections usually for a particular type of art. Their connections and relationships are as important as the art they collect. Dealers vary widely in how active a role they take in promoting individual artists and helping to develop their careers.

Gallery dealers and their staff provide the following services to their collector clients:

Share their expert knowledge with collectors.

Exhibit and store an inventory of specific artists or art periods.

Seek out and exhibit the work of artists whose art fits a specific niche audience.

Use a fixed exhibit space or a “pop up” temporary space to demonstrate their expertise and exhibit their art inventory in exchange for a commission percentage of each sale (typically 50%).

Promote selected artists’ work in order to attract new collectors to the gallery and increase sales.

Art Agents and Retailers

Be careful of offers to represent your work for a fee. There are many enterprising “vanity representatives” who charge an upfront fee for exhibits, online galleries and collector publications. This is certainly a valid retail business model but is not always guided by an experienced art professional. The value you receive from such an agreement may vary, but remember that most legitimate art professionals make their money through commissions on work sold, not shown.

And, while it is sometimes difficult to hold back (especially when you are enthusiastic about building your art career) next develop a relationship and get to know people you’d like to work with on a personal basis.

"If an artist is really ambitious, they have to ask themselves 'What is going to make me stand out?' The answer is always the same: great work.

The Internet hasn't changed everything. To have a real career as an artist you still need to find your way into the very intense hierarchy of the art world, and critics, curators, and collectors are still the gatekeepers of that world. They are going to find you if your work is outstanding.”

~John Seed, art explainer

So, show up at their events, but do not approach them as an artist who wants representation or introductions to their clients. Be part of the audience so you can understand whom they serve and whether their audience would be a fit for your art.

[1] This article “Your Dream Art Sales Team” expands content published with permission from “My Real Job is Being An Artist.” http://www.artistcareertraining.com/realjobartist

Aletta de Wal is the author of “My Real Job is Being an Artist”, she is a successful Artist Advisor and a Certified Visual Coach.  Aletta de Wal inspires fine artists to make a better living making art in any economy.

Aletta works with part-time, emerging and full-time artists who are serious about a career in fine arts. Aletta makes make art marketing easier and the business of art simpler. Equal parts artist, educator, and entrepreneur, Aletta has worked with over 4000 artists in groups and 400+ individually.

Through her coaching, seminars, and books, artists in the vibrant online community learn to be focused, organized and confident in all art business matters.  Her clients agree that she inspires them to do the work to be successful, provides the detail to take specific action and supports them through the ups and downs of life as a working artist. Her website is www.comistcareertraining.com

 

By YoungMi, Guest Blogger - Last year it was said that evenings from 7:00 to 9:00 pm was the best time for artists to post on Instagram.

In 2018, it seems that lunchtime from 12:00-1:45 pm is their best time to post on Instagram, followed by evenings from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.

But theories do not mean those are the best times to post for YOU!

Because every Instagram account has a unique audience, in different time zones, so it is important to determine what your individual best time to post on Instagram is.

When is the Best Time for Artists to Post on Instagram?

If you want to beat the Instagram algorithm in 2018, scheduling Instagram posts for when the majority of your followers are online is super important.

Not only does the algorithm care about how much engagement your Instagram post gets, it also cares about how quickly you get that engagement.

If you post at a time when most of your followers are online, you give yourself a better chance of being shown to your audience - quickly!

If your post gets a lot of likes and comments shortly after it's posted, this signals to Instagram that your Instagram post is quality content, and the algorithm will then show your post to even more of your followers!

By finding out your personalized best time to post on Instagram, you can hack the algorithm to increase your reach and get more likes and followers.

So how do you find out what is your own best time to post on Instagram in 2018?

Here are some general rules to follow about the best time to post on Instagram:

  • If you have a business account, check your followers' cities and countries, plus have a look at the Instagram suggestions of the time and day peak.
  • Post for your most active time zone: you may be located in Hong Kong, but if most of your followers are in London, you should be posting with the GMT time zone in mind.
  • If you have followers in two locations like New York City and Paris, you may find that posting at "odd" times in your time zone (like 3:00 pm) actually perform well for you, because it's 9:00 am in New York City and 3:00 pm in Paris.
  • Post more during off-work hours instead of during the day: generally, the best times to post on Instagram are lunchtime (11:00 am to 1:00 pm) and evenings (7:00 to 9:00 pm).

Instead of posting when you think, plan your Instagram posts

Save the important posts for weekdays: The differences are slight, but average Instagram engagement does shift depending on the day. According to my own research, Tuesdays and Thursdays tend to drive the most engagement, while Sundays drive the least.

Other Ways to Calculate Your Best Time to Post on Instagram

If you don't want to pay for a software or app to find out your best times to post on Instagram, you can also calculate them yourself manually.

Experiment with Posting Times and Measure your Progress

If you'd rather crunch the numbers yourself, you can create a spreadsheet to track how much engagement you receive when you post at different times on different days.

Start by picking five different times throughout the week.

For example, if you notice that your followers are most active between 5:00 and 9:00 pm, schedule your posts to appear at 5:00, 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, and 9:00 pm.

In your spreadsheet, track how many likes and comments each post receives, along with the date and time that you posted them.

The following week, switch the timing of your posts for each day. For example, if you posted at 5:00 pm on Monday in week 1, post at 6:00 pm during week 2.

It might take a few weeks, but you can use this information to help you choose the best days to share to specific networks based on your own audience, along with the times that work best for getting traffic on those specific days.

How to Schedule for Your Best Time to Post to Instagram?

Now that you know when your Instagram audience is most active, and how to drive the most engagement based on your audience's activity, the last step is to schedule your Instagram posts for your own best times to post on Instagram.

Regularity

By preparing your planning, you will be able to consistently have content going out at your best times to post on Instagram. Therefore, you will optimize your profile and attract new followers and engage with your current ones.

To be noted that some social media software can now auto-publish on Instagram. And they can even post at the best optimal time on your behalf.

You just have to select your posting times once, and then when you queue up your Instagram posts they will automatically be scheduled for your best times to post on Instagram.

And of course, if you use already a few automated publishing software, there is an app to help you more like "WhentoPost" or "Later", Hootsuite, Tailwind, and so forth. The costs of these platforms are between £3.99 and £ 39.

About the Author: YoungMi is the owner of The House of The Artists and since 2015, YoungMi has helped hundreds of artists, galleries, and art fairs to reach their digital marketing objectives.

Adding to her MA Marketing degree, she also studied Art Business & Management at Birkbeck University in London and at the Sotheby's Institute of Arts in New York.

YoungMi is based in London, and she speaks both English and French. – Her website is www.thehouseoftheartists.com/ This article post was originally published on The House of The Artists website: www.thehouseoftheartists.com/l/when-is-the-best-time-to-post-on-instagram

 

Reprinted with Permission by Renée Phillips - If you visit the more than 120 articles I’ve written for you on this website you’ll probably find thousands of sales tips for artists. In the interest of saving you time, I like to occasionally offer bite-size morsels of information with links to further reading. This article includes 10 of The Best Sales Tips for Artists. You may want to pour yourself a cup of tea and relax as you devour them and their related articles, or save this page to return again.

Help Your Customers Visualize a Purchase

If you want to sell art directly to art buyers you must have an in situ page on your website where you post high-quality, accurate images of your art installed in homes, offices, public spaces, hospitals, etc. Potential buyers want to be able to visualize your art in their own interiors relative to scale, balance, color, and other elements.

Begin Your Holiday Art Marketing in September

Don’t wait until November to scramble for last minute holiday art sales. Start by announcing in your email newsletter and social media campaign how your art makes great holiday gifts. Every week or so send an email showing special holiday pieces that may be ordered in advance, especially if you do commission works of art or sell limited edition prints.

You might want to write an art blog post about it or create a separate Holiday Art Ideas page on your website.

Add Details of Your Artwork

If you have a lot of detail or interesting texture in your art that isn’t easily interpreted in your full-scale images, add details of your artwork in your gallery or portfolio section of your website and also on social media. Otherwise, what might be some of the best features of your art may go unnoticed.

If you’re a 3-D artist, don’t forget to supply various views of your artwork.

Consider adding a short video that includes close-up views of your artwork.

Keep Sold Art on Your Website

Don’t remove “sold” work in your online gallery. Identify it as “sold” and mention any other useful information. For example, if you do commissions supply a link to your commissions’ page or F.A.Q.

Informing visitors that your work is selling is a good thing! In fact, psychologically, when the potential buyer sees your sold works of art they will feel more confident in making a purchase and their interest and respect for you and your art will increase.

Beneath your sold piece, you could add a description, such as “The original painting has been sold. It is in the collection of Advent Corp. Limited edition prints of this painting are available. Please visit my limited edition prints page for details.”

Exceed Your Customers’ Expectations

Have you ever heard of the Pareto Principle? It tells us that 20 percent of your clients will bring you 80 percent of your business. So, if you’re smart you’ll pay close attention to that 20 percent. In fact, you’ll be wise to treat them with “white glove service”.

Look for ways to build customer loyalty from the very beginning of your relationship. Offer to hand-deliver the work, give them written instructions on how to care for the art, offer a reduction on their next art purchase, and remember them on their birthdays and anniversaries.

Keep Your Credentials Up to Date

Few things are worse than having outdated About / Biography / Resume / CV / Pages. It’s important to show off your most recent career achievements.  It’s also a good idea to add future events such as upcoming scheduled exhibitions. Also, provide prominent links to this important page on all other pages and your art blog.

And, if you have an Artist’s Statement page remember to update it to reflect your current creative process.

Set Up an F.A.Q. Page on Your Website

Time is a precious and valuable commodity for both you and your potential buyer. Anticipating your customers’ questions will be much appreciated. They’ll know you take the extra effort when you address their inquiries on your F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions) page.

Answers about shipping procedures and costs, turnaround time for commissions, your procedure for working with galleries, agents, and art consultants, are all very helpful. Also, invite visitors to send you questions via email that you could add to the page.

Seek New Venues to Multiply Sales

Don’t get stuck in a rut by only trying to sell in one market niche. Vary your outlets and venues. Many artists have sold their art through a range of different locales such as cafes, doctor’s waiting rooms, furniture stores, hotel lobbies and yoga studios. Or they have connected with interior designers and art consultants for increasing sales. Furthermore, one fast-growing field is the healthcare art market which includes not only hospitals but also medical treatment centers, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation centers, and more.

Learn About Advertising on Social Media

Have you considered advertising on social media but want to be sure you don’t waste time and money? Well, Hootsuite has created a short and informative video that will help you develop a great advertising plan to help you reach your objectives. You’ll learn the best practices for setting up a social ads campaign, from researching your audience and choosing a campaign type, to crafting engaging visuals and copy.

Hootsuite is the world’s leading social media management platform with over 15 million users — including me — and 800+ of the world’s Fortune 1000 companies. Watch their video here “Best Practices for Setting Up Social Ads Campaigns”: https://youtu.be/jpsbCJGGS_U

Update Your “New Work” Page

If you have a “New Work” section on your website, make sure you update this page often. “New Work” should be taken literally and your visitors should expect to see the page revised at least every few months and the “Old Work” moved to another page. It’s good to let potential art buyers know you are continuously producing art. That’s the sign of a true professional artist.

Also, a “New Work” page gives visitors more reason to see what new art they can add to their existing collection and they’ll visit more often. After you update the page post, an announcement on social media and in an email newsletter inviting them to visit the page. The link to the original article post here:  https://renee-phillips.com/10-of-the-best-sales-tips-for-artists/.  

Renée Phillips, The Artrepreneur Coach, helps artists achieve their fullest potential in consultations and coaching. She offers art-business articles and e-Books on www.renee-phillips.com. As founder/director of Manhattan Arts International,   www.manhattanarts.com, she promotes artists in curated art programs and online exhibitions. She is also the founder/editor of The Healing Power of ART & ARTISTS, www.healing-power-of-art.org.  Renée is a member of the prestigious International Association of Art Critics. She lives in New York, NY. 

 

By Alyson B. Stanfield, Art Biz CoachThe artists I know and love are anything but linear, so how are they expected to work with a traditional business plan?

I encourage you to nurture a holistic approach to your art career, which is why I developed The See Plan. I teach this at Art Biz Breakthrough and use it with my clients.

A successful art career is not only about making and marketing (the M’s). It’s also about the C’s – eight of them, to be exact. You need all of these C’s for a healthy business and balanced life.

Why circular? It’s circular because we rarely focus on one thing at a time when we’re self-employed. We bounce back and forth between the various components of our plan and between the various tasks on our schedule.

Let me tell you about the 8 C’s.

1. Creativity

Everything begins with the art. Without the art, you are not an artist.

You need inspiration to be your best creative self.

But your creativity doesn’t end with the art-making. You can also benefit by spreading your creativity into your marketing and every corner of your business.

2. Commitment

Commitment isn’t something you can get from a book or a class. It has to come from within you.

Being a successful artist and entrepreneur requires that you make hard choices about how you spend your time. This discipline piece as opposed to how many artists think of their work: joy, pleasure, and play.

Once you wholeheartedly commit, things start happening. The Universe knows you are ready and works to help you attain your goals.

3. Clarity

Clarity is the planning piece. It’s getting clear where you are and what you want. You don’t have time NOT to plan.

Planning is crucial for a successful career and requires that you set aside time to look at an annual calendar, systems, income projections, and marketing strategies.

4. Community

Every artist-entrepreneur needs a support system, which is your community. It includes the people who love you when you’re cranky and frustrated (family and friends).

It also includes the mentors and other artists who nourish you with inspiration and from whom you learn about opportunities.

5. Connection

The more people who see your art, the more people there are to follow you and to buy your art.

A connection is the self-promotion piece. Once you make your work, you have to get it out of the studio and into the world. Your most powerful way to connect with the world is through your art.

6. Confidence

Confidence doesn’t automatically show up when you put your art into the world. It happens over time and as a result of a continuous path toward improvement.

Confidence expands when you take courageous action. Challenge yourself as you’re making art and sharing it with more people.

7. Completion

Creatives are notorious for starting projects and never finishing them. This is fine UNTIL you have to earn money from those creative projects.

Complete the art, complete the book, or complete the coursework. It doesn’t count until it’s finished.

8. Celebration

Celebrations don’t have to be large or cost money, but you should have some kind of ritual in place that helps you add closure to your project.

For some people, it’s a manicure, a massage, or a shopping excursion.

Buying something special is often a celebration ritual for me, but so is vegging, watching movies, and ignoring email for a couple of days.

Alyson B. Stanfield is an artist advocate and business mentor. Since 2002, she has been a trusted source for helping thousands of artists grow their businesses. She is the founder of Art Biz Coach and the author of I'd Rather Be in the Studio: The Artist's No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion.

Alyson invites you to learn more about The See Plan and other success tools at Art Biz Breakthrough, a 3-day live event for 100 artists November 3-5, 2016.

 

By Aletta de Wal, Guest Blogger - There is still a lot of debate among artists about using the word “professional” to describe themselves. For artists who consider themselves “pure artists,” that word often implies commercialism and “selling out.” That’s not how I see it.

I think that there is room for a range of ways to be an artist and that they are all legitimate.

When I feature artists in ArtMatters! and when I talk to dealers, agents, and retail art dealers, I ask them to define what makes an artist professional. They each contribute a different perspective.

Not one of them denies the right of artists to consider themselves professional and to define that term as it suits them.

Every aspiring artist I know would love to achieve all of these things: unlimited financial success, national (or international) recognition and an unshakeable belief in the quality of their work.

Moving from amateur to emerging artist and through mid-career and maybe to being an established artist, requires many small breaks. You need to work hard and smart.

I know that’s not the popular notion. These days, blogs promise 10 tips to anything. Many fail to tell you what it takes to get to and through those ten steps.

We’re surrounded by stories of extraordinarily successful, high-achieving “professionals” in many fields other than art, and what made them that way. Identifying the attitudes, actions, personal characteristics and emotional maturity of professional artists is not as easy.

Public knowledge (and media portrayal) of the sometimes crazed, sometimes tortured, antics of artists like Van Gogh, and Jackson Pollock have led us to expect irrationality, irritability and erratic (if not downright crazy) behavior from artists. Though often glamorized in film, few of us, in reality, would choose to live out our lives like this.

Read the following as though your entire career, respect, and success as an artist depended on this advice — and rest assured that it does. Place a check mark next to the professional behaviors you already practice.

  • Decide to be known as a professional artist.
  • Present yourself professionally everywhere, all the time.
  • Respect everyone you meet regardless of circumstances.
  • Fulfill your promises; be on time; finish what you start and say ‘please and thank you’.
  • React appropriately in all situations.

Sounds pretty much like a good solid list of how to be a professional human being, doesn’t it?

There is no profession where you can leap from the bottom to the top and stay there. Many of you have already been there and done that, so you already know how this works. You “learn the ropes” in an entry-level job, pay your dues for a time and then move up the ranks.

It’s also important to realize that being an emerging, mid-career or established professional artist has nothing to do with age or talent.

  • Many artists in their later years have a lifetime of experience making art but are still “emerging” because they haven’t shown or sold their work.
  • Other artists enjoy thriving careers early in life and are considered “established” while still in their twenties.
  • Similarly, I’ve met many very talented artists who have never moved past the “mid-career” stage and some very savvy artists with lesser “gifts” who moved well beyond mid-career because of their business acumen.

In other words, not all artists progress through all three stages — and not all artists want to. It’s up to you to decide how far you want to go, and whether your skills and life circumstances will support that decision.

The above post is an excerpt from Aletta's book “My Real Job is Being an Artist”.  This book is a professional toolkit for emerging, mid-career or established artists.  “My Real Job is Being an Artist” provides a structured approach to creating, analyzing and improving their art business.  www.comistcareertraining.com/realjobartist 

 

Aletta de Wal is the author of “My Real Job is Being an Artist”, she is a successful Artist Advisor and a Certified Visual Coach.  Aletta de Wal inspires fine artists to make a better living making art in any economy.

Aletta works with part-time, emerging and full-time artists who are serious about a career in fine arts. Aletta makes make art marketing easier and the business of art simpler. Equal parts artist, educator, and entrepreneur, Aletta has worked with over 4000 artists in groups and 400+ individually.

Through her coaching, seminars, and books, artists in the vibrant online community learn to be focused, organized and confident in all art business matters.  Her clients agree that she inspires them to do the work to be successful, provides the detail to take specific action and supports them through the ups and downs of life as a working artist. Her website is www.comistcareertraining.com

 

By Guest Blogger, Lori McNee -Today more than ever artists like you are taking charge of their own art careers. Understanding how to deal with an art collector is becoming a much-needed skill.

With the vast decline of store-front art galleries, the art market has changed. The rise of online art galleries, artists’ websites, and the popularity of social media have made the artist easily accessible to the art collector and vice versa. Because of this, the majority of artists are dealing directly with art collectors in some capacity.

Yet, dealing directly with an art collector can be a bit intimidating for artists. Not all artists are business-minded, nor are they sales-minded individuals. Nevertheless, it is vital for the modern-day artist to understand the entrepreneurial aspects of making a living as an artist.

The following tips will help you be prepared to deal directly with an art collector:

Oftentimes, you will need to open your studio to potential clients and art collectors. Remember, your studio is more than your creative working environment, it is a reflection of your business and professionalism. Make sure to tidy up your studio beforehand. Like any good salesroom, you’ll want to have your business cards, brochures with your bio and artist’s statement on display. Have an up-to-date portfolio or catalog handy and a binder filled with articles, reviews and tear sheets ready.

Potential art collectors love to tour working studios. Be sure to show them paintings or other artwork in progress and explain the artistic process. This gives the art collector a better appreciation and understanding of Art, and it personalizes the experience. This unique experience will help to create a bond between the artist and collector which will make it easier to close the sale.

Each time you sell a piece of your artwork be sure to capture your art collector’s email, phone number and mailing address. This is how you will build your collector base. Be sure and give the art collector your art brochure, business card, and any promotional material with the sale of your artwork. Many artists also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee with the sale of their art. Follow up the sale with a handwritten “thank you” note.

Collectors want to stay connected to the artist. This is your chance to teach them about YOU! It is easy to stay connected through social media, newsletters, and blogging. Use your blog to post images of your latest work. Share interesting stories about your process. Share YouTube videos of your painting process or finished works.  Use your newsletter to keep your art collectors informed. Keep your collectors apprised of your latest achievements. Send them career updates and show announcements. Holiday cards or a postcard from a painting trip are always a nice touch. Or pick up the phone! I’ve heard it once said that if you just called 5 people a week, you would see your sales grow by 40%!

In the case of a commissioned work of art, a contract is advisable but many deals have been made with just a handshake. Be sure and agree upon the subject matter. Also brainstorm about color, time of day, mood and the size of the painting beforehand.

Montana based artist, John Potter www.johnpotterstudio.com/ explains, “I always make sure the art collector and I decide upon a subject that we both enjoy and I feel passionate about painting.”

It is customary to ask for a 50% non-refundable deposit to be used as an advance with the remainder due upon completion of the painting. In the event that the collector does not wish to purchase the commissioned artwork, the collector may refuse.  In that case, the artist will retain the refused artwork and the non-refundable deposit.

The artist should always retain the copyright www.finearttips.com/2011/02/tips-to-best-copyright-protect-your-artwork/  to all original artworks, and those commissioned by the art collector including all reproduction rights. No artwork may be reproduced or altered without the written consent of the Artist.

Once you have built your collector base, it is important to nurture that relationship. “Nurture, nurture, nurture the art collector/artist relationship. Your art collector is special, they keep you alive.” Landscape artist, Shanna Kunz https://shannakunz.com  explains.

Yes, the connection between you and your art collector is valuable. But, it is your responsibility (as a small business owner) to stay in touch with your collectors!

Keep in mind, you have a much better chance at selling to repeat customers than new customers. Nurturing the repeat customer (aka collector) relationship is very important. It is a known fact in sales, in every industry, that your past buyers are 10x more likely to buy from you again and again that a complete stranger. If you nourish the relationship you have with your past art collectors, you will continue to sell to them again.

Keep your prices consistent when selling within your art galleries or directly to collectors. Although offering up to a 20% discount to repeat collectors is common, lowering your prices beyond that is frowned upon within the industry. Pricing your art consistently protects your collector’s investment as well as the market value of your art.

There are artists such as myself who still prefer the security offered by art gallery representation. It is extremely important for gallery represented artists to establish, nurture and respect their gallery/artist relationships which should be a trustworthy partnership.

Here are a few important tips relating to gallery represented artists to keep in mind:

  • If one of your gallery’s customers contacts you and wants to buy from you directly, be sure and direct the client back to the gallery for any sales. This is the ethical thing to do.
  • If a prospective collector wants to buy a painting from an image on your website, but that painting is available through the art gallery, you must give a percentage of the sale to the gallery. Negotiate this % with your gallery.
  • If a prospective collector wants to purchase a painting directly from you and the available work IS NOT in the gallery, then you may sell to this person directly as long as this person is NOT a client of your gallery.

Being prepared to sell directly to an art collector can be a very rewarding experience which may lead to an unspoken bond between the art, the artist, and the art collector for many years to come.

****

Lori McNee is a professional artist and an internationally followed art blogger, art-marketing expert, and the owner of FineArtTips.com. Lori shares her online success secrets to artists, businesses, and organizations around the world. Lori’s North Light Book entitled, “Fine Art Tips with Lori McNee: Painting Techniques & Professional Advice” is available on Amazon.  

 

By JoAnneh Nagler, Guest Blogger -  The first thing we usually think of when we hear the word ‘artist’ is ‘struggling artist’ or ‘starving artist.’  We tend to measure ourselves against two crazy extremes—either by our willingness to starve or by the multi-million dollar success of the very few.  

We were all schooled in the adage do what you love and the money will follow.  In fact, this is the biggest lie that ever hit the cold hard earth.  There's no guarantee that our work is going to immediately kick-start in the traditional, money-defined sense just because we love it.  Truly, we have no control over outcomes, and since art is something we are inventing from inside our souls, the world is usually not yet clamoring for it while we’re inventing it. 

What that means to our lives is very simple:  if we want to make art over the long-haul—meaning, have a life of artistry—then we need to put supports under our feet. 

But who in the world received that kind of instruction?  I certainly didn't.  What I got was a message that artists struggle, they give up their art to raise families or take day jobs, and the only people who get to be artists are the privileged.  But look around:  there are millions of us creating art with ambition.  So we need a new milieu, a new way of thinking about living an artist’s life.  

The good news is, we really can learn to become healthy artists.  We can learn to balance time, day jobs, money, family, work ethics, and motivation for making art.

We've been culturally brainwashed into thinking that ‘a real artist,’ is supposed to be ‘tortured’ by his or her art, then instantaneously discovered at the drugstore counter, then somehow be magically gifted by a fairy godmother with artistic work ethics.  But that's ridiculous.  It’s like expecting that we can jump in an airplane, without ever having learned to fly, and take off without knowing how the gauges work.  We would never do that.  Yet that's what we expect of ourselves as artists.

So how do we balance all of it?  How do we learn what we need to learn to live a healthy artist’s life?

First, we have to give up the myth of starving as a motivator.  Artists don’t do struggling well.  We are sensitive creatures, and struggling runs too much electricity through already-delicate circuits. 

Then, we need to learn some simple tools.  I talk about these tools in my book—easy things we can apply as we’re learning how to get our hands in our art regularly.  We need to under-expect and work steadily, not in big bursts.  We need a day job we can live with, one that doesn’t promote angst.  We need clarity in our money—not so we can be good little citizens, but so we can fund the art we love.  We need simple time-mapping exercises, easy motivational tools for beginning, as well as a framework for measuring success based on having our hands in our artwork, versus what we earn.  There are skills we can apply to make all of these things work together.

When I was writing my first book, The Debt-Free Spending Plan, I worked one hour a day, four days a week, by the timer.  I definitely believed the American hype that more is better and faster is necessary.  I didn’t think I was doing enough.  But I began to apply what I call the ‘two-thirds rule:’ I mapped out what I thought I could accomplish in a week of writing, and then cut it by two thirds.  Why?  Because everything in life takes three times longer than we expect

Four hours a week, it turned out, over the course of six months, got a lot of serious work done. Slow and steady gave me a way of beginning; a way of getting my hands dirty with my art each week.

Does that mean that I automatically sat down in my allotted hour and instantly became motivated? No.  But I kept at it—recognizing I was learning a new skill—until I had some chops.  By working each week, I started experiencing the self-esteem of doing my art, and that drew me back into it. 

Art is unlike anything we do in our American linear timeline. It is not populated by the urgency of things like email, running out to pick up the kids, or rushing down the freeway to get to work.  Though our art haunts us, it is not an immediate, do-what’s-urgent process.  It asks us to do what’s important first.  It asks us to set aside blocks of time to discover and explore. 

We often think that if we had a completely open, no-day-job life we’d automatically be motived to sit down and do our art.  But that’s not true.  I know dozens of people who don’t need a job and don’t have kids to raise, who still can’t get to their artwork.  Our regular life and our day job are really our gifts, then:  they hold our feet to the fire with the schedule until we gain the strength to beat back distractions and show up for the work we truly love. 

We need—all of us—to move towards a new definition of what it means to be an artist:  a life with art at the center, surely, but one that’s lived in a balanced, decent way.  When we live like this, we are creating the path to happiness for ourselves.  We are structuring the foundation—building it, stone by stone—upon which we are going to build our joy.  

We are showing up for all of it:  artistry, relationships, family, money, day jobs—being fully engaged in every arena of our lives, using every one of our gifts out on the field.  That is how we build a heaven on earth. 

JoAnneh Nagler is an author, painter, musician and yoga teacher.  She is the author of How to Be an Artist Without Losing Your Mind, Your Shirt or Your Creative Compass, and the Amazon Top 100 Book The Debt-Free Spending Plan.  Find her at www.AnArtistryLife.com.

 

By Barney Davey, Guest Blogger - The latest uproar in the online art marketing community is raging due to changes on Instagram. You no longer get follower updates presented chronologically. Instagram, following in its owner, Facebook’s path, is using algorithms determined by data points to display what you see.

Recently, there was angst over changes at Etsy. It’s a continual pattern of online marketing. More than ten years ago, anger at eBay employing new rules was the issue. Users of online sites that help artists promote and sell their work will always deal with inevitable, unpleasant changes.

The concept of digital sharecropping has been around for years. It implies the inherent danger of building your business on borrowed land. At any time, the owner can make changes that are not in the interest of artists using the site to grow their business, ala Instagram.

So What’s an Artist to Do?

I urge artists to take control of their businesses and their marketing. When I began in the art business in 1988, it was career suicide, at least for artists who sold through galleries, to market to buyers directly.

As the Internet became the most massive disruptive agent ever seen, it rolled over the traditional ways art was sold through dealers and galleries. Consumers responded to online retail, including buying high-end luxury items such as diamonds, jewelry, and fine art. Concurrently, new social media platforms created unique ways for artists to engage prospective buyers.

Suddenly, artists could connect with buyers and sell their art to them without going through third-party channels, such galleries. All kinds of simple-to-use, affordable tools make it possible for artists to build a database of interested prospects and customers.

Problems arise when artists choose quick, easy methods to build a following dependent on social media platforms. If they have no contacts and email addresses under their control, they are at square one when Instagram changes crush their marketing plans.

Carpe Diem Artists!

Artists who take control of their marketing position themselves to sell their art with few disruptions. The Art Marketing Mastery Workshop was developed with the idea of helping artists and photographers build their businesses around finding and selling to collectors. Think of it as being in the business of collecting collectors.

The online training offered through the Art Marketing Mastery Workshop is based on the content of the Guerrilla Marketing for Artists book. The information in the book is broken into the 8-Steps to Art Marketing Mastery.

  •  Set Achievable Goals
  •  Realistic Resource Assessment
  •  Branding – Self-promotion
  •  Local Marketing / Networking
  •  Online Marketing
  •  Traditional Marketing
  •  Project Planning / Synergistic Marketing
  •  Develop Direct Buying Collectors

The Art Marketing Mastery Workshop is built around the book’s concepts. I created it because I knew from experience, including my own, that people get a book and don’t finish reading it. Or, they don’t follow much of the advice in it.

Constant Improvement Is the Only Way

I wanted something better for artists so they could get more from the knowledge I packed into the book. The result was to create the Art Marketing Mastery Workshop. I wanted to go deeper, to inspire action and to give artists a more fruitful and sustaining outcome from the information I have for them.

The first version of the workshop is webinar-based. I soon realized while the material is helpful in that there are better ways for artists to learn it. So, I’ve found myself in the adult education business. That means researching, buying and studying all kinds of new learning management system tools so I can present this information in a better way.

Now, artists will have new and exciting ways to learn the concepts of Art Marketing Mastery. I’ve broken the content into 40+ learning modules. Each with videos, worksheets, resources, and quizzes. These changes make the content easier to access and allow me to go much deeper on the topic.

I am improving the learning so artists get more useful, easily accessible knowledge. The new program goes deeper to instill wisdom, inspire action and to provide artists with fruitful and sustaining results.

Because the upgrades to the learning system and attention to ongoing updates and additions are costly, I can no longer offer lifetime access at a one-time low price. After March 19, the workshop will close for an indefinite period. It will reopen as a monthly membership site. Take advantage of the best price and best offer ever on the Art Marketing Mastery Workshop.

About the Art Marketing Mastery Workshop

The workshop is the culmination of the advice, wisdom, and experience Barney Davey has attained in serving artists for nearly 30 years. He calls it his masterpiece. Artists using the workshop learn art marketing about the best tools and techniques suited to them. It is a lifetime system meaning once learned artists can continue to use the systems to find buyers, sell art, market efficiently and operate profitably throughout their careers. The program is set to undergo a major overhaul and upgrade in how the information is delivered. Artists who join by March 19 are grandfathered into the program with lifetime access for a low one-time fee. Go to http://bdavey.co/career to join or for more details.

Barney Davey began his career advising artists in 1988 as a senior account executive with Decor magazine and the Decor Expo trade-shows. He helps artists and photographers find buyers, sell art and operate profitably. His mission is to provide artists with systems they can use to create successful, sustainable and rewarding careers. You will find numerous ways to grow your career through his books, blog posts, workshops, online training, consulting and more. http://barneydavey.com

 

By Carolyn Edlund, Guest Blogger - Galleries can be of great assistance to artists. They are your representatives, who display, market and sell your work to collectors. They have contacts and existing customers to whom they can recommend your art. And, they may provide feedback and guidance to help you present a portfolio of artwork that will sell to their audience.

This type of service saves you a lot of time and effort. Your galleries earn their commission by providing a venue, hanging your work, dealing with customers and closing sales. But once you contract to work with a gallery, do you merely hand over your artwork and wait for checks? Hardly. There is more to do because your galleries will get the best results when you act as a good partner to them.

Relationships are a two-way street. You as the artist can enhance your importance to a gallery, and provide assistance to them by being pro-active. Take these actions to help enable your galleries to sell more of your work:

Refer Clients to Them - Let the public know that the gallery represents you, and recommend that they visit the gallery to view and purchase your art. Include the name of your gallery when you post on social media, in your email newsletters, and on your blog. Mention your galleries prominently on your art website, and include their address and phone number. Link to their website - preferably the page where your art is shown.

Make an Appearance - Showing up at openings where your work is being displayed is a must. But appearances can go beyond that. Some galleries have a “meet the artist” series where you may join visitors for coffee and conversation. Others may invite artists to give a talk about their technique or another aspect of their work. Consider having a conversation with your galleries on ways that you can participate in person. The face-to-face connection is powerful. Many collectors love to tell others that they have met the artist in person and have come to know them.

Provide Great Photos - Do you have excellent photos of your artwork, or photos of yourself working in the studio? Make the gallery staff aware that you will be happy to provide these. Compelling images of your art may be used by the gallery on promotional postcards, in ads or even in magazine articles. When you assist your gallery in their marketing efforts, both of you win.

Tell Your Story - The more information the gallery staff has about you, the more they can tell their collectors about your inspiration, technique, and background. Is your work based on an amazing concept? How does it relate emotionally to collectors? Have a concise but interesting story written down for use by gallery staff when making the sale.

Share Selling Points - Galleries need lots of information to sell your work, and you should provide this without being asked. What type of materials are you using? Is this an heirloom which will last for hundreds of years? Is there any special care that your work needs? Can it be cleaned easily? Are there special installation instructions? Will it fade in sunlight? Is it tarnish resistant? Archival? Impervious to moisture? Consider carefully what buyers need to know in order to commit to making the purchase, and make a list of selling points. Include this when shipping or delivering your art to the gallery, so they can answer questions knowledgeably and share the benefits of owning your art.

Add Extra Value - Sometimes, small things can increase the perceived value of your work. An original signature on your art is important, of course. A Certificate of Authenticity also acts to convey that the work is from the hand of the artist. Small touches such as an artist’s chop on a piece of two-dimensional art, or words incised on the bottom of a handmade ceramic pot can add value as well.

Plan how you can build solid relationships with your current galleries. Are you providing information, resources, and service to them that will help both of you succeed? Each step you take to build that win/win relationship will pay off for your art business.

This article post is a summary of one of the courses which will be presented at the Art Business Workshop. This workshop is being conducted by The Arts Business Institute.  This workshop event is co-sponsored by Skidmore College Entrepreneurial Artist Initiative & Saratoga Arts.  The Art Business Workshop will be held on April 9th and 10th, 2016.  This event will be held at the Saratoga Arts at the Arts Center, 320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, New York 12866.  For further information on this event and an outline of all of the courses http://www.comsbusinessinstitute.org/saratoga-springs-new-york.

Carolyn Edlund is the founder of ArtsyShark.com  and the Executive Director of the Arts Business Institute. She will be speaking about Gallery Relationships and other art business topics at the upcoming “Arts Business Workshop for the Entrepreneurial Artist” taking place at Saratoga Arts in Saratoga Springs, New York on April 9-10, 2016. This event is co-sponsored by Skidmore College. Students and alumni of Skidmore will be admitted to the workshop at no charge, by contacting Elizabeth Dubben at edubben@skidmore.edu

 

By Jenny Judova, Guest Blogger  -  Gallery Representation is the Holy Grail for many artists, a symbol that you made it as an artist, that you are recognized by the industry. I will not spend time repeating what I have said over and over again that in this day and age spending time on trying to get galleries to represent you is a waste of time. But for those of you who still want a gallery, I will answer the sought after question ‘How to Approach a Gallery?’

80/20 - One of the best gallerists of the last few decades Sadie Coles stated in an interview ‘I always thought it would be good to have a gallery called ‘Stuff I like by people I like.’  The art world and the primary art market is not about art, it is about you and the relationships you build with fellow artists and curators. You can be the greatest artist who has ever lived but unless you leave your studio and meet your peers, no one will ever know or care about you or your work. In order to approach an art gallery, you have to network. In a perfect world, I would suggest that 80% of your time should be focused on networking (online and offline) and promoting yourself, with 20% spent on actually creating work.

Timing - Galleries like artists are desperate for people to know about them, they are desperate to build a community and have people come to their events. Galleries and people who work there are actually extremely approachable if you approach them at the right time and for the right reason. What is the right time to approach a gallery owner? That depends, my personal favorite is after a talk because you have the perfect opener ‘what did you think of the talk?’

With this advice I should add what are the worst times to approach a gallery or a dealer for longer than a fast ‘Hi, how have you been?’

Private Views – they are hosting and trying to sell at the same time it’s stressful and with many people trying to talk to them you are just another face in the crowd.

Art Fairs – they paid a big amount of money to be there, let them sell work, do not bother them.

Before a conference/talk where they are supposed to present – we are all human and we all can get a bad case of nerves.

Introductions - The best way to meet anyone is to be introduced, gallerists listen to the recommendations given by the artists they already work with. So really if you want to start working with a gallery the fastest way of doing it is to network with other artists. The more friends you have within the art world the easier it is to take advantage of the art world nepotism.

Open Calls - Open calls are those rare moments when a gallery actually wants to be emailed by an artist. Unfortunately, from my personal experience, very few artists actually bother to read the open call and to submit what they were asked to submit. Reading and correctly replying to an open call can actually go a long way.

Have a Following - As I already mentioned the art world is not really about art, it is about relationships, commercial gallery world is about relationships and sales so ‘Stuff I like by people I like.’  This should really be ‘Stuff I like by people I like, that I can sell.’ No matter how much a gallery likes you or your work if they do not have a collector’s base to sell your work to - they will never show it. So sometimes the only way of persuading a gallery to take a chance on you and book you in for a show is to dazzle them with numbers, being an artist is great, being an artist who has a following on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and a mailing list is far better.

Be Online - I do not remember the last time someone told me ‘I found an artist at an open studio.’ Everyone is too busy to waste 3 hours of their week dragging themselves to some warehouse on the outskirts of the city. However what curators, collectors, and journalists do use is Instagram. If you are not on Instagram you are making it harder for galleries, collectors, and curators to find you.

About the Author - This article was written by Jenny Judova. Jenny is the founder of Art Map London, co-director of Tom’s Etching Studio, and she runs a project space in East London. Over the last three years, she has been an active researcher into the primary art market and campaigner for the transparency within the art market.  She has recently written a book on “How to Approach a Gallery”.

 

How much of a financial investment are you making in your art business?

By Carolyn Edlund, Guest Blogger -  There are so many free ways to share your art today, especially online. That’s great. You shouldn’t have to break the bank to get exposure for your artwork – but there are places where money is well spent:

Your Art Website. This is the most important place to invest your hard-earned money, in my opinion. There are many ways to build a website, to suit any number of budgets. Make your web presence a priority and spend as much as you can afford to make the best impression.

An outdated or barely functional website says you don’t really care that much, or perhaps you aren’t in business any longer. This turns off website visitors, rather than intrigue them.

Some website providers like Wix.com offer low-cost options, but it involves advertising. If your art website has these words scrolling across the bottom - “This site was created using Wix.com. Create your own for FREE” – then I strongly advise you to spend the extra $5.00 per month (literally!) and get that ad taken off your site. Every time I see one of these, I cringe. It screams “amateur” and looks like you're not serious.

Your Photographs. As a visual artist, you know how important it is to present incredible work with impact. Lousy photos are just not acceptable. Don’t ever scrimp on photography; it will get your work ignored and rejected. If you don’t take your work seriously enough to show it to its best advantage, why should jurors, galleries or collectors assign a value to it? You work hard in the studio. Honor your art by giving it an incredible presentation through professional photographs. Definitely, money well spent.

Your Shows. Doing fairs and festivals? If you are limiting yourself to the cheapest booth fees, or even free events, you aren’t doing yourself any favors. Apply to the very best shows you can. Investing in fewer high-quality events that match you with the right audience is a far better bargain in the end that wasting your time and energy in the wrong venue, chosen for cost alone.

Your Marketing Materials. Are you looking to impress potential customers with your brand? Use quality images and content to share your art. Whether you are spending on postcards, elegant invitations, or even advertising, put your best foot forward. This is often the first contact you will have. Make it count by wowing your audience, and encouraging them to want to see more.

Have you noticed that the list in this article includes places where you interact with potential customers or people who may have the power and influence to give you publicity or help your business? That is where professionalism is key. It can make all the difference in your results.

Where Can You Save Some Money? If you don’t have money to spend on services that automatically schedule social media posts, then do it yourself. Persistent and consistent outreach through social media drives website traffic and can help build your list, and you can put in some “sweat equity” here.

If you can’t afford a virtual assistant, then learn strategies to approach prospects, do follow-ups, or conduct marketing activities yourself. Learning how to do this effectively will serve you well, and keep you on top of the best methods to get exposure. Research, read free blog posts and put those ideas into action.

If you don’t have the budget for a paid Email Service Provider, use one with a free level such as Mail Chimp or Vertical Response. You will still have professionally-looking email campaigns going out to the list you have built of customers and others who are interested in what you make.

Exhibiting your work or having an open studio? There is no reason that you can’t use upcycled materials creatively to make displays or signage. Check out these cheapskate ideas to get lots of bang for your buck. (www.comsbusinessinstitute.org/blog/20-cheapskate-trade-show-booth-ideas/ )

Every creative business person has different needs. Identify those areas where you must spend money to create the best impression and the most impact. And invest your money there with confidence.

Carolyn Edlund is an art business consultant and the founder of Artsy Shark, which features and promotes artists. Carolyn is also the Executive Director of the Arts Business Institute, frequently speaking at artist workshops throughout the U.S. http://www.comsbusinessinstitute.org.  

Her background includes owning a production studio for over 20 years and representing art publishers in the retail market.  Carolyn’s website is http://www.ArtsyShark.com. Also, don’t miss …. “Artsy Shark’s Success Guide to Email Marketing for Artists’ http://bit.ly/EmailCourse.

 

Feedspot white Top 50 YouTube Channels
Feedspot White Top 100 Art Blogs
Artists Down Under 250
previous arrow
next arrow

FOLLOW THE GALLERY ON FACEBOOK

Slide
Monthly Competition Button
Monthly Solo Exhibition Slide
Artist Showcase Slide
Sheri Emerson Button
Artist Testimonials Slide
What's Your Story 250
previous arrow
next arrow
Top