Blogs filed under the category - Commentary
Mar 03,2007
The China Syndrome
Filed under: Commentary Tags: Website Copying China

We often get email asking about the incident last year when it was discovered that art from a number of our artists was being copied to a website in China where they were selling copies of art for very low prices. As many of you may know, a hue and cry went up across the land and the website was taken down. What you may not know is that another one sprang up to take its place. So the question is inevitably what can you do to protect your art from being copied. The short answer is – never let any one see it. Not exactly palatable advice for an artist who wants people to see and enjoy their art. However the reality is, that if it can be seen on the internet, then there is a way to copy it. Like the old adage that says the locks only keep honest people out but never stop the real thief so it can be said about people taking a copy of your art image. Despite the fact that MyArtClub.Com puts filters over the art or suppresses the right click option, there is little you can do if you know how to read the underlying HTML code that presents the page. So it only keeps the non-technical people from being able to copy your image. If you can see it on your browser, then there is a link to the art image that exists in order to present it. And if you can see it on the screen, then you can take a picture of it on a digital camera, never mind the computer. Which brings up other places that people can copy your art. If it is in a gallery or on exhibition, if it is printed in a magazine or your publish art cards to advertise your work, then it can be copied using a digital camera. So unless you are planning on hiding your candle under a bushel basket, then publish your work on the internet and if it gets copied onto a Chinese website, so be it. At least they had the good taste to copy your work. In the next blog, we will explore ways to reduce the chance of your work being copied effectively. read more ...

Posted by Art Marketer at 11:36
Apr 27,2007
The Secret for Artists
Filed under: Marketing Commentary Recommendations Tags: Ruth+Payne Dreams Goals Inspiration

The Secret for Artists The following blog is the first in a series of articles from a guest, Ruth Payne. For many of you in the Vancouver area, Ruth Payne will need no introduction. Ruth is the curator at the Ferry Building Gallery and the Visual Arts Coordinator of West Vancouver Cultural Services. The Secret for Artists The Secret for artists is first knowing what you want to have happen in your art career. The film THE SECRET (if you haven't watched it, DO!) spells it out in simple terms. The Law of Attractions is always at work and you create what you think about. You must have a clear dream so why not make it big as well as real for you? As Somerset Maugham quipped, "it's a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it." Dream from your heart while keeping your feet firmly on the ground. This will give you your heart's desire and a vision that you can articulate. Before you delve into the specifics necessary to present yourself to a gallery with the intention of having them represent you, it is necessary to do some in-depth self examination. This authentic, reflective and investigative journey is worthwhile for all artists…and it makes the journey simpler. Art-making and art marketing is a heartfelt journey; to keep that connection is essential. I believe it is in the heart-space that one knows what the dream is. Do you really want to exhibit in New York City in a world-class museum? Or do you want to be a weekend painter, giving your art as gifts to your family and friends and occasionally exhibiting in a local community gallery? Do you prefer the art festival and outdoor market type of venue? Do you want to sell your art as a sideline business which you run as a sole proprietorship? Does the idea of exhibiting in a group show appeal to you more than showing solo? Do you prefer to show people your work in your home or studio and not exhibit in galleries? Are you an Internet buff who would rather spend more time promoting yourself on-line? These are just a few of the questions you want to ask yourself…now you know where to start. Spend at least a month on this, journaling your thoughts and inspirations on what success is going to look like to you. Draw pictures, use lots of colour, cut out images and sayings in magazines. Make a Personal Success collage of your art business. Set aside a special sketchbook to make notes, jot down ideas, successes, tips, doodles, goals, dreams and entitle it: My Successful Art Career. Visit galleries and look at as many other artists' work as possible (advice from painter Gordon Smith). This will give you an idea of where you fit in the art world. Also think about where you fit in art history. What is your style, influences, mentors? Then share your findings with a fellow artist, trusted family member or friend. The next step is to Begin with the End in Mind by imagining yourself at the end of your life. This is a very useful visualization, one of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People from the book by Stephen Covey. What did you do with your art that you are so thrilled with? What did you accomplish that was just right for you? Now you can work backwards to present time and make plans, goals and commit to making your dream happen. Next, write it all down. As long as the idea is just in your head it is a slogan. I believe to make it a goal and make it manifest, you have to write it down. Now you can begin the path to successfully exhibiting and marketing your art. Stay tuned for more in April on the specifics of organizing your art business for success. Ruth Payne, Visual Arts Coordinator, West Vancouver Cultural Services, Ferry Building Gallery About Ruth Payne Ruth brings 25 years of experience as a gallery curator, visual artist, stress management consultant and teacher and runs the popular Arts Connection Networking Salon for visual artists. This article first appeared in the My Art News Letter #12 read more ...

Posted by Art Marketer at 06:20
Jul 23,2007
Get permission to sell celebrity images
Filed under: Recommendations Commentary Tags: Celebrity+Art Legal Permission

In general pictures you take can be used as a basis for art. However with celebrities, getting permission is a good idea. Otherwise you may be unwittingly exploiting their rights to control their publicity. On the US website from CafePress.com, an extensive discussion on this topic is posted. Cafepress.com reproduces items that are based on images posted by artists for commercial purposes. You might find it useful. Here is the link. http://www.cafepress.com/cp/info/help/law.aspx and on that page you will see this Q & A: (True and false format) Assumption: I took the photo, so I can use it however I want. FALSE. Simply taking a photo of a person, company, brand, logo or the like does not afford you the right to sell merchandise featuring that photograph. There are two distinct intellectual property rights in a photograph: the rights in the photograph itself and the rights in the subject of the picture, such as the product or person shown in it. For example, if you take a photo of a celebrity, you only own the rights to the photo, but not the right to use the photo of a celebrity for merchandise sale. In order to sell merchandise with the image, you will need to obtain explicit permission from the celebrity. From the Canadian perspective, there is a good link from the Federal Government as a legal guideline for Museums. http://www.chin.gc.ca/English/Intellectual_Property/Licensing_Images/publicity.html From that link it says: "In Canadian law, some legal protection is available in situations where there is an exploitation. In the case of living persons, written releases should be obtained from persons whose images are used commercially." If the photos are yours, there should not be any issue in basing an art image on the photo. If not, then you would need the photographer's permission. If the photos were taken at a concert or other venue where cameras were not permitted, then do not use those photos. This article first appeared in the My Art News Letter #22 read more ...

Posted by Art Marketer at 07:34
Jul 26,2007
A Multitude of Exhibition Venues (Part 1)
Filed under: Marketing Recommendations Commentary Tags: Ruth+Payne Venues Exhibitions Shows

The following blog is the second in a series of articles from our guest, Ruth Payne. For many of you in the Vancouver area, Ruth Payne will need no introduction. Ruth is the curator at the Ferry Building Gallery and the Visual Arts Coordinator of West Vancouver Cultural Services. Art Fairs, Outdoor Shows, Tradeshows, One-Of-A-Kind Shows, Festivals, Markets In exhibiting your art, you certainly are not limited to commercial and public galleries. There are endless opportunities and venues for both selling and showing art if you become creative about researching prospects. Many artists despair when turned down by a jury or when they get a 'sorry' letter from a commercial gallery. They then go into hiding, so to speak, wondering if the world of art lovers and buyers will ever find them. If you look, you will usually find an opportunity for exhibiting in your own neighbourhood. First of all, consider home studio/gallery exhibitions. Host your own show and reception, or team up with fellow artists. Buyers love to visit the working space and creative homes of artists and this is often where the most sales will occur. Don't forget to display a painting on the outside of your home or studio. Why not? Hang a piece that you will delegate as a promotional piece and don't mind if it gets beaten up by the weather, right on your front door. It is very appealing to see art on the exterior of a home and it immediately brands what you do. If you work is 3-D, I suggest the same thing. You can display art in the garden, in an outdoor entrance alcove, in the apartment building foyer…there are many more possibilities. Alternative Venues An array of alternative commercial venues exist for marketing art, and many buyers prefer the demystified and relaxed atmosphere of these for purchasing art. The following are some options, and you can add your own to this list: Shopping mall exhibits, merchant windows Offices: doctors, dentists, law offices, accountants, SPCA, veterinarians, investment firms. Real estate offices, movie sets, homes for sale (staging) Wine shops (often will display your art; then host a reception to celebrate both your art and their wine- -a winning combo!) Cafes, restaurants Hospitals, airports, banks, retail clothing stores, design shops, textile stores, shoe stores City halls, hotels, public facilities, day cares, schools, universities. In the next part of the article, Ruth discusses further exhibition venues. Best of success with your summer art sales! Artfully yours, Ruth Payne, Visual Arts Coordinator, West Vancouver Cultural Services, Ferry Building Gallery Email: rpayne@westvancouver.ca About Ruth Payne Ruth brings 25 years of experience as a gallery curator, visual artist, stress management consultant and teacher and runs the popular Arts Connection Networking Salon for visual artists. This article first appeared in the My Art News Letter #22 read more ...

Posted by Art Marketer at 07:29
Aug 09,2007
A Multitude of Exhibition Venues (Part 2)
Filed under: Marketing Recommendations Commentary Tags: Ruth+Payne Venues Exhibitions Shows

The following blog is the second in a series of articles from our guest, Ruth Payne. For many of you in the Vancouver area, Ruth Payne will need no introduction. Ruth is the curator at the Ferry Building Gallery and the Visual Arts Coordinator of West Vancouver Cultural Services. Art Fairs, Outdoor Shows, Tradeshows, One-Of-A-Kind Shows, Festivals, Markets In the second part of the article, Ruth discusses further exhibition venues. Be willing to do the installation yourself and always sign the art, place a label next to it on the wall with your name, title of piece, medium, price and your contact info. Sign the art on the back with a Sharpee felt pen and put the date and a © for copyright. Offering a commission of the sale to the hosting venue is an incentive for them to talk up your art. Write it all down, make sure you keep a copy, and keep in touch with the store, etc, every two weeks. * Never display your art in a place where there are toxic substances, extreme light or temperature, moisture, fumes or chemicals that will damage it (i.e. drycleaners). Tradeshows and outdoor art fairs can be great venues in which to sell to a large amount of buyers and reach an international market. This is generally very hard work and requires a finely rehearsed system to make it happen smoothly. However, it is an effective way to pay the mortgage! Art Fairs are usually juried and you can do this by mail or email. There will be a fee and you will have to set up your own booth with displays, lighting, and furniture. You can rent equipment from companies specializing in display equipment. (i.e. Eddie's Hang-Ups, Vancouver). The Yellow Pages is a good source for renting racks and lighting. I do know of a number of artists who sell extremely well at fairs in the larger cities and they have developed an efficient system to the way they pack, ship, setup and sell their art. One artist paints oil on canvas pinned to the wall. She then rolls the painting, places it into a mailing tube and ships it to the city where the fair is. Sometimes she takes them on the plane with her. When she gets to the fair, she has them put on stretchers. This cuts down on the hassles and costs of shipping. Go online to find information for large city outdoor shows and fairs. Locally, your Arts Councils and Craft Associations can give/sell a resource guide. Don't overlook the idea of local farmer's markets, fairs, and art festivals. Art can be sold at the most unlikely time, in the most unlikely way, at the most unlikely venue. This is guerilla marketing and the opportunities are endless. You could sell a $2000 painting in the Whistler weekend Farmer's Market, to a woman who is browsing and shopping for organic potatoes while her husband is playing a round of golf. Art in the Park: Stanley Park in Vancouver is a bustling art market. Check out these options in your hometown, or create your own group to sell art in park areas. Plein air painting is very inviting to viewers, Europe is famous for it and it is a wonderful opportunity to sell your work. Cruise ships and tourist locations. Special events and occasions: political events, 2010 Olympics, sports and cultural events. Guerilla marketing = unconventional marketing intended to get maximum results from minimal resources (it is worthwhile to search Guerilla Marketing on the internet. There are a host of worthwhile manuals, books and tips). Best of success with your summer art sales! Artfully yours, Ruth Payne, Visual Arts Coordinator, West Vancouver Cultural Services, Ferry Building Gallery Email: rpayne@westvancouver.ca About Ruth Payne Ruth brings 25 years of experience as a gallery curator, visual artist, stress management consultant and teacher and runs the popular Arts Connection Networking Salon for visual artists. This article first appeared in the My Art News Letter #22 read more ...

Posted by Art Marketer at 07:28
Sep 24,2007
Building Your Art Business-The Four Basics,Part 1
Filed under: Commentary Marketing Recommendations Tags: People Space Time Money Basics Ruth+Payne

The following blog is the third in a series of articles from our guest, Ruth Payne. For many of you in the Vancouver area, Ruth Payne will need no introduction. Ruth is the curator at the Ferry Building Gallery and the Visual Arts Coordinator of West Vancouver Cultural Services. "Sacred space and sacred time and something joyous to do is all we need. Almost anything then becomes a continuous and increasing joy." – Joseph Campbell The Four Basics for building your art business are People, Space, Time and Money People to advise, encourage and help you Space to do your art and business Time to do your art and business Money to keep the wolf away from the door PEOPLE The people in your life who support your art business are your pit crew. They are the ones that spin your tires! They beam you up, dust you off and say…get back on the horse! Know who these people are. Let go of the naysayers, who may be envious or are just Negative Nellies. You don't have time for anyone who does not have positive and encouraging energy in regards to your art and business. Life is wondrous, the world is waiting for your art, and it is full of creative art marketing opportunities for you to grab. Let no one hold you back. Most people, if you explain heartfully to them, will understand and have great respect for the time you need to do your art, the path you are pursuing and the goals you have for your art sales and exhibitions. STUDIO You need a space that is yours to create art in. This may also be the space that you have your art business office in, where you do your marketing from. It is not the kitchen table. It is also not your bedroom or dining room. It is separate from the activities of daily life, and it is your designated art sanctuary. This space can be carved out in an unused garage, garden shed, empty room, space borrowed from a neighbour, artist's warehouse studios as in 1000 Parker Street, Vancouver, communal artist's spaces, rented apartment space, and the outdoor studio if you are a plein air painter. One very successful Vancouver artist has his studio in a converted garage off the alley. He rolls up the doors and it is called the Alley Gallery. Voila! Good lighting is essential, from either a skylight, natural and preferably northern light, or incandescent, but not fluorescent. Fluorescent light distorts colours. Your tools of the trade are a professional sturdy working easel, firm armless chair, preferably the twirling type with a flexible back, your paint and palette table, a filing cabinet for your business and art inventory keeping, and a worktable for your journal and sketchbook. Now add a chair or two for visitors, as well as a small table by the entrance where you have a photo of yourself at work, business cards, portfolio, invitations to exhibitions you may be in, and a vase of fresh flowers. Of course your art speaks for itself, and also the essence of who you are shines through in your studio space. Potential art purchasers are intrigued to meet the artist in his studio, see work-in-progress and generally feel a part of the process. It's all integral to your 'artist's magic' and every bit of your presentation is important. Visiting other artist's studios can be a great way to get creative ideas for your setup, renovation or to make your studio suit your personal style better. It is also a wonderful opportunity to network with other artists in their art-making space. I think it is useful to have a small shrine in the studio. This can be a table, a corner area, a small shelf, whatever works for you. On this you will put inspirational mementos, photographs of your children and mate, the seashell you brought home from your painting trip in Mexico, your little statue of Buddha or whatever has spiritual significance for you, and a candle. It is meant to centre you and bring you to the present moment of appreciation for your artist's life. Note: your business and tax set-up will take into account the space in which you work. Your costs and rental or mortgage agreement i.e. a percentage of your income, if used for work, may be deducted from your taxes. Please read your self-employed/ small business tax form available from Revenue Canada to learn about maximum workable deductions. For detailed information on The Business Of Finding A Workspace, a discussion of zoning requirements, leases, etc., please see Art, the Art Community, and the Law, Self- Counsel Press. In the next part of the article, Ruth discusses the other two basics: time and money. Artfully yours, Ruth Payne, Visual Arts Coordinator, West Vancouver Cultural Services, Ferry Building Gallery Email: rpayne@westvancouver.ca About Ruth Payne Ruth brings 25 years of experience as a gallery curator, visual artist, stress management consultant and teacher and runs the popular Arts Connection Networking Salon for visual artists. This article first appeared in the My Art News Letter #23 read more ...

Posted by Art Marketer at 07:50
Oct 08,2007
Building Your Art Business-The Four Basics,Part 2
Filed under: Commentary Marketing Recommendations Tags: Time Money People Space Basics Ruth+Payne

The following blog is the third in a series of articles from our guest, Ruth Payne. For many of you in the Vancouver area, Ruth Payne will need no introduction. Ruth is the curator at the Ferry Building Gallery and the Visual Arts Coordinator of West Vancouver Cultural Services. The Four Basics for building your art business are People, Space, Time and Money People to advise, encourage and help you Space to do your art and business Time to do your art and business Money to keep the wolf away from the door TIME "Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it." -Scott Peck Knowing how to set healthy boundaries with others is to know how to really say YES and NO and this in turn saying YES TO YOURSELF. Give yourself what you need in time, for both creating your art and for the marketing of your art. By the way, plan on spending 50% of your time on marketing. (unless you have a gallery to represent you full-time and exclusively) Do you trade your time for easy cash? Don't undersell yourself. Your time is meant for art-making and marketing your work. If you volunteer your time, do it because you want to, consider this tithing your time to help others, mentor students, or talk to a networking group of artists. This time is freely given, even though you may receive a small honorarium as a thank you. I believe that what you give freely and from your authentic self comes back to you at least 10 times. Work from the 80/20 rule that made Walmart so successful. "Nothing can add more power to your life than concentrating all your energies on a limited set of targets." - Nido Qubein The 80/20 rule says that on a list of 10 tasks, only 2 of those tasks will return 80% of the value of the entire list. Look at your art marketing 'to do' list. Which tasks are directly related to what you want to happen. Find the 2 high- value items on your list and tackle them first. These tasks, contacts, exhibitions, potential buyers are the ones that will really move your career forward. Many of us actively avoid the top 2 priorities because they are more challenging than the rest. If they are to lead us to worthy goals, they are undoubtedly asking us to move into new territory in thinking and acting, and this can be scary. But this is also REWARDING. Focussing on your Centre of Influence, as Stephen R. Covey speaks of, in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, with First Things First, is another way to do this. It takes you out of your Circle of Concern, where you tend to water down your time without concentration on your own needs. This is only a conscious choice away! "Don't kid yourself: it's because you're doing all those C's (low priorities) and NOT because you haven't any time, that you don't get to do you're A's." - Alan Lakein Make yourself a sign: ARTIST AT WORK: Please do not disturb. The flip side will say: ARTIST in STUDIO 2- 5pm: Please come in. One side is for your sacred art-making time and the other side is for open studio time for visitors and buyers. MONEY Don't quit your day job! This may sound trite, but there is nothing attractive about the artist who is really struggling to pay the rent and keep the chicken on the table. This angst comes across in the art you want to sell and it actually pushes the buyer away. It speaks of neediness and lack of security and it is not attractive. Balance in all aspects of your life will allow you to pursue your art business with ease and confidence. If your partner is willing to support you, you have an inheritance, or you are retiring, then great. Just make sure you have enough money for your basic living expenses, and to be able to invest in your art business. You will need to spend money on a website, invitations, business cards, as well as art-making supplies and framing. Extra cash is a necessity for this. I encourage you to add to this list, then post it in your studio as a reminder of what you will give to yourself! Artfully yours, Ruth Payne, Visual Arts Coordinator, West Vancouver Cultural Services, Ferry Building Gallery Email: rpayne@westvancouver.ca About Ruth Payne Ruth brings 25 years of experience as a gallery curator, visual artist, stress management consultant and teacher and runs the popular Arts Connection Networking Salon for visual artists. This article first appeared in the My Art News Letter #23 read more ...

Posted by Art Marketer at 07:49
Sep 14,2008
Highlights from the MyArtClub.Com Market Survey
Filed under: Marketing Recommendations Commentary Tags: Survey Findings

As you may recall, last fall MyArtClub.Com conducted a market survey to assess the "5 Ws" about the art market, meaning the questions "Who", "What", "Where", "When" and "Why". We felt compelled to learn more about fine art clients for the large part because the answers for many important questions to help artists and art venues build solid business plans are not readily available. Our report, soon to be released, presents a concise set of findings to assist all participants in the art market. It brings together demographics and personal interests to focus on understanding client preferences to help you target your art markets most effectively. Key findings include reasons for optimism! A whopping 98.9% of participants purchase fine art an estimated 1.4 times per year. A huge 78.2% of these clients buy on impulse simply because they love the work. The highest customer preference at 71.2% is to buy directly from an artist to better know the artist and support the artist financially. The full report is to be out in Fall 2008. As a member of MyArtClub.Com you will have full access to the findings. An interesting summary presentation is also being prepared, with specific actions you and your art groups could take. We would welcome an invitation to present our findings to you and your group in future. This article first appeared in the My Art News Letter #24 read more ...

Posted by Art Marketer at 07:54
Apr 02,2011
DIY Art Marketing - your top two considerations
Filed under: Commentary Marketing Recommendations Tags: Basics Goals Time Website

DIY (Do-It-Yourself) art marketing has never been so full of potential to help artists become successful. However artists need to realize results will be proportional to the amount of effort they put in. DIY artist websites offer artists the advantage of low start up costs; total control over content and display options; and powerful art marketing tools. With this in mind, artists need to consider how to make the best use of their time and money. We believe the key considerations are to determine: 1) your internet marketing goals and 2) your time commitment to execute your DIY effort. Goals: The first question to ask when considering your DIY web presence is: What are your expectations from having a website? Your answer might be some combination of: To show your art to others To connect with and build your audience To market and sell your art Time Commitment: The second question you need to ask yourself is: How much time are you willing to invest in achieving your DIY web presence objectives? You might reply with one of these typical answers: 1-2 hours / quarter – Time to build and maintain a web presence is time out of the studio! Save me from the computer! 1-2 hours / month- I just want to update occasionally when necessary. 1-2 hours / week – I am fairly committed – I see online presence as an important part of my marketing efforts. 1 hours / day – I am on the computer a lot and I really want to promote my art and art career for part of my day! An organized approach: With your answers to these 2 top considerations you will know where to focus your efforts. In upcoming blog entries, we will go into detail the web activities available to you to achieve your goals, reviewing the purpose of these activities along with their pros and cons. A summary of many typical artist website features or activities can be found here or a short commentary can be found here. Think of the three goals as if climbing a ladder. First build your site to show, then up a rung to connect, and further up to sell your art. Your time commitment should focus on the minimum required portion, the Basics of each rung, before advancing to the next rung on the ladder. Select anything from Optional section to enhance your artist website efforts. To Show Basics: Prepare suitable "jpeg" images of your art. Upload art images. Upload a picture of yourself. Choose your domain name. Optional: Upload a logo / signature header. Set site template colours and fonts. Group art by type in sub-pages (we call these "Studios"). Add your YouTube videos. Add a flash slideshow. Add music. To Connect Basics: Upload your Artist Statement, Resume and Contact info. Announce your website launch and subsequent updates. Link to sites you love. Add your domain name to your email signature. Add commentary, stories about each artwork. Optional: Set prices for gallery sales. Upload calendar events. Upload your email list. Email news of shows etc to your list. Blog about your target customers needs. Segment your contact list and email targeted messages. Use Facebook, Twitter to connect from and to your website. Create videos on YouTube and post to your blog or website. Add lots more links. Post comments on the blogs of others. Showcase your unique expertise or passion. To Sell (direct from the artist) Basics: Set up a payment provider account (e.g. PayPal, Visa etc). Set your pricing for direct sales. Add Order Forms, Price List and an Art Catalogue. Ask clients to buy from your site. Optional: Advertise on the internet. Offer specials – do some merchandizing. Prepare prints or lower price versions of your artwork. Give your customers specials / freebies. Use eBay and other online markets to meet new clients. Target your customer segment and converse via their community's blogs. How do you feel about our assessment? Your comments would help us understand your artist issues with managing an artist website. What have we got right or what have we missed? read more ...

Posted by Art Marketer at 07:53
Jul 25,2011
"Starving" to successful workshop and book
Filed under: Commentary Tags: Findings Inspiration workshop Books

Top tips from "Starving" to successful workshop and book Thursday July 21 2011, Jason Horejs, experienced owner-operator of Scottsdale Arizona art gallery, Xanadu Gallery , gave an excellent 4 hour workshop on how to get into galleries to a rapt crowd of about 45 artists in Vancouver. Jason has a very personable, yet powerful presentation style. He made it all very clear, what to do, and most importantly, what not to do! Some artists who attended are now quite motivated on approaching galleries. Jason recommends an in person approach, but before you start down that path, be assured you need a great deal of preparation. I recommend you grab a copy of his book. I have read it and can vouch that it is an easy read, and most of what was covered in the workshop (and more) is in the book, Starving to Successful: The Fine Artists Guide to Getting into Galleries and Selling More Art . Top Tips: Basically you need to build a body of work that is recognizably yours, consistent in quality, and priced well. Then research the galleries you want to be in, prepare your portfolio and website, and go knock on doors. Sound easy? Read the book - it may not be that easy, but it is certainly straightforward. If you attended, what were your impressions? Are you in galleries, and finding success, please share your thoughts read more ...

Posted by Art Marketer at 08:37
Jan 22,2012
First results from Xanadu Gallery artist survey
Filed under: Analysis Commentary Marketing Tags: Survey

Xanadu gallery of Phoenix Arizona has posted their first results of their artist survey and they are very interesting to review. The blog provides some share opinions of artists of many types, and geographic base, who want to know where they stand compared to other artists regarding income levels and production levels. Early results show that those artists with more production correlate to higher sales. Skim the comments too, as there are some are very interesting stories from individual artists. As Xanadu provides more details, we will keep you posted. MyArtClub.Com is also conducting an art industry survey which is still open for your submission at www.MyArtClub.Com/Survey. The focus of both surveys are similar, but do ask different questions we expect will provide additional marketing insight for artists especially concerning channels to market. The MyArtClub.Com survey is only 15 minutes, and open to all. If you provide your email address (optional) we will not only send you our report, but as well a copy of your own submission for comparison purposes. Other wise you can read the results on this blog. read more ...

Posted by Art Marketer at 02:48
Feb 28,2012
First results report of 2012 Artist Sales Survey
Filed under: Analysis Marketing Recommendations Commentary Tags: Findings Selling Survey

Many thanks to the 187 artists who took the time to complete the survey. There is a lot of interesting information I am analyzing for this blog entry and likely several more blog reports to come. Individual requested comparative reports for those who signed up will be sent out in the coming 2-3 weeks. Charts to illustrate the findings presented below, with much more detail, are available to download here. Please open this Artist 2012 Sales Survey Report 1 (If you cannot open see the Adobe Reader download link below) First a caveat: Everything presented here is opinion. Do not base your marketing efforts solely on this. You must do your own planning in context of your own business. With a healthy sample size of 187, we do hope to provide you with some reasonable sense of how artists are seeing the art business, and what they plan to do. The findings are: Half the 187 responding artists spend 20 or more hours per week. Page 2 Half see their art business as somewhat or very important financially. Page 2 A segment called ">20h-$NB" is defined to be those 70 artists (37%) who reported that they spend 20 or more hours a week, and the income is somewhat or very important to them. (NB is taken from Nota Bene which is good old LATIN for note well, aka 'important'). What I am looking to do by showing results for ALL in comparison wth those artists in this segment, is to show how this particular segment of the responding artists think relative to how the whole group thinks. I picked those who are able to and do spend most of their working time - you might call them "full timers" - and married with that those who are somewhat or very dependent on the income from their art business. In other words these artists have some skin in the game from a business point of view from both time spent and money needed. You will see that sometimes this group shows some interesting differences when compared to the overall group. Page 3 Market outlook is positive for 2012 by all artist respondents, and is even more positive in outlook by the >20h-$NB art business operations. Page 4 Group art shows came out overall on top as best way to get income, but the >20h-$NB artists rank commissions first, and then galleries, solo shows and group shows. Page 5 Promotions that worked in 2011 were # 1 direct selling to clients, then dealing with galleries/agents and media promotions as the most productive avenues, especially for >20h-$NB segment. Page 6 Artist spent about 53% of time producing art (Page 7) and over 73% want to increase that time. Page 8 Original art works sales were 72% of all income, with instruction generating 11% and copies or prints of originals generating 9.4% for all respondents, totaling 92.4% of all income sources. Page 9 The implications are: You can see where you fit in for hours per week, and review how other artists see the market from that similar perspective. Prices and sales units are seen to be going up. Artists should not lower prices, rather should at least hold prices steady and increase if their pricing analysis permits. A review of pricing benchmarks would be a worthwhile effort. The >20h-$NB segment is even more positive about sales opportunities. Seeing is believing! Don't let this very positive opinion sway you too much. You can feel some heart warming positive thoughts to be cautiously optimistic about marketing efforts you undertake this year. Commissions may be the best way to earn income, be sure you are promoting this or considering how to build this part of your business, if applicable If direct selling is the most successful, what are your promotions to contact and engage with your clients? Draw up a plan To increase the amount of time creating art means either having assistance with other time consumers, or getting more time to spend. A way to off load or save time doing admin and set up looks desirable. Could increased learning be done in tandem with creating? Income sources from originals is already so high it is hard to imagine that increasing as a percentage of your art business. Copies on the other hand do represent a way to reach a lower cost market segment. Our Art Market survey indicated clients buy as many copies as originals. Instruction while logical and lucrative needs to be balanced in time commitment if you want to increase your time creating and learning. Offer instruction as a block of time – say a weekend retreat – vs several weeks of once a week classes - to retain your maximum time availability. Anyone who would like a spreadsheet (CSV) copy to examine the detailed survey submissions immediately is most welcome. Email your request for the "Report spreadsheet", to webmaster@myartclub.com We will continue to report on our findings in upcoming blogs, and hope you find this of help. Please comment below to indicate / pass along your thoughts, comments and suggestions! Download Adobe Reader software here read more ...

Posted by Art Marketer at 03:14
Aug 30,2012
Using Readers to help writing your artist blog
Filed under: Commentary Marketing Tags: Blogging

One aspect of writing an art related blog, or any blog, is to find something original to contribute. Finding your voice as they say. Originality can be a daunting thought because the internet is so vast, we can expect someone has already written your very thought. But how to know you are not basically saying what everyone else is saying? Well firstly if you have written a blog without researching, in other words straight off the top, it may be an original perspective for sure. No plagiarism can possibly apply here, as you have put the words together yourself. Not a bad way to start, but what about the meat, the content you have provided, what if you are just babbling away with the same views many have expressed, even if it is in your own words? Searching a specific subject can be a good way. There is the obvious way, searching in Google, for your planned blog topics key words. That will turn up a lot of info. But it will be internet wide, not necessarily related to your field. This is where a Web Reader can come in handy. First - About Setting up Readers Readers abound on the web, here is a list and comparison of the top 10 I use the Google Reader, and have found it very useful. Once you select a reader, and set it up, you need to subscribe to some RSS feeds (Really Simple Syndication) available from almost all sites. When you subscribe to a site RSS, the site will update your reader. This is a great way to consolidate the places on the internet you find interesting. One trip to your reader, and you have an update from all the sites you have subscribed to. Readers help you keep track of all the sites and blogs you have come across that relate to your interests. Yes, I hear you say, but who has time to read all this? Make Readers work for you Here is where it gets interesting. When I am writing a blog, say like this one, I identify the key words, in this case: using search engines, using readers and originality of blogs. You can see just by looking at these keywords, that in Google, the returned leads will be quite widely varied, to the extent that much would be irrelevant. But do the same search list within the various art marketing, social media sites I subscribe to, and it narrows down the search dramatically. The results are very relevant, and show me some of the current thoughts on the topic. Narrow your search using the readers filters When you set up your reader, you can group the RSS feeds by subject area. I mentioned art marketing, and social media for example. So if it helps narrow my search, I can select just one group of RSS feeds to find if the subjects I am writing about, are there or not. In my case, todays subject was not covered, so I can conclude with at least the confidence that many widely followed sites are not already talking about this. Yea! Sites to follow via your Reader Would you like to know some of the art marketing related sites I subscribe to? Email me and I will send you a list! Webmaster@MyArtClub.Com read more ...

Posted by Art Marketer at 10:39
Sep 26,2012
Try the business market for selling art
Filed under: Commentary Marketing Tags: Customers

One aspect of art marketing these days is affordability. The everyday consumer is reportedly under a lot of financial pressure, with the result that maybe buying fine art is just not high enough in priority these days to actually do it. So what to do? Follow the money! The money is either with the wealthy 1%, the extremely wealthy 0.1%, or with businesses. Unless you know the wealthy or have some great connection strategies, you may find business more easy to approach. Pick the successful businesses you see in the news. Canadian banks for example just announced record profits, across the board. B2B marketing As an artist, you are a small business. Small businesses often focus on Business to Business (B2B) marketing. For a detailed definition and how to do it check out Wikipedia . A lot of business decisions are based on building a business case to justify the purchase. Art work can be seen to provide a welcoming environment to customers, enhance and help to communicate your brand values, bring life to dead spaces, invigorate colleagues, and define specific areas. Your task is to show how these benefits can translate into dollars, for the business. And show that the dollars they would spend would be far less than the dollars they can expect to get back return. The trick is having something by way of proof to substantiate your claims. This is where perhaps a little market research could go a long way. One research project I would like to see, would be to compare art per square foot, to profitability. Has anyone ever tried B2B art marketing? How did it go? read more ...

Posted by Art Marketer at 11:14
Nov 10,2012
Amazing recovery of Stolen Fine Art
Filed under: Commentary Announcement Tags: Customers Stolen+Art

You may have read the fascinating story about a stolen painting that was recently recovered. If not, please read it - a great story! The website the boy in the story googled is run by MyArtClub, and it is called Stolen Fine Art. The story behind the website really starts with Reet Herder. Reet has been a founding member of our website. In 2005 Reet let us know that she and 2 other artists had suffered a devastating loss, a theft of 17 paintings. Peter and I were shocked to hear how bad it was. At MyArtClub.com we always like to respond to artist request for features, or listen to their business issues, and look for ways we can assist. This practice has been wonderful for both the artists and for our development as a service. Peter and I put our heads together and figured we could host the images of stolen art as a collection. The MyArtClub site was already set up to host artist groups, so we simply leveraged that as a way to focus on this awful issue. We ask artists for a police reference number of some kind and police and artist contact information. Harbouring Great Memories, recovered from this listing: As you may see from the example on our form below, Reet was really the founding person involved in creating the form. Karma has a way doesn't it? She helped build a service that we host and hope it is of some use to artists, and voila – her art is the one found through the internet! I telephoned Reet, to congratulate her on the recovery. Reet is amazed at not only the painting's recovery but the media attention! "All I did was paint it" she says. This was one of her earlier works, but she was happy with how it had turned out. It was based on a visit to Schooner Cove. The story continues: as might be expected the painting itself was not in the best of conditions. However with luck Reet had prepared to create giclees from this art, and so offered this kind family a giclee in return which they accepted. Reet says " the giclee's colours look better". I thanked Reet for being a long term MyArtClub artist, and especially for helping to start a service for artists, Stolen Fine Art, can now be said to be "proven effective"!! If you have experienced theft of your art, we offer the service free to all artists, write for a submission form to us at Webmaster@MyArtClub.Com There are also interesting organizations that focus on stolen fine art. You may enjoy the ARCA blog, written by Catherine Schofield Sezgin, ARCA Blog Editor-in-Chief,a Canadian based in LA, who kindly first alerted me to this story. ARCA stands for the Association for Research into Crimes against Art, a non-profit organization promoting the study and research of art crime and cultural heritage protection. See her story about this here. What has your experience been? Please add a comment to share your story! read more ...

Posted by Art Marketer at 07:06
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