Blog on Art Marketing and Selling Art


Should Gallery Dealers Critique Our Art Work?

So let me get back to the main question: How do you feel about having the gallery owner tell you what to paint and how to paint it? Yes, this is a slightly controversial question, and I'm not looking for a complaint session. Please don't mention any gallery names - I don't want to be sued or hurt the business of any gallery. It's hard enough for them these days to keep their doors open. This post isn't about ditching gallery dealers - it's about how you feel when they advise you as to how and what to paint. [...]

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Framing the Problem

The economics of framing art seems to be an ongoing problem to which I just can't find an answer...They way I see it, there really is no way for an artist to avoid the short end of the stick if the artist is selling through a gallery and providing the frames for the artwork. [...]

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What is Talent?

Lately, I've been coming across online videos and blogs that deal with the question, What is talent? Does it exist, and if it does, what exactly is it? Are some people blessed with a huge dose of it, and therefore destined to become a prodigy? Mozart usually comes to mind. [...]

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Don't Be Afraid to Change the World

You have been given certain gifts by natural selection, the universe, the creator, or God.....choose the one that fits your believe system...And you have a responsibility to share those gifts with the world.....the world will be a richer place for it....So think about this: how can you change the world if you're afraid to get out there and share your art with people? [...]

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Thoughts on How to Price Art

It was extremely rare that I ever saw a selling artist whose prices were equal on a square inch basis when comparing large and small pieces. Larger paintings are almost always less per square inch than small ones. [...]

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Dealing with Jealousy - Part 1

Envy, being green - whatever you want to call it - jealousy happens. Well, it happens to me...When I analyze why I feel jealous, it comes down to feeling like I'll be forgotten, left out in the cold and eventually die. Sounds like I'm going overboard with a small, silly emotion, eh? However, jealous feelings lead to fear because they are similar to wondering if we'll survive. In my early adult life, I was jealous when my boyfriend paid more attention to other girls than me. (prettier girls, mind you). Because he was showing preference to another person, I wondered if I would lose him to that girl and be forever abandoned and alone. In a couple of cases, this fear was based in truth; I was indeed left behind. However, I didn't die, and found someone else who was better. [...]

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Don't Take Offence

So, what do you do when you find yourself confronted by well-meaning individuals who don't "get" your art? They wish to give you advise when they don't know what you are striving for with your art. Sometimes they know (or think they know) quite a lot about art. Sometimes they have no clue. Sometimes they only know enough to be dangerous. Occasionally, you may be confronted by others whose intentions aren't as favorable. For some reason, there are some who delight in tearing others down. Most people, though, simply think that they are helping. How should you act or respond? [...]

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I'll Know it When I See It

So how do real people in real galleries look for art? They "stumble" upon it. The usual answer to the art gallery salesperson's question, "Can I help you find something in particular?" is "I'll know it when I see it". That's because "I'll know it when I see it" is fun..."Serendipitous Stumbling" is the funnest way to find art. Here's what happens: You walk into an art gallery, your eyes scan the room and you're hoping that something "catches your eye" or "takes your breath away." [...]

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How Would You Promote Your Site if Google Didn't Exist?

It seems that a lot of artists set up a website and then think, "hmmm, I need some traffic" - and embark upon learning about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques, perhaps buy some Pay Per Click (PPC) Ads, and then get frustrated when artwork doesn't magically sell. [...]

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Keep on Keeping On

I've noticed a disturbing trend among some of my artist friends recently. When their gallery sales seem sluggish for a month, some lose interest in painting, and find excuses to avoid the studio. However, when their gallery calls and announces a sale, suddenly these same artists get excited about painting again. [...]

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Timely is the Hard Part...Victoria's Secret Shows Artists the Solution

Making your marketing messages personal and relevant is really not all that hard....timely is the hard part. Not long ago, I wrote a blog post titled Personal, Timely, Relevant. It was primarily about sending email newsletters to your fans and ensuring that those newsletters are personal, timely and relevant....otherwise your messages will be ignored. [...]

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I'm Not Surprised Your Art Isn't Selling . . .

If you don't have an email list and aren't using it on a regular basis, then I'm not surprised if your art isn't selling. There I said it. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but it's true. You might be an exception who is selling well without an email list, but, if so, I would guess that you either sell through galleries and/or are pushing your marketing messages out to your Collector Clan on a regular basis using some channel other than email (in which case you could still easily increase your sales by doing what I'm about to tell you). [...]

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Artist Brian Kliewer - A Case Study in Email Marketing

We've previously discussed the importance of having conversations with your collectors, leading your collector clan, and, especially, the importance of using email newsletters as a core piece of your art marketing. I've mentioned artist Brian Kliewer's project in a couple of my previous articles. Even before Brian's project was completed, it was evident that it was working and generating sales for Brian. Now that his project has ended, I decided it would be a good time to do a little "case study." [...]

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How to Sell Art

Over the past couple of weeks, I have shared some of my ideas about selling art in the series, On Selling Art, Part 1 and Part 2. After finishing those two articles, I realized it might be helpful to have the same ideas (and a few more) distilled down into a sort of "action list." So that's what I did. Here are 24 thoughts on How to Sell Art. [...]

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On Selling Art - Part 2

Back in my gallery days, I sold art...quite a bit of art. In fact, in addition to being the gallery director, I was also one of the main salespeople at my gallery. While we often discuss "big picture" marketing issues in this space, it dawned on me that some of you might find it interesting to peek into my mind and take a look at my ideas regarding the some of the lower-level specific details of selling art. These ideas are not the only ideas that can help you sell art, but some specific thoughts based loosely upon what I used to do. When we left part 1 of this series, we assumed that you had organized your records, and asked the question, now what? Let's dive in and I'll show you what comes next. [...]

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On Selling Art - Part 1

Back in my gallery days, I sold art...quite a bit of art. In fact, in addition to being the gallery director, I was also one of the main salespeople at my gallery. While we often discuss "big picture" marketing issues in this space, it dawned on me that some of you might find it interesting to peek into my mind and take a look at my ideas regarding the some of the lower-level specific details of selling art. These ideas are not the only ideas that can help you sell art, but some specific thoughts based loosely upon what I used to do. Good record keeping is a prerequisite to selling. This was key to my art sales and it's key to yours. [...]

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Don't Skimp on the Frame

This Post is by Keith Bond, Regular contributing writer for FineArtViews.  Find out how you can be a guest author Have you ever gone to a restaurant and ordered a succulent, tender ribeye steak and on the side were instant mashed potatoes or frozen veggies?  Very disappointing, indeed.  If I am spending the money for a nice meal, I want the entire meal to be good, not just the main entrée.  I have been to other restaurants with a similar price point as the first, but enjoyed delicious sides made from fresh, quality products.  Which restaurant will I return to?  The same [...]

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Art Marketing is Conversations

Today's Post is by Clint Watson,  founder of FineArtViews. Follow Clint on Twitter. Since writing about Art Marketing for Artists Who Want to Change the World, I've had some more thoughts about art marketing:  Art marketing is conversations.  Ignore your friendly magazine salesperson and/or marketing "guru" who tells you marketing is all about "branding:"  "branding" is for sissies, branding is dead - MARKETING. IS. CONVERSATIONS. (Hint:  If you're having conversations, you'll "automatically" develop a "brand").   Conversations are going to happen with or without your participation.  There's an old saying in advertising, "Tell your story, or someone else will tell it for [...]

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Art Marketing for Artists Who Want to Change the World

Successful artists want to change the world.  They are Outside Zebras that avoid the Herd, they live on the edge, they make purple cows that become Blue Monsters via smart conversations with their clan. This post is going to be a bit of a ramble about marketing art...just a a way to get some ideas out of my head and into the "sphere." Lately, I've been reading a lot of stuff written by marketing guys like Seth Godin and Hugh MacLeod .....digesting their ideas, mentally combining their ideas with my own thoughts.....and thinking a lot about how it all [...]

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Behind the Scenes

Today's guest author is Connie Tom. This article has been edited and published with permission of the author. I've often wondered how my artwork might bring glory to God. Even though this thought has been foremost in my mind, and the desire of my heart, often at the same time, I thought that art is something that people don't really need to have – something frivolous. However, I did pray a long time ago that God would somehow use my art for his glory. His answer became evident to me while I was exhibiting with the Silver Dollar City Traveling Art Guild at [...]

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Does Expensive Art Just Look Better?

Want people to respect and enjoy your artwork more?  Evidence suggests that you should think about raising your prices. "If it Doesn't Sell...Raise Your Prices" We know a very famous, talented and respected artist whose paintings now sell for upwards of $100,000 apiece.  He once shared his pricing "secret" with us.  It was a simple philosophy.  He told us, "If a painting doesn't sell, I simply raise the price."  He went on to relate the story of showing a painting in New York for $2,000 where it didn't sell.  So he moved to another gallery in New York and raised the price to [...]

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The Moment of Hope

In every creative profession, including the visual arts, there's a moment when there is hope for the artist to begin the journey from good to great.  Ironically, that moment of hope happens at the instant the artist realizes that how "bad" he really is. Let us illustrate....when your editor was younger, he fancied himself a fantastic programmer.  "There's no challenge too great for me," he thought, "anything you can conceive, I can make a computer do it." More recently, however, we've been opening up our mind....reading books, reviewing source code written by other (better) programmers.  And, most horrifying of all:  reviewing code that [...]

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12 Steps to Get Your Artwork Noticed by Galleries

Here at FineArtViews, one of the most common questions artists ask is "How do I go about getting gallery representation?" Today we're going to tell you how to go about it in a way that will get a gallery's attention...and get your artwork noticed. [...]

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Where do Most Artists Sell Art? - Empty Easel Poll Analyzed

It seems when buying art, customers still want a relationship with an actual person (a gallery person or the artist).....not a nebulous web site or social networking community. We, at FineArtViews, already knew this fact because of our background of owning and running a retail art gallery, and, indeed, it has been the topic of many of our past articles. Interestingly, we noticed a poll on the respected art blog, Empty Easel, titled, "Where do Most Artists Sell Art?" And the poll results confirm what we've been telling you here - art buyers want to deal with you, the artist (or the [...]

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Feed Your Artwork to Your Fans with RSS

Today's post will show you exactly WHY you need to be offering RSS feeds to your web site visitors. I'm an Art Collector Let me start by saying that I'm an art collector.  Like all art collectors, there are several artists that I am "watching" at any given point in time. Having set the stage, what do you think the following artworks all have in common? California Sunset by Don Sahli Morning Light on Longs Peak by Keith Bond Arizona Mesa by Logan Hagege Dreams of Gold by Richard Johnson Da Qiao Village Markets by Scott Tallman Powers I was one of the first to know about all of these [...]

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Less is More

Sometimes when marketing art, people get really focused on traffic, as in "how much traffic does this site receive?"  But I think when it comes to marketing art, less is more. I was recently reviewing a thread in an art internet marketing forum and the debate largely centered around online art marketing sites such as art.com, artbyus.com, etsy.com etc.  I believe the discussion was started by reviews of some of these sites posted on a blog called Empty Easel. Most of the contributors were debating the amount of traffic these various sites generated and in particular how much more traffic etsy.com generated as [...]

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Now EVERYONE Can "Paint" Like Jackson Pollock

At the risk of enduring a few barbs from Jackson Pollock fans, today we offer more proof that he was a master of nothing more than tomfoolery and humbug disguised as art. You may have seen this before, but the following site will allow you to create your own digital "Pollock" in mere moments (mine is pictured above). http://www.jacksonpollock.org Quite telling is the fact that no one has yet created a site to automate the process of "painting" like Rembrandt, da Vinci, Titian, Monet or any others that we would consider to actually be artists. Sincerely, Clint Watson Software Craftsman and Art Fanatic PS:  Jackson Pollock fans and [...]

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The Only Way You'll EVER Sell Art

People buy art for all kinds of reasons, but in the end, all of them boil down to wants.  If someone doesn't want to buy your art - they won't. Wants can be created in a variety of ways. Sometimes a want is a result of wanting to avoid something else.  Let's take an extreme example: You could hold a gun to someone's head and demand he buy your art...he WOULD want to do it . . . at least at that particular moment.    More realistically, I don't want my wife to be unhappy.  If SHE loves a particular artwork, then I [...]

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The Single Most Important Question In Marketing

With every message you put in front of your prospective clients, you should carefully consider your customer's needs and wants.  The best way to do that is to put yourself into your client's shoes and ask, "What's in it for me?" I've been in marketing a long time and although I’ve always instinctively understood that all marketing must be considered from the client's point of view, it's only within the past couple of months that I've noticed people discussing the WIIFM (What's in it for me?) question. I like the concept, WIIFM.  I've started approaching every blank piece of paper with the question [...]

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A Lesson From Sir James Dyson

You've probably seen Sir James Dyson on TV.  He stands next to his best-selling vacuum cleaner and proclaims, "I just think things should work properly."  He's also one of the richest guys in Britian. What you probably don't know about Sir Dyson is that he made 5,127 prototypes of his vacuum cleaner before he "got it right." It seems to me that there were already plenty of good vacuum cleaners on the market, but Sir Dyson wanted to create one that was "great." I imagine that you feel that way too.  You want to create "great" artwork....not just good artwork.....and not just what everyone [...]

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What's the Lifetime Value of a Single Contact?

Each person you know and meet has a "lifetime value" in terms of your career that is most certainly not immediately apparent. However, just as $1 in the bank will grow enormously over time through the "miracle" of compound interest, so will the benefits you receive from people *if* you treat each person with respect, honestly and with an attitude of how you can mutually help each other (not just what you can "get" from the other person). I'll illustrate the point with a story and let you decide the lifetime value of a single contact. (The actual names in this story [...]

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Stendhal Syndrome

In the July/August Issue of Art of the West Magazine, Tom Tierney and Allan Duerr wonder in their column "Straight Talk" why some people respond to art so strongly while others seem impervious to art's spiritual effects upon one's soul.  As I pondered their questions, I remembered reading about an obscure psychosomatic "illness" regarding cases of people who exhibit extreme sensitivity to beautiful art.  The phenomenon is called "Stendhal syndrome." Stendhal syndrome is a psychosomatic "illness" that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, confusion and even hallucinations when an individual is exposed to art.  Marie-Henri Beyle, the French author known as Stendhal (his pen name), [...]

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