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Art Marketing Ideas and Straight Talk about Selling Art, Marketing, Inspiration & Fine Living




How to Make an Intelligent Artist Feel Stupid

by Carolyn Henderson on 11/16/2015 7:59:44 AM

Worrying about what other people think is a waste of time and energy, diverting us from learning from our mistakes. [...]

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Frustration Is Your Best Friend

by Carolyn Henderson on 11/2/2015 8:14:50 AM

Are you frustrated because the world is changing too fast, thereís so much to learn, and you canít keep up -- or worse yet, canít even jump on the carousel because it makes you dizzy? Youíre not alone -- even savvy 15-year-olds canít grasp it all -- and youíre wiser than a savvy 15-year-old. [...]

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The Frustration of Being Your Own Marketer

by Carolyn Henderson on 10/19/2015 7:40:02 AM

So much of what actually works, over the long term, and without the magical incantation of deception, is really very ordinary. [...]

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Donít Feel Bad That Your Artwork Doesnít Sell Like Soda Pop, or Electronic Gadgetry

by Carolyn Henderson on 10/5/2015 7:46:47 AM

The whole essence behind marketing is to get your product in front of potential buyers, and the process of doing this is highly personalized. [...]

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Is Social Media Worth It?

by Carolyn Henderson on 9/21/2015 7:58:43 AM

You are not a failure who doesnít know the system because the only people who know the system are the ones running it. [...]

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If Itís Free, and Always Will Be, Why Do I Need to Spend Money?

by Carolyn Henderson on 9/7/2015 8:10:25 AM

Numbers are funny things. Like crows attracted to shiny objects, we humans of 21st century corporately-controlled societies place far too much importance upon statistics which, at their best, mean very little, because the information we are given is filtered through another source, using methods we do not understand. [...]

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10 Dumb Ideas I Read about in a Grow-Your-Business Article

by Carolyn Henderson on 8/24/2015 8:47:01 AM

When we believe, literally, those fanciful stories, and try to follow the lessons that we are given, we find ourselves disappointed, because our chickens do not lay golden eggs (theyíre sort of a dirty tan color) and when we spread the cloth on the table and command, ďFill the plates and bowls with succulent fare!Ē we wind up having to pull out cold cereal for dinner. [...]

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Guess What? You're Not a Failure

by Carolyn Henderson on 8/10/2015 8:54:25 AM

Because online is the place to be, and so many artists set up websites to promote their work, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, Google-Plus, Instagram) are two areas that many of us find ourselves involved in, but just as many of us donít feel confident that weíre doing it right. [...]

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Now That We Know What NOT to Do

by Carolyn Henderson on 7/27/2015 8:18:35 AM

Itís not a very concrete list, is it? But thatís the point: there is NO fail-safe way to follow, no path that leads straight, or even windingly, to the goal line, and anyone who promises you this is not being forthright. [...]

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How Can I "Make It"?

by Carolyn Henderson on 7/13/2015 8:00:39 AM

Itís not to say that thatís the only way to make it -- but it is to brutally point out that -- throughout the media (which includes the art world), political system, and business world -- many ďrags to richesĒ stories are blatantly untrue, but we, the general public, are not privy to an essential undisclosed or unmentioned salient point. We so long for Cinderella to be biography. [...]

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Your Life, Your Art, Your Business - - Your Decisions

by Carolyn Henderson on 6/29/2015 7:27:28 AM

After awhile, one asks oneself, ďIf you, as a gallery, are so successful at selling art, why does so much of your marketing focus on the artists, and getting money from them?Ē [...]

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Threatening People with Fire Place Pokers

by Carolyn Henderson on 6/15/2015 8:21:59 AM

If a roomful of erudite, intelligent witnesses was unable to agree on what they saw, why do we look for voices to tell us how to 1) do our art and 2) market it? [...]

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How Much Should You Adjust Your Style to the Demands of Others?

by Carolyn Henderson on 6/1/2015 7:51:50 AM

There are essentially no rules in art -- which is positive and negative -- but for all that there are no rules, it is amazing how many we self-impose upon ourselves, through the words of others who 1) donít live our lives, 2) donít have to live our lives, and 3) nonetheless determine to control us, if we let them, by their own set of esoteric rules. [...]

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Are You Stuck With Your Style?

by Carolyn Henderson on 5/18/2015 8:18:28 AM

If youíre breathing, youíre growing, and if youíre growing, you should be learning, and if youíre learning, you will be changing, one way or another. And so, also, will your art. [...]

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How Vital - - and Sacrosanct - - Is Your Style?

by Carolyn Henderson on 5/4/2015 8:18:16 AM

If you are an acolyte, convinced that the pinnacle of your ability will be achieved when you paint exactly like your teacher, step back, step away, and gain enough self-confidence to go your own way with what you have. Otherwise, you will lose yourself, literally, in the name and style of your chosen teacher. [...]

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Get to Know a Framer

by Carolyn Henderson on 4/20/2015 8:58:06 AM

As long as there are paintings and drawings, there will be a need for frames, if for no other reason than to protect the artwork. What one hopes is that, in some halcyon day in the future, artists will not be the primary persons responsible for providing those frames. Until that day, however, artists do whatever they can to protect themselves from incurring extra costs, so that they can make decent money for creating beautiful work, work that the average, non-highly-skilled-artist person simply canít create. [...]

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Framing Your Oil and Acrylic Paintings Without Spending the Grocery Money

by Carolyn Henderson on 4/6/2015 8:08:41 AM

As an artist who runs a business, you operate with the dictum that you must look after yourself -- which is exactly what all other businesses, who want to use your art, are doing. For now, frames are pretty much the responsibility of the artist, and while itís worth asking your gallery or show if they will deduct the cost of the frame before taking their commission, donít place any bets on it. So keep thinking, keep innovating, keep figuring out ways to reduce your overhead, and keep speaking up, as artists, to educate the populace around us. [...]

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The Financial Frustration of Framing Your Paintings

by Carolyn Henderson on 3/23/2015 7:40:16 AM

The odd thing about framing is that, while for some reason it is expected to be up to the artist to frame the painting, most galleries and shows will not allow for the expense incurred and deduct the frame cost before assessing their commission. And a frustrating number of buyers announce that the first thing theyíll do after they buy this work is to remove the frame and replace it with another one, and will the artist consider taking back his frame and deducting the cost from the painting? [...]

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DIY: Stretching Your Own Canvas

by Carolyn Henderson on 3/9/2015 7:04:39 AM

As I mentioned in an earlier article, Building Your Own Stretcher Bar, any project worth doing takes longer than we expect it to, and generally includes a lot of steps that are in the ďun-funĒ category. Part of the DIY process is changing our mindset out of, ďget this part done so I can do what I really want to do,Ē to, ďItís got to be done, so I may as well slow down and enjoy it more than I think I can.Ē [...]

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DIY: Customizing Your Own Gallery Wrap Stretcher Bars

by Carolyn Henderson on 2/23/2015 7:03:27 AM

As with any DIY project, especially one worth pursuing beyond magazine instructions for truly odd looking table centerpieces, achieving competency in creating oneís own gallery wrap stretcher bars will take some time, effort, and trial and error. In the long run, however, and especially if you want to have the freedom to create your own gallery wrapped paintings, in sizes customizable to your desires, then itís worth the work. [...]

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DIY: Building Your Own Stretcher Bar

by Carolyn Henderson on 2/9/2015 7:00:58 AM

For this reason, anytime we can learn to do something ourselves -- that doesnít take too long or too much effort, but that does save money -- is worth looking into. [...]

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DIY: Stretching Your Own Canvas

by Carolyn Henderson on 1/26/2015 7:32:08 AM

Building oneís own canvas isnít for everyone, but at the same point, it is also not an impossible procedure beyond everyone, and Steve encourages those who have never done it, to consider giving it a try. At the very least, it is good for both painters and art collectors to understand the structure behind an oil painting, and to know a bit of what to look for when investing in a work of art that one wants to last for a long time. [...]

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Quick, Little Things You Can Do On Facebook

by Carolyn Henderson on 1/12/2015 7:18:50 AM

8 little things you can do to make your Facebook marketing experience more interesting and possibly increase exposure. Itís not rocket science, but then again, neither is Facebook. [...]

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What to Post on Facebook

by Carolyn Henderson on 12/29/2014 7:27:24 AM

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but itís enough to start on -- and to show you that, at the least, you can make a post of something, anything, once a week. [...]

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Facebook Marketing Basics

by Carolyn Henderson on 12/15/2014 7:20:29 AM

Today, Iím going to touch on the very basics of Facebook marketing, passing on what weíve learned, again with the idea of opening discussion to other peopleís experiences. If you are an avid social media mogul, this may seem hopelessly inane, but if youíve been avoiding this particular social media site (and judging by what Iíve encountered in writing about artists for the gallery at which I work, this is not uncommon), then this will jump start you. [...]

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Marketing - While Frustrated - with Facebook

by Carolyn Henderson on 12/1/2014 7:18:11 AM

Sometimes, posts do really well; other times, they donít. Sometimes, it seems to have something to do with the weather outside, or whether or not itís raining -- in other words, itís all very random, you know, and what does well one day flops the next. And while Iím glad itís free, and always will be, I get the distinct impression that, to get more views, I need to hit the Boost Post button and pay to play. Is it worth it all? [...]

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Before You Do This Again, Ask How It Went the Last Time

by Carolyn Henderson on 11/17/2014 7:34:28 AM

Ask the question: ďWhat did I get out of this experience?Ē and look at the answer in terms of what you spent (in time, money, and effort) versus what you earned (true exposure and actual income). Did you come out ahead? [...]

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You Donít Have to Say Yes, You Know

by Carolyn Henderson on 11/3/2014 7:21:44 AM

After all, never forget that it isnít enough for the event to be a success. For you, the event is a success only if you, as well as the event organizers, make money off of it. [...]

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Every Painting in the Show Had a Red Dot!

by Carolyn Henderson on 10/20/2014 7:20:47 AM

It sounds mercenary when we point this out because, for some reason, artists are the only ones who are not supposed to worry about making money, but if we are serious about art, and making a living, or even some amount of living, with it, then we need to look at the many promises we are made for ďopportunities,Ē and question whether those opportunities are actually worth participating in. [...]

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Bump up the Professionalism of Your Business Writing

by Carolyn Henderson on 10/6/2014 6:47:36 AM

The more we do something -- anything -- the better we get at it, and as artists who are businesspeople, we are called upon to do a lot of writing: artist statements, resumes, press releases, letters to galleries, responses to clients, descriptions of paintings. [...]

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Our Excuses Are Good Ones -- But Theyíre Still Excuses

by Carolyn Henderson on 9/22/2014 6:12:50 AM

So a good rule of thumb is, if this communication is really, really important to us, then itís to our advantage to take the time to get it right. Itís highly likely that care and attention to detail will go more in our favor than against us. [...]

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Serously, This Haz Gawt to Stopp

by Carolyn Henderson on 9/8/2014 7:43:00 AM

Considering that we are communicating with the reader for some reason -- we want something, we are introducing ourselves, weíre selling something, weíre providing information -- we donít want anything getting in the way that doesnít have to be there. And misgivings about our intelligence, organization, competence, or vocabulary acumen -- brought about by something as simple as a typo -- are an unfortunate, yet avoidable, issue. [...]

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Dear Art Collector concludes - - Is Art an Investment?

by Carolyn Henderson on 8/25/2014 7:17:54 AM

Both I and my Norwegian Artist have always believed that art belongs in the lives of all people, not only those whose last name is Buffet, Rockefeller, Carnegie, Bush, Martin, or Gates, and anytime we place limitations on who can purchase it -- only those smart, savvy collector types -- then we are taking away something that rightfully belongs to all of us. [...]

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Dear Art Collector Continues -- No One Wants to Be Cheated

by Carolyn Henderson on 8/11/2014 7:20:39 AM

If collecting art is a personal thing with you, then think about getting to know an artist, or artists, personally yourself -- many will jump at the opportunity to talk about their work, and why they price it the way they do. As an added benefit, the more you get to know another human being, the more of a sense you get of their innate honesty: it makes sense that, if you donít want to be cheated, you do business with an honest man, or woman. [...]

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An Open Letter to Art Collectors

by Carolyn Henderson on 7/28/2014 7:14:18 AM

As far as I can tell, there is one Warren Buffet, one Bill Gates, and one Steve Martin the comedian, on the planet, and yet too many people who want to collect art limit themselves by feeling like they have to be like these people, buying for the reasons that they buy, and seeking out the same type of work that they call good. [...]

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Growing as You Go

by Carolyn Henderson on 7/14/2014 7:24:51 AM

Plan big, have goals, think toward the future -- but to get there, you take individual steps, and if youíre not sure how something will work, consider something small and put it out there. [...]

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Floundering Around: At Least Youíre Moving

by Carolyn Henderson on 6/30/2014 7:37:55 AM

You donít have the money or means to market yourself the way a mega-corporation does, so itís highly unlikely that youíll have a problem with demand, be unable to meet it, and lose all those customers. The more likely scenario is that youíll create the product, put it out there, and get a few bites. From those bites, youíll learn what works, and what doesnít, and if you make an error on one personís order, or two peopleís, you can do what the mega-corporations increasingly donít do: You can write the person individually, explain the situation, apologize, and make it right. [...]

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Afraid of Success

by Carolyn Henderson on 6/16/2014 7:53:35 AM

Through the years, I have watched a behavior pattern, so prevalent in myself and many people around me, that Iím convinced it has to have some basis in reality: It is a reluctance to move forward, aggressively, on Plan A, or Plan B or C, because, oddly, weíre afraid that it will work. [...]

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You Want to Write an Article about ME?

by Carolyn Henderson on 6/2/2014 7:22:47 AM

If it hasnít happened to you already, someday, someone may want to do an article about you and your art -- whether itís for a blog or a newspaper or a magazine. And if nobodyís noticed you yet and you think they should, then find someone who writes things -- a friendly reporter from your local newspaper, especially if the publication isnít so big that you have to pay to get a one-line death notice in -- is a good place to start. When that day comes, here are some things to remember: [...]

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Basic Marketing Information

by Carolyn Henderson on 5/19/2014 7:37:26 AM

If you donít have any or all of these informational marketing pieces, donít hyperventilate yourself into a panic -- think about getting one marketing element put together over the next six months or so, or sooner if someone like me writes and asks you for information so that they can put together an article about you. [...]

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