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




What Can I Share?

by Clint Watson on 12/14/2009 8:05:19 AM

We share links. We share stories. We share blog posts. We share photographs. We share ideas. We share tweets. We share thoughts with each other. We want to share images of artworks with each other (at least when the artist doesn't use those annoying right-click disablers to attempt to stop us from promoting their artwork for them) And, sometimes, we even string shared series of these thoughts, stories, links and ideas together into what we call conversations. [...]

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More Reasons for Artists to Send Email Newsletters

by Clint Watson on 11/12/2009 12:17:53 PM
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It's interesting that I only lost three [subscribers who were artists] when I changed to the short five day format. All of my other patrons stayed with me. The response to my letters has tripled since I changed and I get lots of positive feedback now. The actual number of patrons opening the letter has not changed, so instead of exposure to my paintings one day a week, the same number of people are seeing them five days a week. A great thing [...]

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Apologies and an Explanation

by Clint Watson on 11/4/2009 12:02:15 PM

It looks like I owe the fine folks over at and the author Daniel Tardent some apologies....and an explanation. [...]

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The Foundation of Your Online Art Marketing Strategy is....

by Clint Watson on 11/3/2009 9:44:17 AM

The foundation of your online art marketing strategy is making great art. duh...That's why I made that number one item on the list in my previous post How to Sell Art...I broach this subject now, because another art marketing blog that I sometimes read posted the following statement a few days ago, "Google is the foundation of your online art marketing strategy."...I don't agree. Google is NOT the foundation of an online art marketing strategy for the vast majority of artists - making great artwork is the foundation. [...]

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The Power of the Email Newlstter....and FASO

by Dreama Tolle Perry on 10/29/2009 2:43:11 PM
1 Comment

And more great news is the testimony to the power of the newsletter--. The latest newsletter results (it went out this past Saturday)---- I have sold 3 paintings, have another one under consideration that I am working to close, and got a full pay for a workshop scheduled in June of next year that I just announced! Now all of those things happened specifically because of the interest the newsletter keeps stirring up... [...]

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Art Marketing with Email Newsletters - Stories from the Wild

by Clint Watson on 5/13/2009 9:11:05 AM

I have been using my newsletter a fair bit lately.... mostly because a lot of good news has come my way. This is a good thing. I also had asked people to forward my emails to others who might be interested and this has resulted in some good connections and SALES!!! (Yippee) [...]

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Why Artists Need to Use an Email Newsletter

by Clint Watson on 5/11/2009 11:15:26 AM

Clint,So you inspired me. Thanks for continuing to tell artists that a mailing list and newsletter are important. It took me less than a week to put [my email newsletter]together and I have already sold two paintings from the email ... in less than three days. Leslie Saeta [...]

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Diversifying Marketing Strategies

by Lori Woodward Simons on 4/29/2009 8:51:55 AM

Over the past decade, I've had the pleasure of working with several art marketing experts, and one thing that has become clear to me: Many folks who have the means to buy original artwork, have never thought of doing so. [...]

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

by Clint Watson on 4/28/2009 11:06:26 AM

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 . . .

by Clint Watson on 4/21/2009 10:02:59 AM

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

by Clint Watson on 3/24/2009 9:21:42 AM

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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Email is Still the King . . . It's Good to be the King

by Clint Watson on 2/25/2009 2:32:56 PM

This Post is by Clint Watson,  founder of FineArtViews. Follow Clint on Twitter. The last few years have seen the development of fantastic new technologies that artists can utilize to have conversations with their customers.  And you certainly should consider using the tools that work for you. But as we look at the "lay of the land" today, we have to conclude that email is still the king. Consider the following: How many of your customers use Twitter? Maybe a few.  Probably more this year than last year (as Twitter has become somewhat of a media darling). How many of your customers are on Facebook? Probably a few [...]

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Personal, Timely, and Relevant

by Clint Watson on 2/13/2009 10:32:13 AM

Today's Post is by Clint Watson,  founder of FineArtViews. Follow Clint on Twitter. You need to reach people WHERE they want your message, WHEN they want your message and the message has to be RELEVANT and PERSONAL to their needs. This post was inspired by a video of Seth Godin where he mentioned that marketing messages only get through to people when those messages are personal, timely and relevant. In thinking about this applies to art, it provides a context as to WHY . . . . 1.  Art galleries sell better than restaurants (more relevant) 2.  Art openings sell better than "regular" days in the [...]

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Clint's Must-Read Articles for Artists, June 1-7

by Clint Watson on 6/9/2008 2:38:37 PM
1 Comment

Dear artists, Here are some great articles we've found on the internet over the past week that are directly applicable to helping you with art, marketing, inspiration and fine living: Josh McDowell tries to explain what beauty is....and why it's not in the eye of the beholder: "We are hard-pressed to explain why encounters with beauty affect us so profoundly. What is it about a song, a snow-capped mountain, or a certain face that so grips our hearts and thrills our souls? Despite the high place we give beauty in our lives, our attempts to define it fall short. . . ." (Read Original >>) Rick Strahl explains [...]

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Persuade, Not Capture

by Clint Watson on 2/6/2008 9:34:37 AM

Judy recently wrote to ask us, "On one of your recent emails you said to make sure that your website captures emails when people visit your site. I am not sure how that happens. Could you please explain?" Judy, thanks for asking.  After thinking about your question, we see the confusion....and our poor choice of words.  The email in question was FineArtViews issue number 138, Where do Most Artists Sell Artwork? In it we provided six guidelines for selling art online, including number 3, "Make sure your web site can capture visitor's email addresses." To clarify our true intent, here is what [...]

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How Yaro Made Over $4,300 with One Blog Post

by Clint Watson on 1/21/2008 11:06:27 AM

Yaro made $4,314.34 from one blog post. But the way he accomplished that amazing feat is telling: "The reason I made this much money is because of one thing - my email list. If you break that down further, my email list is a result of long term nurturing and only began in the first place because I blog. That's all there is to it. The money is in the list. It's been said over and over again and yes, it is true, the money is in the list, yet so many bloggers [...]

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

by Clint Watson on 12/10/2007 9:27:10 AM

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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Become a Microcelebrity

by Clint Watson on 11/26/2007 11:15:18 AM

Sims 2 Fame by Ernie Marjoram

A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece encouraging you, as artists, to create your own community.  I discussed building your own community of fans and followers without getting sucked into over-hyped social sites such as MySpace or FaceBook. Reflecting on it a bit more, I realize there is another ingredient to success in online social networking....not only must you build a community...but you must become the leader of that community. Over this past weekend I read an article in Wired magazine (issue 15.12), Almost Famous by Clive Thompson.  The article discusses the relatively recent phenomenon of microcelebrities.   Clive puts it this [...]

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Refining the Art of the Free Giveaway

by Clint Watson on 10/16/2007 10:05:21 AM
1 Comment

Fruit Market by C. Ballard, Houston Art Gals

We've been proponents of the "free giveaway" or "ethical bribe" method of marketing for some time.  But today we've come across a new idea that is so clever that we wish we had though of it.  The idea is to give away a "digital edition" and we give credit to ArtNewsBlog to mentioning this marketing technique as practiced by Hazel Dooney (warning - if you visit Hazel's site, her images are fairly sexually explicit.  We are focusing here on a marketing technique, not on the art itself.) Now the idea of a free download is nothing new, but it has fermented in [...]

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11 Art Marketing Questions Answered

by Clint Watson on 10/4/2007 9:19:12 AM

Gallery Opening by Ellie Taylor

Dear Clint, How do I discover who my audience is and is it relative to my web site?  My sales have been through galleries, and my experience is that the gallery gives me the name of the buyer, but how do you then tactfully engage in a conversation with that buyer? Or get their email? The daughter of the second richest man in the world bought one of my paintings, it's a painting on my web site. According to the gallery she wouldn't want her name published. This kind've puts me in a pickle. Wouldn't this drive the price of my other [...]

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Create Your Own Community...and not on Facebook

by Clint Watson on 10/1/2007 11:19:32 AM

Richmond Beach Cofee Shop by
Patricia Clayton

The real trick to selling artwork is to create your own community. What I mean by that is to nurture your community of supporters, fans, customers, other artists, students and friends.  What I don't mean is to get seduced by headline grabbing sound bites like "Web 2.0" or "Social Networking."  I'm going out on a limb a bit, but, frankly, I think that as an art selling strategy, things like MySpace, Friendster, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Squidoo, are big time wasters.  (And I'm  about the biggest geek there is.....) I'm going on my own opinion here, and if you are a success story [...]

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The Myth of Branding

by Clint Watson on 9/21/2007 5:29:38 PM
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Michael Masterson explores the idea that branding, at least in the traditional sense, is a wasteful activity for most businesses....this would include artists.  Take a look at his article: The Myth of Branding. Mr. Masterson quotes (and agrees with) copywriter Brian Ochsner who says, "As a direct-response copywriter, I'm skeptical about the number of marketing people who are enamored with the need for 'branding' or to 'build their brand' to effectively market their business." We tend to agree with this analysis and, in fact, covered a similar theme in this blog not long ago in the following posts: Advertising that Works:  Branding vs. Measurable Response How [...]

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Web Traffic Driver #4: Systematically Nurture Your Prospects

by Clint Watson on 9/20/2007 3:36:01 PM
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We all know that web sites and blogs live and die because of traffic. This puts Google, as the Internet's de facto start page, front and center in most artists minds as a traffic-driving strategy. However, Google should not be the only.....nor even the main focus of your online marketing efforts. We've written about this subject before in our articles "What if Google Went Away?" and "Google Alone is Not Marketing."  This series is exploring specific ideas to drive traffic to your web site....some will work synergistically with search engines like Google....while others will not be dependent upon search engines at [...]

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Web Traffic Driver #3: Write Collector-Focused Articles

by Clint Watson on 9/18/2007 7:55:56 AM
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We all know that web sites and blogs live and die because of traffic. This puts Google, as the Internet's de facto start page, front and center in most artists minds as a traffic-driving strategy. However, Google should not be the only.....nor even the main focus of your online marketing efforts. We've written about this subject before in our articles "What if Google Went Away?" and "Google Alone is Not Marketing."  This series will explore specific ideas to drive traffic to your web site....some will work synergistically with search engines like Google....while others will not be depended upon search engines at [...]

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What REALLY Drives Web Traffic - Word-of-Mouth and Advertising

by Clint Watson on 9/17/2007 11:03:11 AM

We all know that your web site will live or die by the amount of traffic it receives.  So it's natural to want to focus on search engine marketing.  Artists are constantly asking us about "keywords", "search engine optimization", "improving rankings" and what art sites get the most "traffic." We understand the temptation to focus on these things; however, sometimes we think people get focused on search engines to avoid the hard work of real marketing....the hard work of "getting down in the trenches" and getting to know your customers personally.  It would be nice to think that now we live in [...]

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Web Traffic Driver Idea #2: Cross-Link with Other Artists

by Clint Watson on 9/11/2007 8:46:27 AM
1 Comment

We all know that web sites and blogs live and die because of traffic. This puts Google, as the Internet's de facto start page, front and center in most artists minds as a traffic-driving strategy. However, Google should not be the only.....nor even the main focus of your online marketing efforts. We've written about this subject before in our articles "What if Google Went Away?" and "Google Alone is Not Marketing."  This series will explore specific ideas to drive traffic to your web site....some will work synergistically with search engines like Google....while others will not be depended upon search engines at [...]

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Web Traffic Driver Idea #1: Review the Work of Another Artist

by Clint Watson on 9/10/2007 10:41:51 AM

We all know that web sites and blogs live and die because of traffic. This puts Google, as the Internet's de facto start page, front and center in most artists minds as a traffic-driving strategy. However, Google should not be the only.....nor even the main focus of your online marketing efforts. This series will explore ideas to drive traffic to your web site....some will work synergistically with search engines like Google....while others will not be depended upon search engines at all. All of these strategies will work with or without search engines. Today's strategy is Review [...]

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Of Course You Want to Be An Artist!

by Clint Watson on 9/6/2007 8:19:19 AM
1 Comment

Yesterday's article, So You Want to Be An Artist?, by Michael Masterson sure generated some heated responses!  BP wrote, "I thought the "So You Want To Be An Artist?" article was wrapped in such genuinely offensive arrogance and self-importance that I had to read it several times to see if I'd missed some key (and mitigating) comment by Michael Masterson . . . I hope you will vet your contributors in the future with an eye toward the respect they accord your growing website community! A realistic point of view can still be presented in an affirming and supportive way." And another reader, EP concurs, "Yes indeed, Michael, you [...]

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So You Want to Be An Artist?

by Michael Masterson on 9/5/2007 8:17:27 PM
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I got a nice letter from LB, a 78-year-old man from Pacific Palisades, CA who spent most of his career working in film and video production, with many excellent credits. In more recent years, he took up digital still photography and has gotten positive comments about his work from "many high-level critics." LBs goal is to "get in front of the public" and sell some of his prints - and he is looking for advice on how to market them. He says that one of his "chief selling points" is that hes willing to restrict the number of prints to no more than 50 of each. He says he will sign [...]

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Art Websites and Selling Art Online

by Clint Watson on 8/14/2007 6:10:17 AM
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Last week we posted a piece titled "Less is More" - which essentially argued that every artist should have their own, stand-alone web site and that the big "online gallery" type art sites should be considered more as advertising as less as a replacement for a "real" web site.  Yesterday, another, very well written art blog, Empty Easel, referenced that post and, while generally agreeing with our main point, they seemed to differ with us just a bit.  We encourage you to read Empty Easel's post Are Personal Websites the Best Way to Promote Art Online?  Their post brought up several other items [...]

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Less is More

by Clint Watson on 8/8/2007 8:17:55 AM

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,, 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 generated as [...]

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How to Advertise in Art Magazines

by Clint Watson on 6/6/2007 9:13:37 AM

Today we look at the subject of advertising in art magazines.  In a recent art gallery panel discussion I attended, every single one of the five gallery owners agreed that advertising in art magazines is "important" because it developes "name recognition" for the gallery.  They all seemed to agree that a gallery should advertise repeatedly "as much as possible" to increase the "reputation" of the gallery.  That's a lot of money to throw at something to increase your "reputation"...especially when most galleries ask the artists to split that cost with them.  I say there is a more disciplined approach that is [...]

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Strategies for Increasing Traffic or Gaining Email Addresses

by Clint Watson on 4/11/2007 6:07:51 AM

Here are a few strategies for increasing traffic to your web site and for encouraging people to sign up for your email newsletter an important goal, as we discussed yesterday in "The Real Goal of Your Web Site."In addition to the personal, ongoing strategies we discussed in Focus the Lens - Marketing Email Campaign, here are some more strategies:1.  Give away a "freebie" in exchange for their email addressPerhaps a free ecalendar featuring your artwork.  A free report that you've written about your artwork technique for other artists.2.  Get other people to drive traffic to your site.  This is called "affiliates" [...]

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The Real Goal of Your Web Site

by Clint Watson on 4/10/2007 7:47:13 AM
1 Comment

Successful marketers know that the best strategists  take their offers TO the customers rather than waiting for the customers to come to them.  That's why the primary goal of your web site is building your "house" email list.One strategy for marketing a business is to set up shop and wait for customers to come to you.  A gallery could, for example, lease a location, invest in lighting, inventory and staff and open their doors.  Day after day, salespeople could sit and wait for customers to walk through the door.  Occassionally, a sales would be made, but why follow up with those [...]

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What About Promoting Other Artist's Works?

by Clint Watson on 3/29/2007 7:38:11 AM
1 Comment

I am a firm believer in cooperating with other businesses...forming alliances, cross-promoting, etc.I started thinking, how could this apply to an artist?  And the idea occured to me that artists could cross-promote one another's works.  I think that it would work.  Every artist has a number of artist friends and, in certain instances, might be able to help each other.I'm thinking you could approach an artist you know.  Compile several pieces you would like to offer your clients and send an email newsletter to them promoting the collection.  Perhaps even post the pieces on your web site.  I'm not sure, I [...]

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What's the Lifetime Value of a Single Contact?

by Clint Watson on 3/19/2007 8:30:43 AM

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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Focus the Lens: Email Marketing Program Recap

by Clint Watson on 3/1/2007 6:33:21 AM

1. Make a list of EVERYONE You Know2.  Email Everyone You Know3.  Send Five PERSONAL Emails Daily4.  Follow Up on Each Email You Sent5.  Follow Up with People Your Friends Referred6.  RepeatAll Focus the Lens Series Posts [...]

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