Blog on Art Marketing and Selling Art


Twitter Links That I've Shared This Week

Recent Links Clint Has Shared on Twitter How Twitter Improves Your Writing: "Crafting a message for Twitter requires you to “pump up” your verbs ... and discover a better, clearer and more concise way to say what you want to say." - Jennifer Blanchard at 3/27/2009 8:33:28 AM Submitted By Clint Watson Visit this link As an artist, you better feel like this: "I physically need to make art. Art isn’t just a hobby for me. It’s not something that I “like”. It’s an intense passion, an ecstatic love affair, with as much turmoil, frustration, exasperation and need as a forbidden liaison." - Sarah Lacy at 3/27/2009 8:30:54 AM Submitted By Clint Watson Visit [...]

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We Make Money So We Can Make More Art

"We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies." Walt Disney - replace the word "movie" with "art" [...]

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Pricing Your Art

When I first began pursuing art full time, I had a neighbor who knew very little about art. Countless times he told me, "Keith, you should put your art in the annual 'starving artists' exhibit at the Hilton Inn. You could easily sell your paintings there for $25." (Maybe he was telling me something about my art! Those paintings were mostly assembly line paintings from Mexico or Taiwan.) He didn't realize that my costs far exceeded that amount, not to mention my time. [...]

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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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FineArtViews Painting Competition Goes International

Just a couple of quick updates about the FineArtViews Painting Competition. 1.  Artists from any country may now enter paintings in the competition. 2.  It's OK to enter paintings that have already been sold (several artists asked us about this) [...]

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Announcing the FineArtViews Painting Competition

Your artwork is the star of this show! We wanted to have an easy online showcase to help art lovers find and connect with great artists. Since it would also be be nice if you won a little moola, we decided to hold a competition. And, if all goes as planned, we're going to do it every month. This first "month" is actually going from now until April 30th. We wanted to give the first go around a little bit longer so we can get any bugs worked out....especially since we lined up such a great judge, artist Jeremey Lipking [...]

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Knowledge is Key

While in college art classes, there was a student who had the attitude that the fundamental ‘rules’ of art were a hindrance and should be broken or even avoided. He would often cite well known artists who broke away from traditional painting and did things their own way. What he failed to acknowledge or understand is that to successfully break the rules, you must first have a solid understanding of the rules. The better you understands the fundamentals, the better you will know when and how to successfully deviate from them to support your expression. Some of you may disagree with me. Please read on and reserve judgment until after I have presented my case. If you still disagree just remember - I’m right and you’re wrong! :) [...]

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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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Gallery Representation

Clint and Lori have written a lot lately about selling your own work. Their advise has been great. But there are some of you who would like to have gallery representation or may already have it. There are pros and cons to working with galleries just as there are pros and cons to selling your own work. For me, a balanced approach utilizing both is the most practical. I cannot address all issues relating to galleries in one article, so I have chosen a few. Prestigious National Gallery vs. Local Gallery Both have pros and cons. With the reputable, well known national gallery, being added among the roster of artists looks great on your resume. It may help get you invited to certain shows. These galleries have a large mailing list with collectors from all over the country. Many (but not all) of these galleries also have a good deal of foot traffic. Your work could potentially be seen by many art collectors. However, these galleries also represent scores of other talented artists who have been around the block a few times. Many of these other artists are well established and sought after. The rest of the other artists in the gallery will be just as good as you are. You will be the new kid on the block competing for wall space. The competition already has an established collector base at the gallery. You will likely be lower on the gallery's totem pole. [...]

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Out of Site, Out of Mind

I believe that we artists are, for the most part, driven visually. When I'm away from home for a time, I completely forget about tasks that are waiting at home for me to finish. It's as though the things I can't actually see on a day to day basis cease to exist in for me. When I get home again, I see all that needs to be done and immediately augment my "to do" list. So what does this have to do with productivity as an artist? Here's my theory: Whatever activities we start our day with will determine what we do during the day. Appointments aside, artists have flexibility when it comes to arranging daily tasks. A problem sometimes arises for those of us who have a bit of trouble focusing or have a variety of important, but unrelated priorities. [...]

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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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Cultivating Collectors Face to Face

My Annual Trek To Tucson Each February, I get away from New Hampshire's cold and snow for a month long hiatus in sunny Tucson. I stay at a B&B that is situated near Saguaro National Park, and for the past decade, I've been that B&B's sole artist in residence. While this venture has not been a “get rich quick” scheme in any way, the opportunity to befriend the Inn's clientèle has led to lifelong friendships – and in many cases, lifelong and loyal collectors of my paintings. Business is Down But My Sales Went Up This February, attendance at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show was considerably down. This event normally brings Tucson more than a million attendees and salespeople, filling every available room and accommodation in town. Attendance was also slightly down at the B&B; however, the February regulars there are people who come for their annual "away from it all" vacations. These are typically folks who vacation through thick and thin. Many of them are retired couples who have no debt, and enough income to enjoy themselves while away. More than a few returning clients try to coordinate their stay with my arrival, and in most cases, they have become my friends. [...]

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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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To See or Not To See

I would like to improve upon the famous words penned by Shakespeare: "To see or not to see. That is the question." OK, so maybe it isn’t an improvement. But it gets at what I consider the most fundamental skill an artist must develop if he/she is to create a believable painting from life. The ability to see is paramount and supersedes all other fundamental skills. How can I paint color relationships if I cannot see color relationships? Or values? Or edges? How can I draw accurately if I cannot see perspective or form? How can I organize or compose the underlying abstract patterns if I do not see them? Once I develop the ability to see, then it is simply a matter of accurately painting what I see. It's that simple. However, we often confuse what we see with what we know or what we think we see. It is easy to let our preconceived ideas get in the way of really seeing what is there. To illustrate this point, I will share a true experience that happened about 20 years ago. [...]

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