Blog on Art Marketing and Selling Art

Keith Bond discusses how to be a giver with your art.

The Giving Artist, The Taking Artist

My intent is that you look at yourself and at your own motivation. What does art mean to you? Why do you create? What role do you think art has in society? Do you share your art or just sell your art? [...]

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Keith Bond shares how to use studies as hand-made thank you cards

Hand-made Thank You Cards

I (and many others) have suggested that you should send ďThank YouĒ cards on a regular basis. Most of the time I send a card that has an image of one of my paintings printed on it. But recently, I wanted to send something a bit more personal and significant. [...]

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Keith Bond discusses the completing a plein air painting outdoors vs indoors

The Two Plein Air Artists

When painting on your own, the only rule is to do what works best for you to achieve your vision. Be it completing the work on location; finishing it in the studio; or using the study to inspire a new, larger studio work. But again, the questions. Should there be a standard at an organized event? What should that standard be? Where do you stand on the issue? Or does it not even matter? [...]

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Keith Bond shares how organization can foster a creative atmosphere

Benefits of Being Organized

Becoming organized is liberating and allows you to focus on the given task at hand rather than being distracted by other tasks. During your art creating time, you can focus all your energy on creating. During your business time, you can focus on bookkeeping, marketing, organization, emails, cataloging, etc. [...]

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Ketih Bond shares some tips on how to bridge the conversation with potential art collectors

Bridge the Conversation

There are countless opportunities when you will be asked specific questions about your art (whether by the media Ė including local newspapers or national magazines; curators; gallery owners; collectors; students; or Joe Neighbor). I recently learned a few principles that I wish I had realized long ago. [...]

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Ketih Bond discusses the many ways to keep your art career thriving.

Irrigating the Fields of Art

There will be times when your river seems to be flooding and you will be creating and selling Ďtil your heartís content. But there will be other times when droughts come and your river will be reduced to a trickle or may dry up completely for a season. If you have a network of irrigation canals tied into a reservoir, you can still find success and income even if your artwork isnít selling as well. [...]

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Ketih Bond discusses the two different ways to share your art story

How versus Why

As you speak or write about your art, as you share your story, remember tell WHY, donít worry about telling HOW. [...]

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Keith Bond discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the "Sight-size Method"

Pros and (Mostly) Cons of Sight-size Method

The problem with sight-size is that if you have become dependent upon it, you may not have the confidence (or worse yet, the ability) to accurately draw something that isnít exactly as you see it. You become dependent upon copying. Creativity suffers. Works become technical craft and less about feeling, mood, and expression. [...]

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Keith Bond discusses keeping values simple and linking shapes into a larger abstract shape for a stronger composition

Shape Welding

So, the lesson for today is to see the values in your subject. Organize them into 3 to 5 values. And weld like value shapes together to create fewer shapes. Yet, within each shape, you can have all the color, texture, detail, interest that you want. Just donít lose the integrity of each shape Ė which lies in its value. [...]

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Keith Bond shares some tips on how to keep your palette organized

An Organized Palette Leads to Intuitive Color Mixing

Mixing through intuition doesnít mean that I resort to formulas, either. It merely means that I know by heart where the needed color is on the palette. There are many challenges to painting. Searching for the colors, because they arenít organized, simply adds unnecessarily to the challenges. [...]

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Ketih Bond discusses changes or reworking in a painting

Everything is Subject to Change

Remember in your work this one important principle. Everything is subject to change if it will improve your work... [...]

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Keith Bond discusses the benefits of starting strong in your paintings

The Strong Beginning

So again, I encourage you to take the time to have the strongest beginning possible. By the way, taking the time to do a thumbnail before you put paint to canvas will contribute to a stronger beginning. [...]

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Keith Bond discusses how each painting decision determines the next

Understanding the Why Informs the How

You are faced with many decisions as you approach a painting. First is what to paint. Second, and probably most important, why do you want to paint it? Once this second question is answered comes the many Ďhowí questions. These Ďhowí questions involve things like composition, value, color, drawing, edges, just to name a few. Each of these principles is interdependent and a change in one will affect each of the others. [...]

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Don't miss Keith Bond's discussion on the "center of interest" in a painting

The Center of Interest isnít Always Your Subject

It is the interaction between characters and the plot line that were composed that create the center of interest. Sometimes if you merely try to copy things just as you see them in front of you, you will have no center of interest, because you arenít composing a story. [...]

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Keith Bond discusses the advantages of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone

Donít Just Play it Safe

The purist in me says that you should always paint what inspires you most, even if that includes pushing yourself and tackling something more difficult. But the realist in me recognizes that it is very difficult to do that when you feel the pressure to perform. ĎSafeí looks very tempting. [...]

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Keith Bond discusses why you should still create, even if you're "not in the mood"

Iím Not in the Mood

If you want to be a professional artist, you will have deadlines, commitments, and maybe even demonstrations. You will need to perform and will need to show up to do the work. Even if you have no audience such as the demo, you cannot just blow off your responsibilities when you ďdonít feel like paintingĒ. [...]

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Keith Bond discusses the mastery of greens

Green - It's Everywhere

To recap, mastery of greens only comes through careful observation and practice. Avoidance is not the answer. You may not paint a summer landscape which is nearly entirely green. But you will still need to understand green to paint a winter scene which seems devoid of green, a portrait of a woman wearing white, or a still life with teapots and eggs. You need not be a master to paint greens convincingly. [...]

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Keith Bond discusses how to speak about your art to art collectors

Geology and Art

Yes, many of us like to talk about art and many collectors like to learn about it. But remember, they arenít experts. Speak on their level. With time, they will become more experienced and well-versed in art principles. [...]

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Keith Bond discusses the pros and cons of painting large on location.

Painting Large en Plein Air

So I am completely satisfied working both plein air and in the studio. They serve different purposes. I can say and do different things. Yet, they are interdependent. Each discipline leads to learning and growth in the other. [...]

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Keith Bond discusses spontaneity and freshness in a plein air painting and how to capture that in your studio.

There Must Be Another Reason

My plein air work is about responding emotionally to the moment. But, I have realized that my studio work enables me to explore other ideas, push compositional choices, or push color to create a mood. [...]

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Don't miss Keith Bond's continued discussion on his workshop series

Pieces of the Puzzle

ďTeachers open the door. You enter by yourself.Ē [...]

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Don't miss Keith Bond's part 2 in his series about workshops

Learn To Fish - Part 2 in a series about Workshops

So, when you decide you are ready to take a workshop, determine not to seek out fishes, but rather seek out an artist or artists who will teach you how to fish. [...]

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Keith Bond discusses how workshops can help improve your art skills at any level

Workshops - An Investment in Yourself

So, some of you may have painted for many years. You have taken workshops in the past. You might even teach them now. But if you have reached a plateau or you simply want to understand art at a higher level, then consider attending another workshop. [...]

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Keith Bond discusses how to feel inspired when creating commissioned art


Is there a way for you to feel inspired and excited about the work and still fulfill a clientís request for a commission? Can you do it without feeling like you are selling out to commercialism? Can you maintain your artistic freedom and integrity while doing a commission? [...]

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Keith Bond discusses how weaknesses can become strengths

Ignore Your Weaknesses, Cultivate Your Strengths

As long as I can remember, I have been taught that weaknesses can become strengths. It just takes humility, dedication, determination, hard work, more humility, tenacity, desire, etc. I have seen in my own art (and life) that I have been able to improve areas that were weak. Many of these have become strengths. [...]

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Don't miss Keith Bond's advice for unfinished art projects in the new year.

A Time for Completion

So, at this time of year, as you consider what you want to accomplish in your art career, let me suggest that you make a resolution to complete some of those unfinished projects. This is a great time for new completions and happy endings. [...]

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Don't miss Keith Bond's follow up article to "excuses are the enemy of opportunity"

Self Doubt

A certain amount of self-doubt is healthy. It keeps us humble and motivates us to strive to learn, practice, and improve our art. But an overabundance can be harmful or even crippling. [...]

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Keith Bond shares how excuses can lead to missed opportunities

Excuses are the Enemy of Opportunity

What excuses do you struggle with most? What fears do you have? What excuses were you able to overcome and what successes came from that? [...]

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Keith Bond shares the importance of letting your natural style emerge in your art

Develop Your Personal Style

This holds true with your art. You can focus on the techniques to the point that you can mimic any style. But when you focus instead on content or expression you will revert to your own personal style. And your natural style is more likely to emerge when you are in the zone... So, in short, donít worry about forcing a style. It will come naturally as long as you donít hinder it by failing to learn and grow as an artist. [...]

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Don't miss Keith Bond's follow up article on focusing on others

Stop Worrying About Yourself -- Focus on Others (Part 2)

Regardless of the art you create, you need to understand who your collectors are and why. The question to ask is: how will their world or their life be better and more enriched with your art? Understand your collectors. Understand why and how they respond to your art. [...]

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Keith Bond discusses how focusing on the needs of others, will help your art.

Stop Worrying About Yourself - Focus on Others (Part 1)

Stop worrying about yourself and focus on the needs of your clients. [...]

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Ketih Bond shares his thoughts on original creations

The Spirit Within Your Art

An original creation emanates something from within that is felt. Not by your fingers, but within you. Felt by your spirit. I donít know how or why, but somehow, through the hands of labor and through the labor of love, you imbue within your artistic creation a portion of you. Not your physical self, but in a way part of your spirit self. [...]

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Keith Bond shares the importance of painting only what communicates with you.

The Missing Information

Regardless of your style, tight or loose, bold or delicate, put in only what communicates what you want and leave all else out. This will allow the viewer to fill in the missing information in a way that is unique and personal. [...]

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Keith Bond shares the importance of replenishing your creativity.

Refilling the Well

You must refill the well if you wish to access it again....Much of the refilling occurs naturally for artistic and creative types. [...]

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Don't miss Keith Bond's follow up article on workshops.

Workshops -- Should You Organize Your Own?

On the other hand, if you have the skills to handle the logistics and are willing to do the work, you could earn all the profits - 100%. Yes, you will incur expenses you otherwise wouldnít. If you begin local - preferably in your own studio - you can minimize many of those expenses. If you have a decent mailing list already, then advertising can be minimal as well. Play with the math and see what the projected expenses and profits are. Look at best and worst case scenarios. Then decide for yourself which route you want to go. [...]

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To Teach or Not To Teach

Some of you teach art workshops or classes. Some of you donít. And some of you are considering it. [...]

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Keith Bond discusses the importance of practice, study, and discipline

Practice Your Art

Neither musicians nor athletes perform without a lot of practice. In most cases more time is spent practicing than performing. Yet, many visual artists think that once they reach the professional level, they no longer need practice. [...]

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Keith Bond discusses the benefits of building up other artists

Good Karma

And I find that there is good karma when you talk up another artistís work and help collectors decide to purchase it. It usually comes back around in one way or another. It isnít always right away. But it does come back around. [...]

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Keith Bond discusses the importance of how to strive for style naturally

Strive to Not Have a Style

According to him, it is critical to develop a personal style, but it is equally critical that it isnít forced. Experimentation and exploration of a variety of styles, media, motifs, etc. are important. In the process, a personal style will eventually emerge. Let it emerge, donít resist it. [...]

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Keith Bond discusses how spending time on a regular basis on any task can be much more effective

Weed the Garden

In your art business, there are many weeds that are preventing you from being your most productive. Spending time on a regular basis to keep them in check will do far more than a less frequent weeding blitz. [...]

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