Blog on Art Marketing and Selling Art


Sales can fluctuate dramatically from month to month, and what’s selling today, may not be selling tomorrow.

What Kind of Artwork Sells Best?

On its face, this is a pretty easy question to answer – all I have to do is look over my sales records to see which media and subjects have been selling the best. [...]

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Sometimes we have to learn the lesson the hard way.

Customer Service Still Rules

But there are also people who genuinely love and appreciate us for what we do, who invest their own hard-earned money for the work of our heart. We owe it to them to make sure that wonderful exchange stays positive, and compassionate. [...]

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Did I miss any other methods of restoring freshness of color after the paint has dried?

Freshness of Color

This is a follow-up to last week’s article about Liquin. I will offer a few suggestions for maintaining fresh color after the painting has dried but before you varnish. [...]

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Unfortunately, practicing our craft daily can be quite a challenge. Real life intervenes for so many of us.

Mastery Requires Daily Practice

If you're currently a weekend warrior, find ways to hone your craft at least a little bit during the week. Perhaps it's just a sketch pad during your lunch hour...perhaps just a 30 minute study. Creativity begets more creativity so it's critical to maximize the number of times your mind gets in the “zone.” [...]

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In the meantime, resist the urge to coat your paintings in Liquin.

Don't Use Liquin as a Varnish

The technical expert went into quite a bit of detail beyond what is explained above, most of which I cannot remember. I just remember the admonition NOT to use Liquin as a varnish. [...]

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Don't miss The Messy Studio's Podcast

Your Art Stories

Seeing the big picture can be therapeutic; the positive aspects of your personal history can help guard against discouragement and provide confidence going forward. [...]

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Challenges can be just enough to keep us moving forward

LESSONS FROM THE GYM: The SAID Principle

If everything is working for you, then the “challenges” can be just enough to keep us moving forward, or comfortable with staying in the same place. [...]

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Kevin Macpherson, a Master, in his studio.

What We Learned In Taos About Protecting Creative Time

Both mastery and production require long stretches of uninterrupted creative time in your studio, so you must set limits to protect your creative time. [...]

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Thank you cards are always appropriate, for galleries and clients alike.

Expressing Gratitude

Gratitude often begets more gratitude. [...]

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Installation/Hanging Kit

Create a Mobile Art Hanging/Installation Kit

Once we understand the circumstances of the installation, we set up a time, and arrange to bring everything we’ll need for the installation. I’ve also learned over the years that it’s a good idea to have a variety of tools and hardware in my installation kit for unexpected circumstances. [...]

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Not all parts of the creative process are fun…

THE ECSTASY AND THE AGONY: Your Creative Cycle at Work

So when things get hard, when it feels like no one wants our work, when it feels like we aren’t “enough”, take some time to think... Maybe you are at the hard part of your creative cycle. [...]

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“I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” - Mark Twain

The Importance of Editing in Art

A painter shows me what he painted, but an artist shows me why she painted. [...]

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Image from a beloved collector's home.

Popular Room Decor: A Guide for Creators and Collectors on How to Know What to Paint and What to Buy

So as I work with artists of all kinds, as a teacher and a mentor, I fully understand their desire and need, to be an artist and I try very hard to share with all of them the tools to help them be who they are and make the best work they are capable of creating. [...]

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Don't miss The Messy Studio's Podcast on strategies and mindsets that can help artists who are in the midst of a downturn

Ebbs and Flows

In this Episode of The Messy Studio Podcast, we cover some strategies and mindsets that can help artists who are in the midst of a downturn, and also ways to take best advantage of the good times. [...]

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Be Careful What You Wish For...

ON GIVING AND GETTING ADVICE: Be Careful What You Wish For

When we get advice, if someone says something that resonates in a good way, pay attention. It’s a reflection of what we’re leaning towards, yearning for. It may take a while to uncover the gold. But it’s worth waiting for, and worth working towards. [...]

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Remember, your contact list is your number one asset.....if you use it.

The Personal, Timely, Relevant Marketing Framework

But how do you start or grow or nurture a group of committed fans? How do you lead your "tribe"? By being personal, timely and relevant. [...]

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... "if only I had time to do art."

A Matter of Priority

Remember this one important truth: we have only one life to live. What we choose to do, how we choose to live is completely up to us. [...]

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They are here to help no matter how many questions I have, how many times I change my template, color scheme, navigation bar, and on and on.

My website; My partner.

My website; my partner. If it weren't for my website I would not be sharing this. This is what I mean when I say "one truly feeds the other." Don't be afraid, a lesson that applies to me both on and off the canvas. Life experiences create growth and contribute to our shared humanity, and with growth both on and off the canvas the world becomes more connected and even more beautiful, if we just let it. [...]

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There are no “instant cures”, just building good, daily habits.

LESSONS FROM THE GYM: Building Strength

If we love what we do, and we’ve found our audience, and our work is selling like hotcakes, then clearly we’re doing it right. We can just keep doing the same thing, because it’s working. But if we haven’t found our happy work/life/art/income balance, we may need to seek help to put that together. [...]

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But sometimes, all we need is to trust our best instincts, to sense our highest purpose on earth, instead of focusing on our greatest fears...

Scrambling for Clarity

We may calm ourselves down by recognizing how making our art restores our heart and soul, which is ultimately more enriching than how much money we made this year. Not sayin’ sales aren’t important, just that sometimes that means we have to give up other things involved, things we might miss even more. [...]

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Kevin Macpherson, a Master, in his studio.

Measure Your Mastery

If you focus on the number of Twitter followers you have, you're going to optimize your art business to get Twitter followers, but if you focus on the quality of your artwork, you're going to become a better artist and, in my experience, in the end, better artists sell a whole lot more art, even without Twitter followers. [...]

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Many artists, myself included, will overcorrect when we realize improvement is needed in some aspect of our art.

Overcorrection

If you suffer from overcorrection, don’t worry, it is part of the growth cycle and you will eventually find the middle ground. As you move back and forth from the right to left of your ideal, you will find that your swings or overcorrections become less severe each time. You are moving ever closer to the middle ground that you are seeking. [...]

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Jason Horejs shares a quick tip on how to keep a record of your sold artwork

Quick Tip: Make a Folder for Images of Art in Client’s Homes

Today I want to invite you to do something that is going to take you all of five seconds: Set up a folder on your computer where you can collect images of your work in client’s homes or businesses, or in public spaces. [...]

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"The Fisherman"- Oil by Constant Troyon (1810-1865)

Advice for Creating and Critiquing Paintings - Part 2

"There is only one true way to acquire an art-knowledge of harmony, and that is to study the works of the great colorists with a determination to understand and appreciate them. This will educate the eye and teach you to note many beauties you do not see at first glance." [...]

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What applies to flowers, applies to artists.

Embrace the Blossoming

What applies to flowers, applies to artists. I'll repeat the relevant point: As a culture, we’ve become disinterested in the '"tedium of the blossoming". But that’s where all the real magic unfolds in the making of one’s character and destiny. [...]

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Paint Mentally While Observing Your Subject

Memory Exercises

We are often in the habit of glancing very quickly back and forth between viewing the subject and looking at our canvas. This enables us to judge how closely we captured what we see, but it hinders our ability to strengthen our memory. It also hinders our ability to filter the unnecessary out. We become dependent and as a result are more apt to simply replicate the scene rather than create an interpretation of the scene. [...]

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Jason Horejs discusses why it’s important to maintain open lines of communication with your gallery.

Practical Matters: Asking a Gallery for Artwork from Their Inventory to Supply Another Gallery

These aren’t the kinds of question that have objective, right or wrong answers. There are very few industry norms in the business. Up-front communication as you begin working with a gallery will answer many questions about how a gallery deals with these kinds of issues. [...]

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Jane Chapin, "Corrales Adobe" 10 x 8 Oil (Gallery closed corner frame)

Presentation Matters

Finally, presentation is an indicator of your self-worth as an artist. Just as you would not go to a job interview in sweatpants and a dirty old t-shirt, put your art’s best foot forward. You never know who may wander into a show and notice it. [...]

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My art. My words. My voice.

Post Hoc Fallacy

There are a lot of reasons we tell ourselves why our work doesn’t sell. But not all of them are true! [...]

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If you'd like my latest thoughts on art marketing, I encourage you to follow me on Twitter

My Latest Thoughts on Art Marketing - Now on Twitter

I have been doing more a lot more writing about art marketing lately, but I've moved a lot of it for now to Twitter, believe it or not. [...]

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Build your own value

Be an Artist: Don’t Settle for the Status Quo

Be impatient. Don’t wait. Take your art and art marketing into your own hands. Build your own value. Produce art that others will gladly pay for. Enable yourself to dream. And take initiative to act on those dreams. [...]

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Eric Armusik shares 8 steps to help you get up and fight when you've hit rock bottom

What To Do When You've Hit Rock Bottom

What do you do when something you’re hoping for doesn’t work out? Or worse, what do you do when a string of things fail to gel in your art business? These are the questions we all have to ask when we dedicate ourselves to making it in this business. [...]

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We can get lost in the crowd, OR honor our own voice in the world. You choose!

One In A Million

But the power of embracing where we are right now, the power of telling our story with the work of our heart, the power of starting where we are and stay focused on doing better, is heady stuff. [...]

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There is a huge difference between how many games you've played, and how much you've stretched yourself with each successive game.

Dance at the Edge of Incompetence

If you want to become a better dancer, then you must dance just at the edge of your incompetence. And once you become competent at that level, you push yourself to the edge of incompetence again. [...]

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If you do this assignment, you will take the first step in moving your career or art to the next level.

An Assignment for You

I’ll be the first to admit that goal setting has never been my strong point in the past. But I have reached the point where I want to take more control of my business. I want to grow it, not just get by... [...]

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Jason Horejs shares how to stay in touch with your art collectors

Keeping in Touch With your Art Collectors

Perhaps you haven't been as good at following up as you would like simply because you haven't had a follow-up plan in place. I want to share with you some suggestions that will help make you a follow-up expert. Better follow-up will lead to more sales. [...]

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The Freedom Gained From Letting Go of Approval

Letting Go of Approval: A Story for Artists (That Involves Underwear)

Less time apologizing = more time for painting. [...]

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The gift of a “false alarm” is knowing where the gaps are in our preparedness.

FALSE ALARM: Lessons From the Fire

There’s a huge difference between thinking about being prepared, and actually being prepared. [...]

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Don't miss Clint Watson's latest on why your email list is your #1 marketing asset.

Your Mailing List is your #1 Marketing Asset

The top goal of your marketing efforts is to build a high-quality list of customers and prospective customers with whom you are able to communicate, develop a relationship, and market your art. Your customer mailing list is your number one marketing asset. Outside of creating your art, building, maintaining and nurturing this list is your top goal. [...]

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Jason Horejs shares 4 helpful tips for any easy follow-up process

Increase Your Art Sales | The Power of Follow-Up

I can’t guarantee that every follow-up effort will lead to a sale, but if you follow up consistently I can promise that you will see more of those “almost” sales convert into “follow-up” sales. [...]

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