Friday, May 27, 2011

Where Artists Sell Art: A Web Survey of Nearly 300 Artists

(Brought to you by our friends at Art Business Advice)

Several months ago I posted a survey asking artists where they sold their art. The response so far has been incredible, with over 270 artists taking time to respond.

After analyzing the poll, here are some of the more interesting results I found.

More Artists Sell Art Than Not

The survey shows several groups of artists who said they aren’t selling art. Some didn’t explain why (4). A few said they were choosing not to sell their art (3). Many others indicated that they hadn’t sold any art yet (34) or hadn’t sold enough to really make a difference (42). While the number of “non-sellers” was quite significant (83 artists all told) I think it’s encouraging to note that the number of sellers was far more (188).

More Artists Sell Art Offline Than Online.

Of the artists who voted that do sell their art, two groups emerged—those who mostly sell art on the internet, and those who mostly sell art offline. Offline sellers (110) beat out online sellers (78) by a good margin, in part because of the high number of votes for traditional art galleries (27) art festivals (15) and word of mouth selling (17). Another significant group of offline sellers (24) indicated that they used a variety of methods including showing at galleries, festivals, open studios and juried shows.

More Artists Use Their Own Website to Sell Art.

I was pleased to see that the biggest group of online sellers were artists who owned their own websites (24). The second largest group of online sellers was made up of eBay users (16) followed by Etsy users in third (9).

The Meaning of it All. . .

If this survey has proven anything, it’s that there are MANY ways to sell art. And there’s definitely no right or wrong way. Sure, the results show that traditional galleries and personal art websites are the most popular methods among artists, but if you find a different method that works for you, great! Use that instead! And if at first you don’t succeed, try something else—like direct marketing (4) or royalties from posters (2). Or even something as simple as striking up random conversations with strangers (8) or networking other artists (6).

There’s always a way. You just have to find it.

Reposted By:

Adam Brown

Osio-Brown Editions Website

Giclee Printing FAQs

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ten Cost Effective Ways to Market Your Art In A Down Economy

(Brought to you by our friends at Art Business Advice)

For artists and art galleries, a recession is often a scary time. But economic downturns can still provide great opportunities. The trick is to focus on your marketing and business goals, now, while you have extra time. On the business side of things, you can update your website, create postcards, photograph images, update your resume, produce an online portfolio, re-organize your studio, etc. And, when it comes to marketing, you may actually find it easier to get your message across than before. Everyone has the money (and bravery) to seek out clients in good times—which often creates an atmosphere of extreme competition. Now is the time to reach out to your customers and secure your success for the future.

Here are some easy and cost effective ways to market your art now:

1) Build Your Client Database

I can’t express how important it is to build a powerful email and mail database. Get all of those business cards you have in a pile on to your computer—especially those with email addresses—and spend one day each week adding new contacts to your database. Treat that database like gold and back it up often. Email is one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to market a visual medium like art—so use it!!!

2) Submit Articles Online

Everyone knows about the internet, but not everyone knows the free ways to get exposure on the internet. You can write an article about your art, your process, your niche—anything interesting or newsworthy about your art—and submit it to one of the many sites that accept them. At the end of every article include one succinct paragraph about yourself, your art business and a link to your website.

Each site has its own guidelines on how the articles are to be written and submitted, so make sure to follow them. Submitting articles online will help establish you as a leader in your industry, as long as the information you share is helpful and not self-promoting

3) Take Care of Your Best Asset—Previous Collectors

Client retention is the best form of marketing there is. In my experience, finding a new art buyer is 100 times harder than selling your work to existing clients. Treat anyone who has bought art from you like they are a cherished relative. Send them a Christmas card which features your art. Host a “Client Appreciation Night” in your studio or home. Stay in touch with them and build your relationship into a solid friendship. Their referrals and future purchases are your very best asset.

4) Utilize Social Media

Set up accounts on FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Social networking sites give you the opportunity to share information about your art, connect with other artists and market your work online.

5) Start A Blog

But don’t just start one—update it often with new work and thoughts about your process of creating. Remember our suggestion from last week, “Content Is King.”.

6) Create A Newsletter

Whereas a blog enables your clients and followers to connect with your daily and weekly thoughts and creations, a newsletter enables them to read about new series and directions your work is taking, stay in touch with your upcoming exhibition schedule and connect with you on a deeper level.

7) Consider Licensing Your Art

Not all artists will want to go this route, but doing so will get you exposure and possibly a small, but steady income.

8) Send Out Press Releases

Press releases can be a very effective way to bring attention to your art. If you’re doing something that impacts the community then write a press release about it. If you hire someone to do it for you, make sure they know how to write and distribute it. Always keep your topic community oriented. Nobody wants to read a self-serving piece that just promotes your business. Personally, I like for press releases. It is free and fairly easy and art related. It also gets picked up readily by Google.

Here are five other PR websites you could use, although there are many more as well:

There are also a few paid services that will submit your press release to specific regions or trade publications. It is worth the cost if it is an important release, and in my opinion, PRNEWSWIRE and BUSINESS WIRE are the best if you are going to pay:

9) Consider New Avenues for Selling Your Art

Artist Co-Ops, Cultural Centers, Local Libraries…even Etsy are just a few of the great exhibition and marketing opportunities artists typically overlook. We can get so focused on what we have done in the past, that we lose sight completely of new opportunities that are right before us.

10) Create A New Body of Work

If your current body of work isn’t selling, take this time to open yourself up to new ideas and let the creative juices flow. Keep marketing your current body of work, but play around with new ideas, as well.

Reposted By:

Adam Brown

Osio-Brown Editions Website

Giclee Printing FAQs

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Internet Art Marketing Basics

It is hard to believe how much the online art market has changed over the past few years. When I first started blogging in 2006 there weren’t all that many options for artists looking to sell their work online. Now, however, there are new opportunities every single day. It is exciting to see how the internet is changing art marketing for the better, but there IS a dark side. It is becoming very common for artists to spread themselves thinner and thinner, trying to sign up for every free (or paid) art service online, while hoping that at least one will pay off big. So, the point of today’s blog is to choose “quality” over “quantity” when it comes to internet marketing.

1) Choose Your Weapon of Choice

You simply CANNOT work every marketing angle online. Not anymore, anyway. My suggestion is to pick just one method of marketing your work online and to consistently stick with that method until it works. Choose a method that you are good at, based on your strengths. For instance, if you’re good with video you could launch a YouTube channel and focus your efforts there. If you’re friendly and you like to network you could start a basic Facebook account or Fanpage and build a group of fans and collectors of your art. Blogging is also a fantastic option. Any of these art marketing tactics will work, but choose the one that you are most interested in and use that one as the primary vehicle for marketing your art.

Whichever one you choose, realize that you will likely need to spend some long hours at it if you want to succeed. Consistency if the key. By focusing most of your hours in one place you will the best chance of breaking through all the noise online and gaining an audience for your work.

2) Adjust Your Short-Term Expectations

Believe it or not, art marketing on the internet is really all about numbers. How many people have come to your website? How many views do your videos have on YouTube? How many subscribers does your newsletter have? These numbers are a much better representation of your success online than sales. Selling your art is the end result, but selling does not happen overnight (unless you’re very gifted or incredibly lucky). Instead, you will slowly build UP to selling art and in the early stages of marketing your work online, it’s all those numbers that will actually show your progress.

3) Content is King

How do you increase visitors to your blog each month or add more channel subscribers on YouTube? First, stick with your goals of adding new blog posts or video on a regular basis. Without consistent, quality content people will lose interest and forget about you. Next, join the conversation in community forums, submit articles to websites or leave intelligent, helpful comments on related blogs. And of course, ALWAYS leave a link back to yourself.

This promotional period will be the most difficult and time consuming part of your marketing strategy. It won’t go on forever, but it’s VERY important that you follow through with it for at least the first 3-6 months. If you do, you will begin to see many new visitors trickling back to your blog or “Liking” you on Facebook, etc. Within a few months you won’t have to do as much marketing as you did when you first started. Instead, your visitors will start promoting FOR you. This is the exponential power of the internet—you only need to start the avalanche moving forward. After that, things will pick up speed on their own.

5) Give Up Control of The Ship

It may seem crazy, but giving up control of your fanpage, blog, YouTube channel, etc., should always be the final step of your marketing plan. Doing something well always means hard work up front, but if you can smooth out the path for others, you’ll have no shortage of helpers down the road. Plan for the moment when you can team up with other artists and help them get a foothold online, too. Your own workload will ease up considerably and everyone wins. This final step, as odd as it may seem, will probably turn out to be the most fulfilling and most successful from an art marketing perspective.

Good luck. . . and if it gets tough (and it will), remember that nothing worthwhile is ever easy!!!

Adam Brown

Osio-Brown Editions Website

Giclee Printing FAQs

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Great Giclée Print Begins With a Great Digital Image

Thanks to advanced printer technology and the search for new business opportunities, a lot of businesses are now claiming to produce giclée prints. Photographers, prepress shops, graphics printers and the like are dipping into the giclée market with, unfortunately, mixed results. The art of reproducing any fine art work is a highly skilled technique and should only be trusted to those who truly understand the science of color. It’s a multi-step process and any weaknesses in the chain will affect the quality of the end result.

It all starts with image capture. When artists are looking for a fine art printmaker, they should never underestimate the importance of the camera. This is where many giclée wannabes first go wrong. The beauty in fine art is in the details, those delicate nuances, the swirls of mixed colors, that give paintings a depth of texture. You cannot recreate that through photography without a scanning back camera system.

The Phase One FX+ Scanning Back Camera we use at Osio-Brown Editions has 384 megapixels and a unique trilinear array sensor, giving it a distinct advantage over single shot flash digital cameras. The problem with a planer array sensor used in single shot cameras is that it lacks the resolution and color fidelity necessary for a full size print. The difference in quality is so remarkable, even an appraiser can be fooled without his microscope.

The downside of the scanning back system is the cost. At around $28,000, many studios simply are not willing to invest in the best equipment possible. Cheaper alternatives are out there, but when it comes to the finished quality of your fine art prints there is simply no better choice. Remember, “A Great Giclée Print Begins With A Great Digital Image.”

Adam Brown

Osio-Brown Editions Website

Giclee Printing FAQs