Tuesday, July 26, 2011

5 Free Art Marketing Ideas for Artists

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

Marketing your art doesn’t have to be extremely difficult. For example, a few days ago I found an artist who was literally giving away some of his paintings through is new blog. His explanation for this odd behavior was simple: he was a relatively new artist trying to build awareness for his paintings. Naturally he doesn’t give away all of his artwork. Interspersed among the free paintings are others (usually larger ones) which cost something. But that “marketing hook” of giving away a free painting to anyone willing to pay shipping and handling stuck out in my mind—and that’s what good marketing is all about.

So today, I thought I’d talk about some ways that you can stand out from the crowd. I’m not talking about changing your art or changing yourself, I’m just talking about thinking a bit more like a marketing agent or an advertiser so that YOUR art gets noticed and—more importantly—so that YOU get remembered.

Here are some of the ideas I came up (most will work both offline or online).

1) Educate the Art Buyer

The first art marketing idea I came up with is based on my own experiences online. If you can offer information or knowledge that other people want, they’ll keep coming back to your website. Obviously, the people you want to attract are art buyers—so the question is, what do art buyers need to know?

Perhaps they need information on taking care of their artwork, such as, how to safely clean their paintings, for example. Better yet, write out a tutorial on how to frame art (or the best places to get artwork framed). You could also offer advice on collecting art, or on matching art to a specific décor style. Even something as simple as making a list of the top 100 places to buy art online would work.

Once they’re visiting your site, they just might buy something of yours—and yes, for this idea it does help to have an art blog of your own.

2) Make the Art Buying Experience Fun & Unique

The second art marketing idea I had was to take the whole idea of “free art” and expand on it. Free art is a novelty in and of itself, but what if you want a little more interaction with your potential art buyers? How do you get them to email you their contact information so you can pursue the sale at a later date? Marsha Robinett gave some excellent advice in this article on building a mailing list (I’d recommend reading that article first), but there’s a lot more you can do as well.

For example, why not turn it into a game? Try advertising your art as “Free to a good home.” When people ask about it, which they will, tell them that the rules of the game are simple—they just need to prove themselves by answering one art-related question. Or come up with another way to interact. . . hold a weekly drawing and give away one of your paintings to the person whose name you pull out of a hat. If you announce the winner every week to your email subscribers, people will sign up for your free mailing list just to see if they’ve won. The art you give away doesn’t have to be large or expensive, and just being unique in how you present yourself will bring about a lot more opportunities to sell your art.

3) Either Narrow Your Focus or Broaden Your Horizons

Another popular way to stand out as an artist is to either “limit” your art or “expand” your art. “Limiting” your art would be to focus in on a very specific niche subject or style. It’s not a new idea, but the goal is to become known as the artist for your niche.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, I’ve come across many artists who have started projects with no limits. . . which they hope will capture the public’s imagination and interest.

4) Offer A Guarantee

Something that ALL artists should do is offer a guarantee. Art isn’t a hard sell (like dodgy herbal supplements, for example) so your guarantee doesn’t have to claim something outrageous to get people to buy. Just make sure they know that if they change their mind about their purchase they can return the artwork for a full refund (less the cost of shipping and handling). That guarantee will be enough to convince people who are on the fence about buying, and yet the cost of shipping and handling is usually enough to stop frivolous returns.

5) Give Back Through Your Art

You can also do good while selling your art by donating ten, twenty or even fifty percent of your profits to a charity you feel strongly about. Or just announce a charity drive once or twice per year. Either way it gives people the opportunity to become involved in a good cause, and it’s also good PR for you. If it feels strange to be making money while donating to charity, then give 100% of the profit during your charity drives—and of course, make sure all the money you’ve promised actually gets to the organization you’ve chosen!!!

These are just a few ideas for how you can stand out from the crowd—I’m sure there are many more, but I’ll leave those up to you to find. Why not start out by simply jotting down ideas as they come to you, and then make a goal to put something in motion by the end of the week? Think about it—how can you differentiate yourself from other artists?

Reposted By:

Adam Brown

Osio-Brown Editions Website

Giclee Printing FAQs

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Why Limited Edition Prints? Why Now?

This post was originally published in early 2009, following the collapse of our banking industry, housing market and stock market. As this disappointing economic climate has yet to show improvement, I wanted to re-visit this topic and get your thoughts and feedback.

In my day to day interactions with artists, I consistently hear how difficult the art market is right now. Original work is more difficult to sell than ever before. As artists, we, too, are experiencing the downside of our current economic recession. The media bombards us every day with negativity about our failing economy, the stock market, government bailouts, layoffs, etc. So what are we to do about it? How do we survive?

Well, certainly the answer cannot be to scale back or quit. According to Art Business News,

"The art market has survived the recession of the '70s, Black Monday in October, 1987, Desert Shield and Desert Storm in the early '90s, the market bubble burst in 2000, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, natural disasters in Thailand and now these challenging economic times, as well."

Even though times are tough, we must continue to create new work. We must continue to push forward. Some of the most successful companies of our time chose to market themselves even more aggressively when times got tough. Companies like Kellogg, Proctor & Gamble and Coca-Cola increased their marketing and production during the Great Depression and it paid off...big time!!! We cannot afford to drop out of public sight right now and cause our existing and future clients to feel abandoned. Instead, we must keep our art and names in front of our clients, despite the lack of money they have to spend.

This is where I feel limited edition prints make more since now than ever before. Let's face it, original work is simply more difficult to sell right now. Limited edition prints offer you an excellent, lower priced option for your clients. With the current technologies available, giclee prints offer richer, truer and more brilliant colors than ever before possible. With pigmented inks and archival substrates, giclee prints have the longevity to outlast any of their predecessors. Museums like The Art Institute of Chicago, the Guggenheim in New York City and the Louvre in Paris have all accepted the quality and longevity of giclee prints.

Adam Brown

Osio-Brown Editions Website

Giclee Printing FAQs

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Last week we discussed several important elements to look for in establishing a long-term working relationship with a fine-art printmaker. This week we continue this discussion.

One important element to consider is what type of art the printmaker is capable of reproducing. It is clear that oil paintings can be more difficult to replicate accurately than a watercolor. If a shop is not reproducing oil paintings on canvas with a liquid laminate surface protection, you have an additional red flag.

Other insightful details to discover include the printmaker’s policies for certifying a print as a limited edition with respect to a Certificate of Authenticity. This certificate is your assurance that the printmaker will support your efforts to make a limited edition print and your guarantee that the edition is not compromised.

Another important subject to broach is who owns the rights to the master digital file. If a photographer points their camera at your art to digitize it, it is only legal to do so with your express permission as the owner of that copyrighted image. This is a widely misunderstood area of copyright law, so make certain your fee for the capture includes your right to possession of that file after the project is complete. Accept nothing less. When we capture original art in our studio, our clients receive the actual production file on a CD or DVD. It is your copyrighted material, and the printmaker has no right to hold you hostage by not offering you a copy of the production file.

Finding a good digital fine art printmaker is similar to buying real estate, minimize the number of negatives. Make sure they don’t raise any of the following red flags:

· Outsourcing the digitizing of the art to a third party.

· Telling you that you can get your art scanned anywhere and they will print it.

· Immediately accepting your digital file without a cautionary note or file review.

· Talking about brands of printers while downplaying the importance of the capture quality.

· Employing a 35 mm camera or consumer scanner for capture (39 megapixel digital cameras are sufficient for smaller works).

· Being unwilling or unable to allow you to view and approve a proof in the presence of your original art.

· Utilizing dye-based inks for printing instead of pigment inks.

· Telling you that laminating canvas isn’t necessary.

· Not offering you a master copy of the production digital file.

· Boasting a low cost per square inch to get your business.

· Being unwilling to send a sample of their work.

As you can see, there are a prodigious number of issues to resolve before entrusting your art to a printmaking studio. Even if you feel you have found a quality shop, my suggestion is to give them one painting and go through the entire process from start to finish to see how they handle your project. If you trust them with one painting instead of taking a chance with 10, you reduce your risks and can make a sound judgment from your own experience with that particular printmaker.

Be certain you get your questions answered upfront and take the time to assess the skills, history, policies, and reputation of the printmaker prior to sending your artwork. In the end, choosing the right printmaker can make or break the market acceptance and quality of your prints.

Reposted By:

Adam Brown

Osio-Brown Editions Website

Giclee Printing FAQs