Archive for category Business of Art
Ok, I admit it: this is a repost from last year. But the advice is just as timely. Get ready for 2013 with these 7 readiness tips.
Is your contact information up-to-date? Make sure we have your current private email address for lost password retrieval and public contact information for people who want to learn more about your art. We’ve often seen members post that they do commissions but don’t offer a contact method for potential buyers. If they can’t connect, you’ve lost a sale.
Are your website and blog addresses still correct? How about your eBay and Etsy IDs? Again, if we don’t have the right information, people aren’t going to be able to find you or your work at your preferred sales venues.
An addendum to the above: Have you linked to all of your current venues? And have you unlinked venues you no longer use? If you’re primarily selling at FineArtAmerica, but you only have a link to an abandoned eBay account, you’re squandering an opportunity to direct interested parties to work that’s currently available. We suggest you consider removing venues you aren’t actively using or maintaining. This includes placeholder websites and blogs that haven’t been updated in over a year.
When is the last time you took a serious look at your artist’s statement? Do you have a “Hi, I’m new,” message that you posted back in 2007 and simply forgot about? Or notes about your Spring cleaning sales from last year? Are you talking about your photography or sculpture when you’re now showing a portfolio full of abstract expressionism? Have you done any new shows or changed galleries? Don’t forget to add this new information to your CV.
Have your commission prices changed? If so, don’t forget to make these edits if you have pricing listed on your commissions page. Or maybe you don’t do commissioned work at all anymore–you can always turn off this feature by unchecking the “commissions available” box in your profile tools.
Are you showing your newest work? While we do have members that update their portfolio as soon as they have something new, others simply upload a handful of work when they join and forgeddaboutit, letting their portfolios collect cyber dust. When was the last time you added something new? Every time you add new art to your portfolio, that piece shows up on the front page of EBSQ, which in turn brings more people back to your portfolio. For best success, we strongly suggest you upload new work monthly, or even weekly. “Post and Pray” does not work.
Is it for sale? If so, you can add in a PayPal “buy it now” button directly in your artist statement. You’re also welcome to link directly to other venues where a specific piece might be available. (Just make sure you update your information if it’s already been sold!)
Have another great tip for getting your portfolio into shape? Please share it in the comments below!
PS Not yet a member? Grab a great deal on EBSQ Artist Memberships through 31 December 2012!
In my latest blog, I’ve discussed the importance of expanding your art beyond the work itself. Not only for your own personal evolution as an artist, but in a financial aspect. Everything has it’s seasons and sometimes business slows down for work. I notice for myself, the typical seasonal slow downs are holidays, back to school and summer time. Everyone is off on vacation, away from home or busy dealing with the juggling of school plays or sports practice.
For some artists, taking a break is great. For the rest of us, we need to find other ways to make money. And while our goal is to create other automatic streams of income by art licensing, we should consider our potential in working on creative projects that aren’t entirely related to our fine art.
For example, doing projects in design, mural art, teaching an art class to kids or adults and even helping put on events for other artists is an example of things we could do outside our typical work.
KEY is to find ways to make money when the art isn’t selling or sales slow down.
5 Ways To Use Your Talents: Read the rest of this entry »
Rules change all the time, like whether newborns should sleep on their sides or stomachs. The same seems to be true of artists using watermarks. Everyone has an opinion and ultimately every artist does what they feel is right for their art on the web. I thought it would be interesting to see where our readers stand on the topic and to explore some updated ideas on the issues. Once upon a time, watermarks were for protecting your art from theft. But not anymore. Take the poll and then I’ll explain.
What follows is my personal opinion. It should not be taken as fact. We all ultimately do what we feel comfortable with when it comes to sharing our art across the web.
We’ve all heard the two sides to this argument:
1. Watermarks protect your art from theft.
2. Watermarks are ugly and put off buyers.
One of these statements is myth. Can you guess which one?
Watermarks DO NOT protect your art from theft. However, they don’t necessarily put off buyers and they don’t have to be ugly. So what is the purpose of a watermark in the 21st century?
It’s like the telephone game, where you stand in a line and pass a message on to the person next you. By the time the message reaches the end of the line it’s usually a far cry from the original. Imagine a similar situation with an artwork that’s been repinned thirty times on Pinterest. Maybe you were the original source of the pin and you put in the description your copyright info. But the next ten people who repinned your artwork changed the description to, Beautiful! or Stunning! Then it’s repinned from those people another ten times. By the time the 50th person see it they may have no idea where the image came from or knowledge of its creator. But. If you’ve put a small watermark with your info, like my painting shown to the left, wherever you art ends up a viewer will know you as the creator.
I’ve placed the copyright info on my painting The Moon off to the side, that way it doesn’t detract from the artwork but still gives me clear credit and a name for viewers to Google.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments if you use a watermark on your art or if you don’t! We want to hear your thoughts.
The time is here. Are you ready for summer vacation? I’m not referring to vacations to the beach or canoe trips in the mountains. I’m talking about those three months every summer when US school children are home 24/7. For an artist, or anyone who runs a creative business from their home, this can be a challenging time. But it doesn’t have to be a stressful one. If your business is a large percentage of your income then you might consider summer camps and babysitters. However, if you’re like me and your business is only a supplement it’s time to think about priorities. Children come first. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a fun summer with your kids and run your business. I’m going to share how I do it and would love to hear about other strategies from artists who work from home.
1. Change your Schedule: My summer schedule changes drastically when my daughter is home, but it’s the same schedule I’ve kept for the last five years. It may be summer, but I get up early, have my coffee and work till about lunchtime. After lunch I do something with my child. The rest of the afternoon is her time.
2. Activities with Friends: Make arrangements with your child’s friends so that 1-2 times a week you do have an entire day to yourself! There’s nothing wrong with this and your child will love being able to see their friends.
3. Art Activities: I’ve always made a point of buying my daughter art supplies of her own, but what a child loves even more is when you buy them the same sketchbook you use. It makes them feel like an artist! I take my daughter on sketching days. I pack up our sketchbooks and go to the local botanical gardens. Not only am I spending time with my child (outside of the house) but I’m also creating art. This is a perfect time for sketching out ideas for future projects or just letting my inner artist doodle for a bit.
- Sometimes we take cameras too and go on Nature walks. I always find great inspiration for my art on walks.
- Call your local community arts center, sometimes they have mini classes for parent and child–like Try Clay classes.
- Are you a jewelry artist? Make jewelry together!
- Visit an art museum.
4. Take a Day Off: Just do it! Your creative muse will thank you. Creating non-stop is a good way to burn out. We need other experiences in our lives from which to draw creativity. It’s never been easier to take time off but still be in touch with your business. If you sell on Esty, there’s an Etsy app that will keep you in touch with your customers while you’re away.
Children grow up so fast. Don’t let the most important years pass you buy!
Are you an artist and a mother, or father, who works from home? Share how you adjust each year to the kids being home for the summer.