EBSQ Friday Five

Ruby Crowned Kinglet by Janet M Graham

1. Art Seen: Janet Graham’s Ruby Crowned Kinglet is a little gem. I love her small bird paintings!

2. Artist Guide: How to Multiply your Art Revenue – I don’t think there is any one way to sell art, or increase sales, but this guide by Chris Wilson has some merit. I think everyone could tweak this method to suit their art business.

3. Learning Resources: Tip #14 from Cathy Johnson – Capturing the Effect of Distance and Depth.

4. In the News: 13 things about the man who gave his $500-million art collection to LACMA

5. Film: Mr. Turner will open to limited release (USA) in December, but it has been on tour with film festivals around the world. Have you seen it?

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An Artist’s Blog: Wordpress or Blogger

WordPress or BloggerLast week we ran a poll to find out which blogging platform was most popular among visual artists. It’s no surprise the winner was Blogger. Blogger (sometimes referred to as Blogspot) is more user-friendly and offers more bells and whistles when compared to the competition, WordPress.com. WordPress is however, still a close second, especially when you combine votes for the free and self-hosted versions. It’s also known for being the more professional of the two. So, which is it to be? If you’re an artist without a blog, thinking about starting one, how do you choose between the big two? I think ultimately it comes down to personal taste and for artists this often involves the look and feel of something. I’ve always preferred the professional, uncluttered look of WordPress. But the design capabilities inherent in Blogger does make it appealing. Here’s a short breakdown of features, pro’s and con’s, which I hope will help you in making that final decision. (WordPress, as seen below, refers to the free blogging platform at WordPress.com.)

The New Blogger

Blogger – Easy to set up, with easy links for picking a theme and making that first post.

WordPress – Easy to set up–long pause–then the learning begins. But once you get going there’s nothing to it.

Themes

Blogger – Doesn’t have a lot of choices, but does have a great Template Designer and the ability to edit the HTML of your blog. The possibilities are endless, but if you’re not very tech/code savy you could also really muck up your blog.

WordPress – Has 100’s of professional templates ready to use with the click of your mouse. Customization is limited, but most allow for a custom header image.

Image Editing

Blogger – Limited. Images can be uploaded one at a time but you must know HTML to add captions, descriptions, and links.

WordPress – Multiple uploads, gallery creation, easy to add titles, descriptions, captions, links, etc.

Javascript

Blogger – Loads of ready to use gadgets available. You can also add your own code, like that provided by Etsy for their Etsy Mini.

WordPress – Zero. Nada. You won’t be able to add an Etsy mini or anything that uses Javascript unless it’s part of the WordPress widgets already available.

Blogging on the Go

Blogger – Not worth the time. I think Blogger (Google) has something in the works, but for now if you want to post on the go it’s down to text messaging and emailing your posts. Bleh.

WordPress – Has Apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry, making it easy to post, reply to comments, check your blog stats, and even edit pages or create a new page.

Mobile Site

Blogger – If it has a mobile site for easy viewing on my phone I couldn’t find it.

WordPress – Automatically detects if a visitor is using their phone or tablet and displays the mobile version for easy reading.

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Questions? Feel free to ask them here in the comments. Next week, the EBSQ Blogger of the Week returns with a painter of whimsy and magic!

Artist Guide: Being a Career Artist

by Natasha Wescoat

SO SEXY…

You could say being an artist is provocative, risque, adventurous and I’d have to agree with you. Those flash in the pan successes, feast or famine moments and a fly by the seat of your pants lifestyle tends to be a part of the whole being an artist thing. One moment, you are experiencing the time of your life, the next moment you wonder if you’re on the street the in the morning. Your job requires that you feel, express yourself, use your imagination and create something that comes from that. Though formal schooling definitely helps propel your talents, it cannot help you imagine. It doesn’t give you passion. It cannot teach you how to ‘be’.

You are, inside, entirely and completely an artist. It’s a part of YOU.

We’re like rebels without a cause. We follow our emotions rather than logic, make heavy decisions based on dreams vs reality.

Having an art career therefore is like a contractiction. Being in this “sexy” vocation and adding the term career to it makes all sorts of complications. You have to logically weigh the pros and cons of your decisions, weigh out financial issues and deal with things outside your creative mindset. Being a career artist isn’t as easy as simply being an artist. Taking your personal gift and monetizing on that is one of the most difficult and harrowing experiences one could have.

[Continue reading ‘Sexy Isn’t Easy: Being a Career Artist’]

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Artist Guide: Learning To Fail

2067532859_ed637523dbby Natasha Wescoat

It’s a given that anyone in business will have their ups and downs. One of the most difficult parts of the business that we must embrace with grace, is things WILL go wrong.

It’s a given that anyone in business will have their ups and downs. One of the most difficult parts of the business that we must embrace with grace, is things WILL go wrong.

Sometimes our service or product isn’t up to par, no matter how hard we work at it, no matter how much heart we put into the service, no matter how much confidence we have put in our quality.

Someone, somewhere WILL be disspointed. In fact, they will be plain pissed.

From time to time, I, myself falter in my efforts. Sometimes I miscalculate a shipment, or forget a print here or there. One time (though thankfully it’s only happened once) I managed to ship two paintings to the opposite customers. Sometimes a customer just didn’t care for the quality or expected something completely different. Sometimes I’d fail to get paperwork to clients on time or worked on custom art that was just NEVER right. Sometimes they expect you to dance in circles and jump on queue.

It’s during that time you have to take a deep breath and step away from the work.

Click here to read more of Learning To Fail . . .

Artist Guide: Speed and Intensity

1484869620_eca9fccb49_mby Natasha Wescoat

Web Presence, Exposure, and Evolution

When it comes to selling and marketing on the internet, speed and intensity is key. You may have this already working out in your favor, considering you have OCD tendencies, like me, and can’t wait to do this and that in regards to your business and art.

The internet’s rate of evolution is going at a much faster pace and increases. Now, if you spend about a month off of the internet and come back, you will notice new sites, new tools, new avenues of revenue possibilities. You may feel collectors or fans have long gone. It’s a catch 22, being an internet business. It’s about consistency and progress. It’s survival of the fittest or fastest!

Anything that’s static will die.

Read more here . . .