A special appeal on Cyber Monday

12 years ago, EBSQ began in a small 2-bedroom apartment in Pittsburgh, PA. We’ve now doubled in size (4 total employees instead of just Bill and me), we *finally* own our own servers, and the bulk of the day-to-day work is done via an ancient laptop on my dining room table. In the past dozen years, we’ve seen competitors, many of whom had a lot of capital backing them, go by the wayside. There’s no question, it’s a tough market for artists–and the sites that support them. I suspect it’s our very smallness that has kept us going where others have failed. But we’re ready to grow. And we need your help to do that.

Bill has spent the last 6 months re-writing 100% of the EBSQ site code in another programming language (and let me tell you, this was no easy feat!). This will make the site significantly faster, and it will be easier to maintain–and extend. And over the next 6 weeks, we will be fine-tuning as we prepare to launch what we think is a gorgeous version of the site that WILL include e-commerce. Now, something I have lobbied for time-and-again is for the advertising to go away. It’s ugly, it detracts from the art, and frankly, it slows down page load time. But it’s been a necessary evil since it’s how we’ve kept the lights on. I’m not going to lie; each month when that money comes in is a HUGE relief.

Here’s how you can help: plain and simple, we need more members to make up for the huge deficit that going advertising-free would create. To be exact, we need 150 new monthly members before the end of December.

Today through the end of November, monthly memberships, normally $8.95, will be on sale at the grandfathered rate of just $6.50 a month. That’s less than a month of Netflix. And for this week only, we’re making Permanent Accounts available for the discounted price of $499.

Will you help us grow? We are calling all former members, all of the artists who have been on the fence about joining, and on current members to lobby their artist friends on our behalf. Please, we need you. Each and every one of you. Come grow with us.

>>Click here to grab a great deal!

Thank you for your consideration. And from us, to you, have an artful holiday season!
With gratitude,
-Amie Gillingham
co-founder, EBSQ
http://www.ebsqart.com
Supporting self-representing artists since 2000

PS Don’t let these great deals pass you by! Invest in your artistic future–and ours–by grabbing an awesome deal today!

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Is Pinterest relevant to your Interests?

Pinterest LogoWe’re looking for a handful of artists who regularly use Pinterest successfully as a marketing tool for their art for a future article here on the blog. Interested? Leave a comment on this post, drop us a line via email,  or get in touch via our Facebook page.

We hope to hear from you soon!

 

Ring in the New Year Right with These 7 Portfolio Readiness Tips

Have a Steampunk New Year by EBSQ Artist Susan Brack
Have a Steampunk New Year by EBSQ Artist Susan Brack

The new year is fast approaching. We thought now might be a good time to offer some concrete ideas on how to get your portfolio ready to rock for 2012:

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!

Artist Guide: Not Taking Risks Is Foolish

by Natasha Wescoat of NatashaWescoat.com

When you think of risk taking, you can see some person throwing all their money into an idea, losing their job, their family, their “riches” and ending up on the streets. Risk taking shouldn’t equal foolishness. Planning is part of risk taking. Planning and risk taking can work together. I explain how many of us artists make it work in the online world, amidst a struggling economy and evolving web. I explain how NOT taking risks is FOOLISH…

BUSINESS SHOULD BE REACTIONARY
I was watching a video by Gary Vaynerchuk (WineLibrary.tv) about how too many entrepreneurs try to plan out and predict the future and in turn continually lose out. I see business owners base their moves, their actions on what it may or may not do for them. They obsess over whether it will work or not, and miss out on the possibilities their ideas and businesses could bring out.

It reminds me of a topic I’ve wanted to discuss for so long on how an artist/creative business should go about promoting and selling their work.

How do I do it?

I don’t ask questions.
I don’t research for months before I try something.
I don’t wait.
Continue reading “Artist Guide: Not Taking Risks Is Foolish”

Building Your Team: Connecting With The Right People

by Natasha Wescoat

Alot of the time, we talk about finding our target audience, about finding the perfect agent/business manager, or maybe getting those galleries/shops to hold our art. So when we do in fact get a nibble on that line – we’re all going bananas. You start to think everything is going to turn around and success is about to happen.

In the creative business, however, things change, people are fickle, offers pan out or they don’t.

Such is life. Such is the business of the arts.

Whether you are an actor, writer, painter, designer – all of these opportunties can come and go, fleeing with trends, staff changes, or money issues. You can become burnt out, frustrated, confused, disorganized. You may be doing all the work on your own besides creating the art. You do the photography, the design, the web maintenance, accounting, customer service, marketing and promotion, etc.

On your own it will be tough. On  your own you can only go so far . . .

What we have to do is to focus more on the core foundation within our business and career. We usually think money and opportunities first, when we should be thinking : TEAM.

Continue reading “Building Your Team: Connecting With The Right People”

Artist Guide: Ask and You Shall Recieve, Know What You Want

JUST ASK

One of the biggest and nagging misconceptions that artists have in their mind is that when it comes to opportunities, business offers/deals, or sales – they come to you. So for months, years, or decades you will be sittin at your chair wondering why that fine arts degree, those years of hard work, or having a website isn’t getting any biters.

You have to approach these goals and people yourself. And it’s only a matter of knowing how.

Asking for what you want means:

– approaching potential partners, publishers, customers with your work/ideas.

– looking for opportunities or making them.

– researching ways to promote your art.

– contacting the galleries, websites, companies that you WANT to work with.

Alot of us just assume indefinitely, maybe unconciously that if we ask for something, we will get an obvious and expected NO or NOT INTERESTED.

To Read more of the article by Natasha, click HERE

Alyson Stanfield urges you to Shake things up with another Artist Statement

From Alyson’s weekly newsletter:
 
I’m going to muddy the waters a bit and tell you that you might (gasp!) need more than one artist statement. Before you panic with the thought of writing even more about your work, let me assure you that it’s often easier to break down what you have to say into separate statements than it is to try to fit everything in one document. After reading a share of artist statements that is more than fair, I have found that the weakest statements are those that try to cover many different works that have little in common. There are two remedies for this. 

1) Do a little soul searching to figure out what one body of work has in common with another body of work. This often takes time and discussion with other people. What is the thread that holds these seemingly disparate works together? Sometimes it’s there; sometimes it’s not. When that common thread is there, define it clearly for viewers of your art. When it’s not there . . . 

2) Write two or more statements to go along with two or more bodies of work. These don’t have to be dissertations. In fact, they shouldn’t be. They should be short and to the point.
When you submit work for an exhibit or gallery, use the statement that goes along with your selection. When you have work on your Web site, you aren’t bound to having one statement. Break up your pages of images to go along with each statement. It only makes sense! If I’m looking at works from Picasso’s Rose period, I’d be dumbfounded if the words beside the images went along with his Cubist paintings.

Know This . . .
You might need more than one artist statement.

Think About This . . .
In trying to say too much, does your artist statement end up saying nothing? Could it easily apply to another artist’s work?

Do This . . .

Shake things up by adding another statement. When you have a new body of work, old words rarely will do. It’s time to find new words to go along with the new work.


Copyright 2007 Alyson B. Stanfield. Alyson takes the mystery out of marketing your art and making more money as an artist. Visit http://www.ArtBizCoach.com to get articles just like this one delivered to your inbox.