EBSQ Facebook Artist of the Week: Nico Niemi

Who and where are you?

My name is Nicole Marie Winkelman, but I still use the nickname Nico and my maiden name Niemi for my artwork. I have loved creating artwork for as long as I can remember. My mother is an artist as well and was a source of inspiration for me from a young age. I’ve traveled the country but always reside in Wisconsin, and currently live in Waukesha.

How were you introduced to Facebook?

I joined Facebook to keep in touch with distant friends and relatives who already used it. After exploring other art pages I realized how easy it is to create one, I made one for myself.

Any tips for other artists starting a Facebook Page?

Invite your friends to your page when you first start out, let anyone else who is interested in your artwork know you have the page, and post artwork as often as you can. People love pictures! Have information about where to find your artwork if they’d like to own some, and how to contact you. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t always get the ‘likes’ you’re looking for-getting going can take a little time.

What’s your favorite Facebook Page feature?

My favorite feature would have to be sharing. When people share your artwork it broadens your reach and brings so many more people in-some who might never have looked for your artwork in the first place. Facebook makes your art so easy to find for anyone who has it, and makes interaction with anyone who is interested easy as well. I really like just about all the features it has.

What’s coming next from your studio?

All sorts of things! There will be fantasy creatures, and brilliant colors, some holiday items, but definitely more cat-themed artwork. I have a new kitten in my home and he is a source of inspiration I literally can’t ignore.

See more of Nico’s art and follow her here:

EBSQ

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EBSQ Facebook Artist of the Week: Christine Krainock

Who and where are you?

My name is Christine Krainock and I am a contemporary artist residing in beautiful Southern California. I paint contemporary, modern, oil and acrylic paintings in my unique style by palette knife. I create paintings in a textured, impasto style, which are described as possessing texture, depth, movement, and vibrancy of color. I am fortunate to live just outside of San Diego in the gorgeous, wine country city of Temecula, CA. I hold a Master’s of Arts Degree, and in fact, taught for many years before “quitting my day job” in order to pursue my passion for painting. Although I still adore teaching a few hours a week, I am a full-time artist painting daily. I am currently kept very busy selling my paintings to collectors from all over the world. I sell locally from my studio in California; however, a great portion of my work is sold or commissioned through my online presence.

How were you introduced to Facebook?

I was first introduced to Facebook by my best friend, Dianne, in 2008. I was extremely hesitant at first to join, in fact, I argued with her for months stating all sorts of reasons why I did not want to sign up. She finally convinced me to open my personal account in Dec. 2008, with the argument that, if for nothing else, Facebook would be a great way for us to share photos with each other since we lived so far apart. I quickly got “sucked in” to Facebook, and had fun connecting with current family and friends, as well as finding it was a great way to reconnect and develop new friendships with old high school classmates. In 2010-2011, I very reluctantly threw a very few photos of my artwork onto my FB profile, however, I was always very hesitant to do that because I didn’t want to come across to my Facebook friends as being obnoxious with my paintings. So, in the spring of 2011, I decided to start my Facebook page for my artwork. http://www.facebook.com/Contemporaryartbychristine. I was shocked at how quickly my page “likes” started adding up! I truly love my Facebook page, and often find myself utilizing it more than my personal account. It has been a fabulous tool for me to quickly and easily communicate with those who enjoy following my art and what I’m up to.

Any tips for other artists starting a Facebook Page?

There are several tips I can give to other artists who may be wanting to start a Facebook page. First of all, the goal of maintaining a Facebook page for art or any other business is to increase your sales. To do that, you need your page to be seen and followed. On Facebook that means receiving “likes”. One question that I often receive is, “How did you gain so many “likes” your page?” Well, what I do is I add links to my Facebook page to the majority of my emails, business cards, post cards, and most importantly the internet sites that I am present on. This includes my primary website, http://www.contemporaryartbychristine.com/, my Etsy Shop, Fine Art America (where I sell prints), EBSQ, and any other online artist site or news release mentioning my art. I find that if collectors are online, see and like your art, but aren’t necessarily ready to purchase, offering them a link to your Facebook page is a way for them to know that they have a connection to you for the future, and that they can follow your latest works, and can contact you when needed. Many assume that I must recruit people whom I personally know to “like” my page. This in fact, is the opposite of what I do! Out of my over 1800 “likes”, only 39 are mutual friends of mine from my personal Facebook account. Pretty low! Most Facebook users are aware of a feature on Facebook that is available for you to promote your page, it allows you to ask your personal Facebook friends to “like” your page. They will then receive a notification inviting them to your page. This can be a great way to obtain your first few “likes”, however, I DO NOT want to annoy all of my personal family and friends with the requests of liking my page when perhaps they don’t even care for my art. Therefore, I have only once sent that request out, and to only a very select few of my closest family and friends. Many of my very closest friends haven’t even “liked” my page, and that’s fine. (Although, I must say, my feelings ARE a little hurt. 😉 Ha!) I also do not participate in what many artists will try to gain followers, the old “Hi, I “liked” your page, will you “like” mine?” My belief is, you truly only want people “liking” your page who are honestly interested in following you, and someday perhaps in purchasing your art. That should be your goal; – gaining future clients and future sales. Your goal should not be to get as many “likes” as possible from people who are just being nice, and are following your page because you asked them to. These people are not the ones who are going to gain you more followers by commenting on, and sharing your work and posts. In fact, you will likely become hidden from their newsfeeds in the future. So my advice is do not waste your time begging for “likes”.

I would also advise artists to post often, but not too often. There is a fine line between keeping your followers interested, commenting and sharing, and annoying them by spamming their newsfeed 5 times a day. Over posting is sure to get you hidden from their feeds. I vary on how often I post. At times I post as much as 2-3 times a week, but other times only once every 2 weeks. It really depends on what you have going on that is meaningful to your followers, and what you have to post about.

As far as what to post- if you are an artist, post about your art! Keep strictly to posts about your art, your newest pieces, news and events, and your creative process. The majority of my posts are photos of my paintings. I will add a pleasant comment about something to do with the piece, my life, or even a quote. This helps to personalize the post to me, the artist, while still keeping my posts professional. I do not believe Facebook pages related to any business should be filled with posts containing too much of the owners personal life, political or religious views. This can become a turn-off for future clients, and will limit your audience. Have fun with your posts, be positive, and let your personality come through. Provide information on your newest art, events, etc. in a professional manner to your followers without becoming annoying.

What’s your favorite Facebook Page feature?

My favorite feature on Facebook Pages is a pretty basic one – Photos! If you are a visual artist, what better way to reach thousands of eyes than to post pictures of your work? Many of these images that you post may also be picked up in Google image searches, so add photos! I post photos of paintings a few times a month and make sure I also add a link within the post to where they can view close ups of the painting and can purchase that piece online. Photos are so important in selling any product online, and what do your eyes gravitate to as you scan your own Facebook newsfeed? Photos! Most people are very visual and just describing your newest piece won’t gain nearly as much attention as showing it. People who have liked your page are also much more likely to “share” a photo than just a text or link post.

Another favorite feature on my Facebook Page includes the apps that you can have displayed on the top of your timeline. I am able to have a link to “My Shop” which, when clicked, gives customers a Facebook version of the listings that I currently have available for sale in my Etsy shop. I also have the same type of app link which directs visitors to my gallery on Fine Art America where I release a few pieces as prints and giclees.

I truly find so many positives in maintaining my artist Facebook page, and recommend having one to any artist or small business owner. Visitors can view information about you such as where you reside, your website links, they can view albums of previous works and sold art, and most importantly they can correspond with you in a fun, casual manner. The comments and messages that I receive from followers of my page are hands-down the best part! I am a very humble gal, always believing I can do better, and the when I am feeling a bit down- reading the overly kind comments on my Facebook page can really pick me up and even be inspiring!

What’s coming next from your studio?

I am currently beginning a new series of landscapes; abstract tree paintings with earthy color palettes. I am combining a bit of brush work with my typical palette knife created, impasto style. I am also working on completing some larger pieces to be exhibited this fall and December locally.

http://artbychristine.ebsqart.com

www.facebook.com/Contemporaryartbychristine

EBSQ Facebook Artist of the Week: Torrie Smiley

Who and where are you?

Hello, my name is Torrie Smiley. I am a “trying to be daily painter” from West Texas now living and painting in Charlotte, North Carolina. I am blessed to have a wonderful life full of adventure–not really, I am a mom to four, grandma to one, and leader of the pack to three dogs.

How were you introduced to Facebook?

I was introduced to Facebook by teenage daughters back when you had to be in college to have an account. In 2008, a young girl in the local coffee shop who admired my paintings, created a “Facebook Fan Page” featuring my paintings and my Etsy store. My younger daughter began getting questions regarding my paintings and how to purchase them on her Facebook page. She gave me one of the “mom your ruining my life” speeches and told me I had to start my own Facebook page to handle my own painting business……I am surprised she didn’t just ask for a cut of my Facebook income~ Well, as they say, the rest is history. I have been on facebook since 2008. It was fun in the beginning listening to the kid’s friends say “I can’t believe your mom is on Facebook”.

Any tips for other artists starting a Facebook Page?

The biggest tip for the Facebook page is make sure it is searchable by your name and your collectors can find you. If you are on Facebook, you know they are constantly making changes and updates. The “Fan Page” has gone, replaced by “business/professional pages”. In 2010, I started my Facebook page under the title “Original Works of Art”. I forged ahead as with all my online adventures ~ trial and error, realizing later my page was not searchable by my name, Torrie Smiley, only by Original Works of Art. I found this to be a problem for new customers to locate my page. I started the new page this year under my name Torrie Smiley, Artist. Not wanting to delete my Original Works of Art page and lose my page regulars, I maintain the two pages making it available to new and returning customers. Tips from lessons learned is to make sure you are searchable by your name. If your name is taken add “artist”, “designer”, whatever you do to your name in order to keep your page searchable to your name. If you stores have a different name, use what is most familiar to your customer. Also post, post, post!! I try not to neglect regular posting, but sometimes I do, and I definitely notice a drop in sales and commissions.

What’s your favorite Facebook Page feature?

There are so many to choose from~ My Etsy store and Fine Art America stores are linked to my Facebook page. New posts on those websites update themselves to my page. I post new paintings to Facebook first and then add to my stores giving regular customers and friends a sneak peek before the paintings go into the online stores. The share feature allows people to share my work and stores with their friends and on their page adding to my customer base. Link everything using the links feature-DailyPaintworks, Etsy store, eBay, Twitter, Website, and blog. I post the same painting in all the different locations to purchase the painting–eBay, Etsy, Daily Paintworks. Collectors have their favorite websites and can purchase where they feel most comfortable.

What’s coming next from your studio?

I am always working on commissions along with the work put in my store. I will be painting several cupcake paintings, the larger ones will be placed at Cupcrazed, a local cupcake shop in Fort Mill, SC (Cupcake Wars Winner!). I will also continue to paint pears, martinis, and still life. I continue to be fascinated with landscape painting and hope to be completing more soon.

I love participating in the challenges at DailyPaintworks.com. I plan on participating in the EBSQart.com Nibblefest by the end of the year. I just have to get past the next wedding in September and I will have more time to have fun in the studio. It seems everyday there is a new idea I need to get on canvas before it vanishes from my brain…..I need more time!

http://torriesmiley.ebsqart.com/

Facebook: Original Works of Art

EBSQ Facebook Artist of the Week: Jo Hards

Who and where are you?
I’m Jo Hards. I would describe myself as a Gothic fantasy artist. I also make ‘Strange Little Girls’ Gothic art dolls. I live in a small town in Cheshire, Northern England, a very green and beautiful  part of the world.
How were you introduced to Facebook?
A few years ago, while I was studying for a degree, most of my fellow students used Facebook to keep in touch, so I opened a personal profile, just to keep up to date with everything at university. More recently, in 2011 my sister-in-law over in  Australia, started a Facebook page for her handmade dolls. I saw what a fantastic opportunity it was for artists to share their work with a global audience, so I took the plunge and launched a page for my own art dolls. I’ve enjoyed running that page so much in the last year, that I recently decided to open a second page for my paintings and drawings.
Any tips for other artists starting a Facebook Page?
Make use of the many networking pages on Facebook for artists, crafters, and small businesses. Not only are they a great way to reach a wider audience, they are a wonderful source of support and advice. You will find lots of like-minded people in the same situation. It’s good to help each other out.
What’s your favorite Facebook Page feature?
There are so many great apps that you can add on to your page. My personal favourite is Ecwid, a free shopping cart, which allows you to open your own store right there on your Facebook page.
What’s coming next from your studio?
I’m loving working in acrylics at the moment, so there are plenty more paintings to come. I’m also enjoying creating smaller pieces, so there will be some more ACEO’s very soon.

EBSQ Facebook Artist of the Week: Christine Striemer

Who and where are you?

Christine E. Striemer (AKA CES) from Saskatchewan, Canada. We just moved from the big city Saskatoon back to the country last year and we are loving it!

How were you introduced to Facebook?

I noticed most of my friends and family were using it for it’s social aspect. I didn’t have much desire to use it socially, but once I discovered the business potential for it, I jumped on board.

Any tips for other artists starting a Facebook Page?

Links, links, links with the photos of your art. If you’re in the business of selling your art and not just showing it, always post links to where it can be bought. Keep your links updated. Make sure your posts with links can be shared easily from Facebook user to Facebook user. (Some automatic blog posts show up without the share function).

Describe your work: size, medium, support, price, etc.

Create an “Available Works” album and keep it updated.

“Like” other pages with your art page, especially pages that tend to share artists’ work.

Take the time to thank followers for their comments or shares, and respond to any questions.

Also, update your status with something new consistently. Aim for at least twice a week, but once a day is better. Even if you don’t have a new piece of art to share, update with an old one that may have gone unnoticed for quite some time or even simply talk about what you’re working on. Caution: don’t bore people with 20 posts a day. If you overwhelm your fans, they’re more likely to skip over your posts.

What’s your favorite Facebook Page feature?

The share function! Every time something is shared from your page, your audience increases and multiplies.

What’s coming next from your studio?

I’m currently working on the 29 Faces of May challenge. It has been an exhausting endeavor, but I’m determined to see it through. I’m finding that I’m producing some of my most creative works!

EBSQ Facebook Artist of the Week: Lisa Wiktorek

Who and where are you?

Lisa Wiktorek of Chesapeake VA.

How were you introduced to Facebook?

My teen daughter introduced me to Facebook! I realized I could make a separate page for just my Jewelry and did just that!

Any tips for other artists starting a Facebook Page?

I think beautiful pictures make all the difference. I also think you should have a direct link from your photo to the item in the store its being sold in, such as ETSY or eBay.

What’s your favorite Facebook Page feature?

I LOVE that I am able to right click and “copy” the web address of my jewelry item in the store, and “paste” it on my FB page! The main picture and store link pops up!

What’s coming next from your studio?

I am working on Travel and Flower themed Altered Art Charm bracelets. I have been working on triple strand bracelet designs as a different twist to my bracelets.

EBSQ Facebook Artist of the Week: Lee Lynch

Who and where are you?

My name is Lee, and I am an experienced oil painter and sculptor living in Boston, MA. I migrated with my wife and two cats from Texas this last year to escape the oppressive heat and enjoy the history of Boston.

How were you introduced to Facebook?

I was repeatedly asked by an old friend until I caved in and reluctantly joined. I resisted for a long time, trying to minimize my pc time to paint…right! I’m doomed now.

Any tips for other artists starting a Facebook Page?

The most important thing that comes to mind is one’s expectations. Facebook takes the same dedication as a blog in that the best results are seen over an extended time and very frequent attention. It’s wise wise to look at artists who one knows are selling well, and see how they engage their readers in their posts. I enjoy those who start actual discussions, so the readers feel more included and stick around for the commercials. One may or may not actually generate many sales from Facebook, but no matter what it’s an opportunity to see how one’s art affects the public. I mainly look to my page as an information tool over a sales tool at this time. Those who respond help me understand more about what subjects are strongest, and that does go into deciding my future work in some ways.

What’s your favorite Facebook Page feature?

This one is difficult, because I’m one of many who wish Facebook would just find good function and stay put. I like core features over the added cosmetics. My favorite feature For my purposes I definitely would say the thumbnail links. This seems basic, but what hits the reader’s eye means everything in whether or not they link will be clicked. That one feature defines the very purpose of having a promotional page. The visual contact is made, and the customer explores because it’s something he or she enjoys. I am also liking Insights, which offers a graph of page performance.

What’s coming next from your studio?

I am still putting the second to last nit-picky touches on The Gift, a 34″x55″ oil on birch board. It is a water nymph painting showing the nymphs gifting a magic key to a beautiful elf girl. The key is meant to protect her from a curse incurred from eating human food. I am also drawing for my next round of paintings but will have to show them on my Facebook page as they emerge.

Lee Lynch on Facebook

http://leelynch.ebsqart.com/