EBSQ Live Studio – Social Media for Artists

This demonstration was originally presented by Amanda Makpeace on 17 May 2010.

Good evening everyone. Thank you so much for attending Social Media, the Artist and Marketing. I’m going to start things off by defining the term social media. Most often when we hear the word social media the first sites that come to mind are Facebook and Twitter, but social media is any site that allows you to share information and interact with other people via the internet. Sharing and interacting—these are the two main aspects. Yes Facebook and Twitter apply, but so too do Blogs, YouTube, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, Flickr, Digg and many more.

One of the best things you can do is explore social media sites. Chances are not all of them will work for you, nor do you have the time to utilize each and every one. The following link is a listing of the top 25 social media sites, along with marketing tips for each.

Top 25 Social Media Sites

When I began using social media sites several years ago I tried dozens of different platforms, but now I only use a handful. Here are my tops sites for interaction:

Twitter

DeviantArt

My Blog

StumbleUpon

Facebook

Flickr

Here are some of my recent experiences on Twitter:

Example 1: I love sci-fi/horror movies and books. I began reading Stephen King when I was 13 years old. This isn’t just something I’m interested in, it’s something I know. I follow many aspiring writers and published authors on twitter, and in turn quite a few follow me and they’ve also made purchases from my Etsy shop.

Example 2: Many of you know about my One Pebble Project? Well just last week bestselling author, Kat Richardson (who I follow and she follows me) caught wind of my tweet and went crazy sharing it with all of her friends. We bantered back and forth for a good 15 minutes. Okay yes, this was a lot of fun especially since she is one of my favorite authors, but it also spread my name and ultimately my art to the 1,117 people who follow her tweets.

Example 3: I entered a contest on a blog a few weeks ago and the blogger clicked on my profile to see who I was, and ultimately ended up at my Etsy shop. Within a matter of days she commissioned a painting!

Maybe I’m lucky, but I don’t think so. I think if you want to generate sales from social media marketing you have to interact with people and build relationships.

I’ve seen direct sales from Twitter, so I put most of my time and energy into using my tweets as a marketing tool. Twitter may not be that site for you. Maybe instead Facebook is where you generate the most interest or even YouTube. The key is to find which one works and put your energy into it, instead of spreading yourself to thin.

Here are some good and not so good practices. You can use these rules of thumb, in some form or another, on any social media site.

Good Practices

Give to Get – Successful social media marketing programs involve listening and participation. That participation centers around giving value before expecting anything in return.

Putting in the Time – Yes, social media marketing can be time-consuming, but if you choose the best times to participate you can plan and use your time wisely. There are also tools you can use so you aren’t spending all day on the computer.

You want to facilitate sales, not attempt to make sales directly. – This is probably the most important practice of all. People following you naturally become acquainted with what you do, and as you participate in the conversations and build interconnected followers sales can and do happen.

Think outside your product. – If you have interests outside your own art, and most of us do, share them! 1. You will gain new followers/friends who will then discover your art and 2. It makes you a “real” person who is interesting and not one-sided. Also, seek out people with those interests and follow them!

Bad Practices

Being fake, in any way. – This is self-explanatory. Nobody likes a fake.

Not listening.- If you aren’t listening you may miss opportunities to incorporate your product into a conversation, etc.

Being oblivious to formal & unwritten social rules – It’s good to do a certain amount of lurking to see what is socially accepted for a particular social media site.

Being pushy or overtly sales-y in messaging – If all you do is post links to your product people will ignore you.

Cautionary Practices

Be careful sharing your political and religious views. – Unless they pertain directly to your arts theme/subject. We’ve all seen the discussions that can turn ugly, this would be disastrous to your online image.

Be careful expressing anger or upset over an event/person. – This can work for you or against you. Last year I witnessed author, Alice Hoffman have a complete meltdown on twitter over a bad review. The backlash at her behavior forced her to leave Twitter, but not before her account was suspended.

Tools of the Trade for Twitter and Facebook

Twitterfeed – This site allows you to take any RSS feed and share it on Facebook and Twitter. I use it to share the images I “Stumble” but I could also use it to share new items I list on Etsy too.

Feedburner – You can also use Feedburner to share your latest blog posts on twitter, which means less time you spend on twitter! I like Feedburner for my blog because it has more customizable options.

TweetDeck – The newest version of TweetDeck allows you to simultaneously post to both Twitter and Facebook or separately. TweetDeck works on Windows, Mac and Linux, as well as iPhone and iPad and an Android application in the works.

TweetDeck also allows you to schedule tweets. This comes in handy if you have a busy day ahead of you but don’t want to leave your followers in silence.

Also, artist Lori Mcnee has an excellent article on her blog, Lori Mcnee: Fine Art and Tips, about branding yourself as an artist.

Lastly, I want to say just a few things about blogging. You don’t hear much about blogs as a social media tool, but they do fall into this category. Blog posts can be shared across a myriad of social networking sites with the click of a button. But guess what, nobody is reading your blog because of your art. If you want to know why, this recent post on Gapingvoid.com explains it in an easy to understand way.

And I am going to leave it there. I hope you find the information in this presentation useful. – Amanda Makepeace

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TONIGHT is EBSQ Live- Social Media for Artists

hosted by EBSQ Self-Representing Artists and Amanda Makepeace
TONIGHT Monday, June 14th at 9pm Eastern (6pm Pacific)
EBSQ Chat Room 

social media marketing for artists

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube … Social Media is everywhere and everyone from school teachers to big businesses are cashing in on this amazing phenomena—including artists. When utilized correctly Social Media can be a powerful marketing tool. It connects the artist directly with potential buyers not only in their home town but across the world. I’ve been using social media platforms for the last six years. My presentation will reveal my secrets for using social media as an artist’s marketing tool.

About the Presenter: 

Art has been one of the few constants in my life, but early on I was put off by traditional teaching methods. I only returned to study art in 2005 after completing a commission for a book cover. The course revealed I was an artist set in my ways, so I let my muse run free to create on my own terms. Much of my art tells a story, and through it I have explored the beauty at our feet and the expanse of the universe. I live outside Athens, Georgia with my daughter, two cats and a sometimes unhealthy obsession with technology and books.

EBSQ Live Studio – Hand-tinted Photographs

This demonstration was originally presented by Sherry Key on 17 May 2010.

Photos-Hand Coloring with pencils-Basics

Welcome to my presentation on hand coloring black and white photos with colored pencils.  I use several different mediums to hand color, but today I’ll be talking about using colored pencils and the basic steps to get started. Hand coloring photos is more complicated than most people think. It is not just as simple as coloring in a coloring book. I hope you will come away with a new respect for the process and realize that it really does take an artist’s eye and an artist’s hand.

Supplies-First you’ll want to have on hand a good supply of quality colored pencils. Good quality pencils may seem expensive to start, but are surprisingly long-lasting, which makes them cheaper, the longer you have them. I started out with a set of Prismacolor brand pencils and have just kept adding to my collection of those. I probably have about 200 pencils now in a large variety of colors. There are certain colors I find myself using all the time, and there are others that I haven’t even gotten around to sharpening yet. Black and white prints and colored pencils are not too forgiving when it comes to corrections, but if I have an area where I think I can get by with a correction, I use an electric eraser which you can usually find for around $10.00.

Papers-I have printed black and white on just about every type of paper a printer will take, (without eating it.) Matte photo, watercolor, cardstock, etc., and they all have different qualities that you can play with. They also have their own headaches when you are combining printer ink into the mix. Glossy papers don’t work with most hand coloring processes and

the one I am using for this demonstration is a 67 lb. matte paper, that is a medium weight and nap, and falls somewhere in between a card stock, and matte photo paper.

Printing and ink-You will probably go through a lot of black ink to get the range of tones you want to color. Ideally you want to darken and lighten before you print to get a good contrast of darks AND lights in your photo. So if you just make your photo black and white before you print it that might not be good enough. You will have to work on adjusting your contrast, brightness, etc. to get what you need. Another thing is, not every photo is a good candidate for hand coloring. If you are doing a portrait it really works best when you have things to focus your color on like sunglasses, jewelry, hair decorations, fingernail decorations, etc. Medium to light objects are also better. I personally prefer to usually leave the skin uncolored, and I think you actually focus more on the facial features when color is surrounding them…than on them. That is just my personal preference. I use a printer that only has a black toner cartridge so it easily prints only black and white for me… (-: Now enough of the pre-technical mumbo jumbo…let’s get started!

This is the colors I use the most. 70% cool grey, 50% warm and cool greys, 20% cool grey, black and white. To me most of the blacks and whites and tones in between that the printer prints out, are cool shades. I use these colors the most for shading, re-shading and highlighting certain areas.

I use a hard surface such as a portable art easel (lap kind) a dining table or desktop. I use this big easel to clip my photos to when I want to take a step back to look at my progress or finished work. I like to step back from my work periodically to make color comparisons, look at overall composition, and where do I want to focus color, etc.

The image on the right in pink is the one I will be demonstrating today. I also did one in lavenders to show how different the mood can be depending on what colors you use.

Here is the black and white printed photo I will be using.

Doesn’t look like much now, but what is exciting to me is where, and how far can I take it with color, to really make the photo “pop.” First I decide which color scheme I feel like going with. Also, I want to make a note here that if you have black areas that get color rubbed off, markers do not usually work well to cover up those spots. Printer inks on paper have sheen. Markers are a FLAT black that will show up when you try to take final photos. It is better to color these tiny areas with black pencil. Here is an example of the contrast with printer ink and black marker. It doesn’t look so bad here, but believe me, if you have light shining on it in a certain way, it will be glaring.

Next I have outlined the t-shirt with black to make it stand out more.

In the next image I started coloring the headband and hair. On the headband I used varying shades of pinks, reds and purples. Start out with a light touch and go from using your dark colors to your lights. Go easy on the dark until you see if you are getting a color you want then you can start getting heavier handed with your pencils. I could have done Nicole’s hair any color I wanted, that’s what is nice about having a black and white palette to begin with. But her real hair color is a funky mix of dyed shades of red, black and white so I decided to go along those lines. I started with light strokes of reds, oranges and yellows.

This is a little closer shot of the hair and headband. You can also see in the picture (above the headband, to the left) how the ink from the printer is deposited and kind of has a sheen to it like I mentioned previously, when I talked about using a flat black marker in those areas.

Now I am filling in and deepening the colors on the headband. That’s Process Red (which looks like a hot pink to me) that I have in my hand. I am blending as I go, with a little more pressure each time, leaving some white at the crest of the headband to keep part of it looking like it has light shining on it.

The eyes are next starting with adding shades of blue and purple for my shadow, and under eye liner. On a portrait if you aren’t coloring the face, then the eyelids and irises are places you get to add some color if you want.

Because it’s easier to color over the lashes instead of in between each one, and it looks more uniform, the next thing I did was take a Micron .005 pen to go back and draw each lash individually. That brings the lashes back into focus and I can even add some extra ones if I want too.

At this point I think my headband and hair are really starting to come together so I am going to work on her t-shirt. I start with re-shading the dark areas with 70% cool grey to get more contrast. I also blackened the blacks on the bear logo with black pencil.

Then I started shading with light and dark pinks and purples, similar to what was done on the headband. I colored her irises green. I do a lot of blue and green eyes because it stands out more to me. Nicole’s eyes are brown but she loved the green iris when she saw this picture.

Here I am using a pale pink to blend some of the color on the t-shirt. Look how that headband and the eye “pop.” The outlining on the shirt and more black in the bear is really making those stand out as well.

I use a cheap .99 cent soft paint brush to brush off my painting. You will need to brush your painting periodically because you will have debris building up on your photo from using your pencils. Always use a brush because if you use your hand to brush away particles it may smear into your paper, instead of brush off.

In this photo I have outlined the face, nose and lips with grey. I colored the lip pink and finished adding pink to the lower part of the shirt.

I went back and added lots more yellow, oranges and red to the hair. Then I used dark gray and black to separate some hair strands.  I put it up on my standing easel so I could step back from my work and see what final touches it needed. I finished with going back to each area using more pressure with white, light colors, and black to finish blending and adding my final touches. Here is the final piece called “Nicole on Edge.” The colors are even richer and more defined in person, than I could get to come out in my photo of the picture.

Here is the original print before hand coloring as a comparison.

This month’s EBSQ Live: Social Media Marketing for Artists

hosted by EBSQ Self-Representing Artists and Amanda Makepeace
Monday, June 14th at 9pm Eastern (6pm Pacific)
EBSQ Chat Room 

social media marketing for artistsFacebook, Twitter, YouTube … Social Media is everywhere and everyone from school teachers to big businesses are cashing in on this amazing phenomena—including artists. When utilized correctly Social Media can be a powerful marketing tool. It connects the artist directly with potential buyers not only in their home town but across the world. I’ve been using social media platforms for the last six years. My presentation will reveal my secrets for using social media as an artist’s marketing tool.About the Presenter: 

Art has been one of the few constants in my life, but early on I was put off by traditional teaching methods. I only returned to study art in 2005 after completing a commission for a book cover. The course revealed I was an artist set in my ways, so I let my muse run free to create on my own terms. Much of my art tells a story, and through it I have explored the beauty at our feet and the expanse of the universe. I live outside Athens, Georgia with my daughter, two cats and a sometimes unhealthy obsession with technology and books.

Don’t forget: EBSQ Live returns TONIGHT!

EBSQ Live: Hand-tinted Photographs

hosted by EBSQ Self-Representing Artists and Sherry Key
Monday, May 17th at 9pm Eastern (6pm Pacific)
EBSQ Chat Room

Seein Blue – Sherry Key

Hand coloring photographs – These ain’t your Grandma’s photo oils.

I have been hand coloring black and white photos for some years. Working on hand coloring with pencil, ink, marker, oils, pastels… in other words, anything but the old standby’s like Marshall’s photo oils. “Art Photos” help combine the natural expressions of an artist like me that enjoys working in various media such as sculpture, jewelry making, painting, drawing and photography. I can promise that this presentation will take you beyond your Grandma’s use of photo oils to hand tint and color photographs.

About the Presenter:

I started out early in life with a passion for reading and art. My family will tell you I have experimented in just about every media there is. During the 70’s – like so very many in the 70’s, I worked in macramé, decoupage and tole painting. In the early 90′s I received scholarships for sculpture and ceramics. I concentrated on 3-dimensional work like sculpture, pottery and jewelry but in the last year and a half since my son moved out, I have been focusing on honing my drawing and painting skills – working mostly with colored pencils, oil pastels and hand coloring photos.

By day I run a computer maintenance database. I live in Texas, in the North Dallas area and when not at work, I am creating. – Sherry Key

Like what you see here?  We hope you’ll consider leaving a comment or subscribing to one of our feeds. Never miss another cool post from EBSQ. Subscribe to EBSQ: Art Meets Blog v2.0 by Email today!

This month’s EBSQ Live: Hand Coloured Photographs

hosted by EBSQ Self-Representing Artists and Sherry Key
Monday, May 17th at 9pm Eastern (6pm Pacific)
EBSQ Chat Room

Seein Blue - Sherry Key

Hand coloring photographs – These ain’t your Grandma’s photo oils.

I have been hand coloring black and white photos for some years. Working on hand coloring with pencil, ink, marker, oils, pastels… in other words, anything but the old standby’s like Marshall’s photo oils. “Art Photos” help combine the natural expressions of an artist like me that enjoys working in various media such as sculpture, jewelry making, painting, drawing and photography. I can promise that this presentation will take you beyond your Grandma’s use of photo oils to hand tint and color photographs.

About the Presenter:

I started out early in life with a passion for reading and art. My family will tell you I have experimented in just about every media there is. During the 70’s – like so very many in the 70’s, I worked in macramé, decoupage and tole painting. In the early 90’s I received scholarships for sculpture and ceramics. I concentrated on 3-dimensional work like sculpture, pottery and jewelry but in the last year and a half since my son moved out, I have been focusing on honing my drawing and painting skills – working mostly with colored pencils, oil pastels and hand coloring photos.

By day I run a computer maintenance database. I live in Texas, in the North Dallas area and when not at work, I am creating. – Sherry Key

EBSQ Live Studio – Recycled Artisan Paper

This demonstration was originally presented by Kris Jean on 9 March 2009 in conjunction with EBSQ goes green.

Recycled Artisan Paper was a detailed and through presentation. Because of the quantity of information- multiple techniques for creating and embellishing papers, supply lists, how to make tools, etc., we will post this presentation in regular installments.

We begin with the introduction and a supplies list.

Homemade Paper

Embossed Handmade Paper

Hi everybody and welcome to LIVE! In this installment, we are going to explore different techniques for recycling paper and junk mail, to use in arts & crafts projects, mixed media fine art, and beyond.

Making paper is messy, but very simple. The techniques are tried and true, but it takes practice to get good results consistently. What works for me, may not be the standard method because I like to do things cheaply. There is no process to this that is set in stone. Feel free to expand and experiment. Do what feels natural.

I have been recycling my own studio paper for several years now. This is paper from left over projects, watercolor paper trimmings even left over other recycled paper noogies. I do this purely for fun and to cut down the waste from my studio – and I use it for art, and crafty things for family and friends.  Usually paper/cardboard from my household use is dropped off at a paper recycling bin at the local school, as White Settlement does not have an active recycling program for its residents. (BOO!)

The paper I make is used in my own mixed media projects, handmade cards, seed paper, and other nifty little things. I take what I don’t use to work and let the kiddies have a go with it too. When creating your own papers – the sky is the limit!! I’ve made paper out of rose petals and even lint!

Above all else – be creative!

Basic Materials

Paper to be recycled (Stay away from super high gloss papers, waxy papers, papers with adhesives, plastic or hard paint)

Dishpan

Large Bowl

Water

Blender

Scissors

Window Screen Material (I prefer metal over vinyl)

Lots of Felt or Absorbent Material

Rolling Pin or Similar (wood will warp over time because of the water – so don’t use your GOOD one)

Old Wood Picture Frame

Stapler or Staple gun (depending on the hardness of the wood)

Some basic supplies:

Some more advanced supplies (we will have fun with later):

Please join us tomorrow, January 22nd, for The Basics, The Sifter Method and Drying Techniques!

About the presenter:

Kris Jean, a world wide collected artist, has dabbled in her fair share of mixed media. She has been recycling her own paper for years. In the past 5 years no scrap paper has left her studio; it has all been recycled.

Like what you see here?  We hope you’ll consider leaving a comment or subscribing to one of our feeds. Never miss another cool post from EBSQ. Subscribe to EBSQ: Art Meets Blog v2.0 by Email today!